News 15 October 2020

New LINcast podcast: managing ergonomics and finding the challenges and opportunities of working from home

In our new normal, many of us have traded office desks for kitchen tables. And even if global events move us back to the workplace soon, working from home in some form or fashion is here to stay. Dr. Mark Benden and Martha Parker of the Texas A&M University Ergo Center have plenty of tips and tricks for those facing the challenges of working from home, now and in the not-so-distant future.

At the beginning of the year, when we shifted from cubicles to kitchens, and our kids, partners, pets, and roommates became our officemates, ergonomics was the last thing on our mind. As we turned our kitchen tables or ironing boards into our makeshift desks, we had no idea that a couple weeks could turn into indefinitely.

Working from home is here to stay. One big question that everyone is asking, “Can people working from home be as effective and productive as those working in the office?” This is important not only for those working, but also for the companies employing them.

In this two-part podcast, Dr. Mark Benden, department head and associate professor, as well as the Director of the Ergo Center at Texas A&M University, and Martha Parker, project manager and ergonomist at Texas A&M Ergo Center, take us through some unique findings from a series of studies centred around office workers who shifted to work from home. These studies were the first of their kind as they took in software data on a very large-scale, monitoring 120 types of metrics of over 40,000 office workers for multiple years. They also dive into what you can do to improve your ergonomics while working from home.

“In your job, you can compare yourself to a pro-athlete,” says, Dr. Benden. “In order to perform at peak levels, you need the same equipment and tools around that you always have. You would not want to change this up or go without something every time you travelled. This is the same for your workspace. To keep the level of performance the same, you want that transition to be seamless.”

There are many great tips and tricks that can help us not only perform our best while working at home, but ensure that our health and well-being are not negatively impacted as well.

Learn more from our guests about the large-scale study and how you can manage your ergonomics and well-being on the latest LINcast podcast.

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