The Ultimate Home Office Furniture Guide 2021
For much of the United States, the ever-unfolding coronavirus crisis means working from home, whether exclusively or with new flex hours. The Internet is full of “how to work from home guides” and we are pretty certain you’ve figured out the basics, and you might already have a fully functioning home office. If so, great. Yet if you think your dining or kitchen table will do, or if your favorite position is laptop-plus-couch, we’re here to tell you that these WFH scenarios will wreak havoc on your back.
With your health and physical well-being in mind, we have created this ergonomic guide for making sure your remote workspace is set up with everything you need to successfully work from home. After all, no one needs any extra tension right now.
Why an Ergonomic Home Office?
We, too, have spent many hours working from home lately and we have to say, when “designing” a home office, ergonomics is everything. According to the WSJ, a survey by the American Chiropractic Association of people that recently started working from home found that 90% of those who answered were experiencing more pain than before.
Clearly, to avoid back strain, musculoskeletal disorders and stress-related injuries, the right remote-work products are crucial. Aside from an ergonomic chair and height-adjustable desk we recommend a monitor arm and keyboard tray for their health benefits, but also because they free up space on your desk. This is great for those of us who have to work with a more compact space. Another great productivity-boosting accessory that’s often overlooked is a desk lamp.
Say goodbye to back pain with an Ergonomic Office Chair
If there is one component that is indispensable for your home office setup is a good ergonomic desk chair.
Working from your bed or sofa offers zero support and can be damaging to your back in the long-term. Also, in the comfort of your own home you might feel even more inclined to slouch. Meanwhile, your chair can feel like agony after a few hours if it’s poorly designed. The right ergonomic chair offers lumbar and thoracic support and the adjustability to customize it to your height to keep you in the right position and your spine healthy.
It’s an investment that will last for the next 10 years or more. Have you heard the phrase “buy once, cry once?”
There are options with uniquely shaped backrests such as the Junior Chair by Keilhauer, chairs that address the fact that men and women tend to sit differently, like the Squig by Keilhauer, and highly adjustable task chairs such as the Sol by 9to5 Seating.
If you tend to run hot, you can opt for the highly breathable, lightweight mesh You by Allseating. For those who like to sit in a slight forward-leaning position, a chair with a “waterfall seat” such as Strata by 9to5 Seating is great as it improves circulation to the legs.
If you are on a budget, check out our Top 5 Budget Chairs that offer great value and comfort but we highly suggest you visit our showroom to try them before making a purchase.
Stand Up to a Height-Adjustable Desk
How about working while standing up? We all know that we simply sit too much. According to a study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans sits for more than eight hours a day. This has been linked to serious health issues such as heart disease and stroke. The solution? Get a height-adjustable desk.
Working in a standing position for even part of the day does wonders for your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, just standing two hours a day burns around 340 calories. To boost your activity levels, you might consider a sit-stand solution like Humanscale’s QuickStand Eco, by Humanscale if you want to transform your desk into a height adjustable solution. It integrates your monitor and has a keyboard platform that provides stability while typing. It’s great for home offices.
If a new height adjustable desk solution is what you need. Check out the streamlined Enmo by ESI, which has a 15/7 year warranty. Enmo offers easy electric height adjustment via a keypad with up and down buttons. It can lift up to 220 lbs and best of all it is easy to assemble.
Keep your monitor always at the right height
Mind your ergonomics and get ahead of postural risks via a monitor arm. With this accessory you can properly position your monitor at the right height and angle to prevent neck pain, reduce eye strain and improve your posture. Monitor arms are also great for positioning several monitors.
In addition, for most of us our home office probably isn’t that spacious. Monitor arms free up desk space, and designs with cable management help hide all those unsightly cables that do not spark joy and disrupt your Feng-Shui.
The Kata, designed for ESI by Roger Webb Associates of London, is a great choice. A single monitor arm, it comes in silver, black or white and offers easy height adjustment with just the touch of a finger. It works for worksurfaces 36″ deep and has a weight capacity of up to 20lbs. With a 15-year warranty, it comes partially assembled for easy installation.
Key In to Your Ergonomic Comfort with a Keybaord Tray
Ease the pain (literally) of your home office setup with a keyboard tray. Many of us are guilty of slumping at our desks or hunching over our laptops rather than comfortably sitting back and taking full advantage of the back support provided by our office chair. This can cause discomfort and pain, which we often blame on our chair. But the real culprit might be the fact that the keyboard is placed too high because you are using a regular desk, causing strain on wrists, arms and shoulders.
With a keyboard tray, you can keep your keyboard and mouse aligned in their proper place, avoiding a host of discomfort and pain. Just like a monitor arm, this nifty accessory also frees up valuable real estate on your desk.
The sleek 6G Keyboard Tray by Humanscale offers easy height adjustment and positioning without controls, locks or levers. It’s ultra thin so you have maximum knee clearance. It comes in black or white, weighs only 6.5 pounds, and has a 15-year 24/7 warranty.
Light Up Your Productivity with a Desk Lamp
The lighting in our homes is not designed to maximize productivity. While your kitchen and bathroom might be well lit, chances are your other spaces feature ambient lighting that sets the tone for a cozy, comfortable place; even if yours looks like it should be featured in Architectural Digest. A desk lamp for your workstation will not just limit the chance of eye strain and headaches but will boost your productivity.
Today’s task lights are great at replicating natural light, which is important for our circadian rhythm. And when you're starting to feel that afternoon slump where you want to reach for a double espresso, consider changing your lamp’s setting to cool lighting, which improves alertness, mood, and productivity and reduces the release of melatonin and the accompanying feeling of fatigue.
The Lily LED Desk Lamp from ESI is a great choice for at-home task lighting. Available in a silver, white and black finish, it offers minimalist good looks and a 15 yr. (structural) warranty. Lily’s single arm offers 16 of reach so you can shine it where you need it most. It has a built-in dimmer with two settings, a color temperature of 5000K, 900 lumens and 90 CRI. The higher CRI means cooler light to keep you productive and alert.
We are here to help!
Companies across the spectrum are considering a permanent shift to WFH in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or just adding some new pieces, our team at Alan Desk can assist you with a great range of ergonomic products and remote-work accessories to do your best work and increase your focus, productivity and overall well-being.
To help ease the transition into a remote-work setting, we currently offer a specially priced ESI Bundle that includes the height-adjustable Enmo table top (48" x 24") and base for $599 (incl. free shipping). We’re also offering a unique “have it all” deal that combines the height-adjustable desk with some of the extras mentioned above such as the Kata Monitor Arm, Lily LED Desk Lamp and a FlexCharge3 power module. Give us a call to learn more!