Ergonomic workplace design and social Isolation

Published by Work Safety Team on

By the end of December, it was clear that the home office would still be part of our everyday working lives in 2021. The digitalization of the various work areas has already opened new digital possibilities in recent years compared to the traditional work area in the office. The year 2020 in particular was characterized by guidelines and restrictions, which at the same time also demonstrated us that it is totally possible to work from home. But how can we design our home office environment in a way that health and safety at work is not missed out on?


What risks can occur when working from home?

  • Inappropriate working posture
  • Insufficient lighting or light exposure
  • Small working surface
  • Diverse distractions through children, partners, pets etc.
  • Psychological stress due to social isolation
  • Inadequate indoor climate due to insufficient ventilation intervals during the winter season
  • Lack of exercising

To help you work healthy and safely from home, we have put together 6 tips for ergonomic workplace design in the home-office.

The top edge of your screen should be at eye level, with a safe distance between your eyes and the screen of 50 to 80 cm.

You should change your position regularly to counteract posture and strain changes. During the breaks you can also stretch if necessary.

Adjustment of the workplace (table and chair) to the relevant body size in order to avoid unhealthy postures.

Good lighting is essential for reading text. Avoid sitting in an environment with high reflection or glare.

The room climate should be between 16 C to max. 20 C.

Use of external input devices (mouse and keyboard) to avoid unfavorable postures and one-sided strains. [1]


The social Isolation 

Photo by  Chris Montgomery on Unsplash  

Regular communication with each other is the key to success, especially in the office. In order to be able to perform this task virtually as well, regular feedback and discussions about problems and wishes of the employees should be be integrated into the weekly exchange. This can be done in form of digital coffee breaks, shared virtual lunches, etc. Regular exchange between colleagues counteracts the danger of social isolation in the HO.


Tips to increase mental health:

    1. Create a clear work structure
      1. In order to work in an efficient way, you have to minimize disruptions and interruptions, by all means. Make clear arrangements with all family members about the tasks, breaks and rest areas or rest times. Use rituals to structure your workday from the beginning until the end.

    2. Listen to your body
      1. Try to integrate regular breaks and consume as much positive news as possible. Meet up with your colleagues through a virtual coffee break or virtual lunch.

    3. Exercising as a mental support
      1. Exercising keeps you fit and various stretches help you relax. Whether it’s a walk, a yoga class, or a workout at home, there is something for everyone and at the same time you will take the stress off your mental health.

    4. Disconnect
      1. Limit your news consumption and take some time off with your partner or family. This should be completely away from electronic devices and the various social media teasers about the current state of the Corona pandemic.

    5. Get some fresh air
      1. By taking a short walk in the fresh air, you can take a break from everyday life and do something good for your body and mind. In addition, the fresh and clean air will also strengthen your mental health.





[1] Check-up Homeoffice DGUV (Deutsch Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung)

[2] Coronavirus und seine Auswirkungen