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How to Make Your Home Office Totally Workable

By Sandy Schroeder

Home offices show up everywhere. You may use yours every day, or count on it as a backup spot for spillovers from your job. Either way, making it totally workable just makes good sense.  Here are some tips from the New York Times to make it all work.

A real chair – Just making do with the nearest chair will sabotage your back, and subtly undermine your effort. If you’re going to use the workspace, an ergonomic chair with good back support is indispensable. I was very lucky to acquire a treasure of a chair in a company closeout, but there are many good designs out there with a full range of prices. Make sure your choice provides good back and shoulder support. Keep your knees slightly raised with a couple of inches of space between the back of the leg and your chair. Feet should be flat on the floor with monitor at eye level.

A serious shredder -  Install a cross-cut shredder that devours receipts, bank statements, and other private documents A cross-cut shredder cuts in two ways to make sure long ribbon cuts can't be put back together. Some can destroy CDs and old credit cards, too.

Cable ties bring control – Cables for keyboard, mouse, charger, monitor, and hard drives can easily become a mess. Use Velcro cable ties to contain everything and provide ongoing flexibility. Consider adding an extra laptop charger and charging cable, too.

Covering conference calls – Staying connected with your office means using a first rate USB headset so you can hear everyone, and they can hear you. Get one that is light and comfortable with a good microphone.

Healthy routines – If you spend all day in your home office, remember to escape occasionally. Heading out to lunch with friends, or off for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, will keep your head clear and you in touch with everyone around you. Also consider setting a bell to take five-minute stretch or walk breaks when work sessions get long.

Add some extras – A warmup cup for your coffee, lap desk for work sessions on the couch, green plants and doodle pads will make your home office more comfortable.  Pets work, too. Having an in-house dog or pet who keeps track of you can be the finishing touch. Your dog will remind you to get up and go out for a walk, and your cat will remind you when it’s time to eat.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Madison, Wis.

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