Responsible behind your computer: How to ensure a correct workplace

Regardless of whether you work at home or in the office: It is important that your workplace is good. There are a lot of factors that can make you uncomfortable, less productive or even really bothered. Think about light, temperature, attitude and moisture content. For example, do you ever have a headache or backache after a day’s work? This may just be due to a wrong workplace. With these ten pieces of advice, you can ensure a healthy, pleasant workplace.

Do you not work at home or in the office, but outside, in the factory or in construction? Even then, the right workplace deserves sufficient attention. You are welcome to contact our service center. You will find our contact information below.

1. Provide enough – and not too much – light

When working, light is extremely important. This applies to both daylight and artificial light; especially in winter, ensure good lighting on or around your desk. Also pay attention to the position of the light in relation to your screen. If, for example, there is bright light behind your screen, you have to squeeze your eyes: this makes them tired faster. Direct light on your screen can also be annoying. If there is a lot of sunlight, do not sit directly next to a window or use good sun protection.

2. Find the right temperature

The perfect temperature is a little different for everyone. For example, men often prefer the thermostat to be slightly lower than women. In general, a temperature between 19 and 21 degrees works best for most people. If your workplace is too cold, your body needs a lot of energy to warm up; a temperature that is too high makes you lethargic and tired. Both are not ideal to work in.

3. Make sure you’re not in a draft

Do you have air conditioning at your workplace or do you sit near an open window? So watch out for drafts, all on your neck. Otherwise, you risk getting neck pain. It can help to move or rotate your workplace a little. And do you want fresh air? Then open the window when you leave your workplace.

4. Take care of dry air

Dry air can lead to headaches, irritated mucous membranes in the nose and throat and burning or dry eyes – especially if you wear contact lenses. A bowl of water on the heat often works wonders when the air is too dry. The ideal humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. Plants can also help freshen the air. Is the air extremely dry? Then it’s a good idea to call in a professional.

5. Get a handle on ambient noise

If you work with colleagues, the risk of ambient noise is high: colleagues ringing loudly and for a long time, a printer constantly rattling, computers beeping. This can be disruptive. So try to do something about it. Discuss, for example, whether the printer can be placed elsewhere, agree where and when you call or find a quieter workplace yourself. Sound-absorbing materials can also help: think of a carpet, curtains or wall panels.

6. Adjust your desk and chair correctly

Many of us sit incorrectly at work, and this is often related to the adjustment of our desk and chair. The right adjustment may feel strange at first, but it’s worth getting used to: it pays off in the long run. The most important parts of a good work position? Your feet flat on the floor and your knees and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle as you relax behind your desk.

7. Also pay attention to your equipment

It is important that you are as relaxed as possible behind your computer. Therefore, consider the correct settings:

  • Ideally, the top of your screen should be at eye level. Can’t you do it? For example, use a book, a pack of paper or a laptop to raise your screen.
  • There should be at least an arm’s length between your eyes and your screen.
  • Use a separate mouse or trackpad and a separate keyboard.
  • Make sure your mouse is in line with your shoulder: not too much to the right, not too much to the left.
  • Place your keyboard in line with your screen, right in front of you and not too high.

8. Keep your desk clean and tidy

It seems easy, but in practice your desktop quickly and easily becomes much fuller. From pens and loose papers lying around to cables from your computer: they can all get in the way and cause trouble. Make sure that only the necessary things are on your desk and that your workplace is clean. This way you can work with enough space and a clear mind.

9. Give yourself a good view

The location of your desk is also important. What can you see from your workplace and what can’t you? Which colors dominate? These seem like insignificant details, but they can have a big impact on how you feel. A cluttered view creates unease, while white walls alone generate little inspiration. Experiment with different viewpoints and see what works best for you.

10. Stretch your legs regularly

Last but certainly not least: regularly leave your workplace for a while. Take a short break, consciously plan meetings elsewhere, stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest. Sitting at your workplace and behind your screen for too long causes complaints. Allow yourself short breaks so you can work without complaints in the long term. Do you often forget to take breaks? Then install an app to help you remember.

Need more?

If these ten tips don’t help you make your workplace responsible and healthy, maybe your employer can. It is obliged to offer you a healthy and safe working environment. If you cannot find a solution, you can report the problem to your works committee or knock on the door of a confidential adviser or company social worker. Or ask which occupational health and safety service you can contact: that organization helps your employer arrange a good and safe working situation.

If your complaint is not resolved, you can raise the alarm with the Dutch labor inspectorate: this state body checks whether employers are complying with the law. You can also go to your company doctor with complaints – this is possible without your employer’s permission.

Do you know more?

Do you have questions about the ideal workplace or would you like to discuss with someone how to raise your grievances with your employer? You are welcome to contact our service center. We can be reached every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. via sc@unie.nl and 0345 851 963.

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