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Working from home - computer set up(14 Posts)
Hi, I am increasingly doing computer based work from home to fit round my small children. I'm currently using the family laptop which is fine in terms of memory, processing speed etc. However I feel that it's probably not the most ergonomic set up - I've tried adjusting chair height etc and always feel that the screen and keyboard aren't quite at the right angle. I can't throw loads of money at the issue as I'm not earning a lot and we are paying for childcare. But I wondered whether anyone had any tips for any bits of equipment that might make a difference. I'm wondering about a separate monitor and keyboard plugged into the laptop as the processor but have no idea where to start! Any advice welcome ☺️
What are you using as a desk?
I'd try a laptop stand and see if that helps, ideally one that you can tilt to the angle that you want.
Whether you work on your laptop or set up a monitor/keyboard/mouse is usually personal preference rather than one being ergonomically better. I have the latter set up but never use it, I'm always just on my laptop. It is on a desk that's a good height for me, and with a good chair, so I'm comfortable!
My view as a home worker in IT I think a separate keyboard and mouse is essential for long term health. The easiest way is to just buy a wireless mouse and keyboard which will connect to your laptop.
However, I do think that for long term working a properly adjusted monitor is essential to avoid long term problems.
A adjustable monitor arm is about £20 on amazon.
Ooh thank you so much for your speedy and helpful replies. I'd never heard of a laptop stand or a monitor arm, I will look into both of those thank you. I already have a separate mouse although again I'm not sure it's as comfortable as it could be. I have a proper desk, sturdy old fashioned wooden one. Also a very ancient desk chair but it is adjustable for height. Thank you! Henlow
Don't know where the Henlow came from!!
I would agree with the above - the cheapest solution is to get a laptop stand and keyboard and mouse, that way the laptop acts as the screen and you have the keyboard, mouse and screen at more appropriate placement for your health. Also bear in mind that if you don’t have many USB ports on your laptop, get USB hub (fairly cheap, essentially just a USB extension for the laptop to provide additional ports).
Also learn the basics for good desk set up, the HSE has a leaflet (pages 2 and 3 contain the key info on how to set up your desk), it’s not the most exciting leaflet but it covers the key tips. I don’t know if there is something more interesting or visual to convey it but perhaps search for ‘DSE assessment’ on YouTube or similar.
Don't worry I can deal with a bit of dullness, thank you for the pointer and your advice.
In November last year I finally decided to kit out my home office properly.
I got a Roost laptop stand and a kneeling chair and I am 100% IN LOVE with them both.
For DH we bought a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. Having the monitor means that it's adjustable for when you're just working on one screen, and you can also use the laptop as a second screen if you need to. It's also much bigger than the laptop screen which makes work easier.
For myself I bought a huge iMac, separate keyboard and mouse, but I do a lot of design work so it was a totally worthwhile long term investment.
Thank you, useful to hear different approaches. Definitely don't need any specialist programmes but a second screen might be useful from time to time, that's a good point.
I have a laptop stand, keyboard and mouse, all bought cheaply from ebay. DH has the exact same set up - he has a little bluetooth keyboard and takes it, his mouse and macbook to the office where he keeps a second stand, so he works with this set up full time. Works for us.
I can see lots of different laptop stands - any tips of what to look for? I think ideally I'd like one where the keyboard can fit underneath it. Thank you all for your advice, it's really helpful.
Thank you Spudlet, looks good.