This week we’re talking to Cassy Baillargeon, occupational therapist. Cassy is the founder of 2C2B Coworking, a network of flexible and collaborative workspaces in Mascouche and Boisbriand. She shares her advice about how to create an ergonomic office at work, in a coworking environment and at home.
Tips for creating an ergonomic office space
There are many different elements in your work environment that will determine how comfortable and efficient you are. As an occupational therapist, I recommend that you find a quiet environment conducive to productivity that is well-lit and if possible, where you can control the temperature. It is very often the environment that we work in that will cause distractions, visual fatigue and a lack of motivation.
Choosing your ergonomic office equipment
When it comes to ergonomic office equipment you must begin with a good chair. Your seated position is the number 1 contributing factor to inadequate posture that will, in turn, cause injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
Your office chair
Your chair should be as adjustable as possible. Ideally, you want to adjust the height, the armrests (which are essential), the rocking mechanism and even the depth of the chair. Your back should be well supported. Pay particular attention to lumbar support.
Your work surface
You should be working on a hard surface that is about 30 inches deep. Try leaving a full arms length between your eyes and your screen to avoid visual fatigue.
Even if you are working on your laptop it is essential to have a screen detached from your keyboard, An external screen at your eye level reduces stress on the neck and is an essential element of your ergonomic office.
Choose a flat keyboard that keeps your wrists in a neutral position and keep the mouse as close to the keyboard as you can.
What is the ideal posture to work in?
Here are some tips to adopt an ergonomic posture in the office.
- Make sure your feet are placed on the floor and adjust your chair. Use a footrest if necessary.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor but there should be a bit of space behind your knees.
- Your back should be well supported and slightly tilted back. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Keep your arms close to your body and your forearms well supported on the work surface. Your elbows should be angled at 90 to 100 degrees.
I recommend taking regular breaks to stretch for a few minutes. It can be helpful to vary your posture regularly. Assuming a standing position to work is a great option.
How to optimize your productivity at work ?
In addition to creating an ergonomic office environment, it is important to ensure that the external environment is also conducive to concentration. Every person's ideal work environment will vary. A good example is how some people work well with music or ambient noise whereas others may wear earphones to ensure a quiet environment so they can concentrate.
Light plays an imperative role. We all know that sunlight does us good and we often see design photos that show a desk positioned in front of a window. From an ergonomic point of view, this layout is not ideal. Direct light can cause visual fatigue and glare. A better option is to place your workstation perpendicular to the window or opt to for blinds.
The decor in your space can play an important role in motivation. Whether you are at home, in a traditional office or in a coworking space, do not hesitate to personalise your space. Photos, plants, personal items… A playful mural can stimulate your creativity, while a display in your company’s colours can encourage engagement
Coworking and it’s benefits.
I founded 2C2B Coworking because the well-being of employees and entrepreneurs is important to me. A work-sharing space without commitment and fully flexible is not only good for a company's finances, but also for an entrepreneurs peace of mind. Now that so many of us are teleworking, it is more necessary than ever to break the isolation and dive into a stimulating professional environment.
At 2C2B Coworking, you will find fully ergonomic workstations in the open area, closed offices are equipped with sit/stand desks and the conference rooms host the latest technology. All spaces are available by the hour, the day, the month or year-round. Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces.
2C2B offers a creative business community. On a daily basis and through organised networking events, we encourage entrepreneurs to connect with each other. These contacts often lead to opportunities for collaboration. We also promote our customers' businesses through our broadcast channels.
For me, coworking offers a perfect opportunity to offer physical, psychological, social and economical support to local businesses.
Proud partner of 2C2B Coworking, PRINTED DECOR offers murals, wallpapers, wall decals and window films. Our exclusive products are designed and manufactured in Quebec by independent local artists.