All you need is the right tech set-up for a 'healthy' home office


  • Internet
  • Saturday, 20 Jun 2020

Position your monitor so that there are no reflections and daylight comes from the side. — Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

Now that many people are working from home, there's an interest in making sure employees have the proper set-up for their home office. The most basic devices necessary: A monitor and a laptop or PC.

With work from home becoming the new norm due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employees are looking at the devices they need to make it possible to do their job under the circumstances.

Perhaps the most important question starts with monitor size.

"A good-size monitor is about 27 inches, especially as they cost just a little bit more than the 24in models," says Wolfgang Pauler from computer magazine Chip. Full HD should be first pick for resolution.

The display should be set up so that it doesn't reflect anything, and daylight hits it from the side, advises the German Association of Occupation and Work Physicians (VDBW). "If you're working with a laptop, you should use another separate monitor as well," says VDBW doctor Anette Wahl-Waschendorf. "That improves the ergonomics."

Decent monitors can be had for about US$200 (RM854), with no limit to up to how much you can pay. Before you buy a monitor, be sure to first check out your computer set-up - "if the connecting cables don't fit, you'll have to buy an adapter as well," according to Pauler.

You also want a monitor whose height and tilt can be adjusted. Ideally the top of the monitor's frame reaches about your eye level.

Besides the monitor, there's the question of whether to go with a laptop or desktop PC. Pauler says that the home office situation must be taken into account: "The biggest advantage to a laptop is its portability... The PC's advantage is its cheaper price point."

A desktop PC costs about US$400 to US$500 (RM1,707 to RM2,134), while notebooks can be a good US$100 (RM427) more expensive. However, you have to factor in the price of the monitor for the PC. "On the other hand, laptop displays are in general too small for long-term ergonomic work at home."

A "healthy" workplace thus usually involves an external monitor. If you're working with a laptop for a longer period of time, a separate mouse and keyboard are ideal as well.

Employees shouldn't have to buy the proper devices themselves – it's a basic duty of an employer to make sure that their workers have the right equipment. However, a router and Internet connection are something the employee should provide, as it's also used privately. – dpa

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Home Office Ergonomics

   

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