Tips and ideas for ergonomic remote work for developers

May 6, 2022
by Juangui Jordán

The International Day for Safety and Health at Work was just recently celebrated. But it is already more than two years since suddenly the topic of remote work was being discussed publicly and politically. A lot has changed since then. Until then, most people probably thought of the workplace primarily as an office. They probably also thought of a factory, a store, or some other place before they thought of their own home. In some companies, such as mimacom, remote working culture has always been present. In contrast, many other companies only began to introduce this concept in the wake of the pandemic. This has brought about a change, first in the mentality of the people themselves, later also in the companies. Today, most companies have decided to introduce hybrid working models.

Developers opt for remote work

In the technology sector and professions such as programming and development, this trend and the preference for remote work have become particularly apparent. In fact, the option to work remotely has almost become a requirement for new job openings. As a result, Github's recent report, “The 2021 State of the Octoverse”which surveyed more than 12,000 developers, speaks of a true metamorphosis with a new awareness of the need for remote work. The study concludes that 47.6% of respondents prefer a hybrid and flexible work model, and 38.8% opt for a pure remote work model. This suggests that few would accept a job with an obligation to be at work all the time.

Discovering the benefits of remote work

This study reflects my own experience and that of my colleagues at mimacom. After a long period of somewhat required telecommuting, our bodies resist going back to the office, but paradoxically our minds long for human contact, for a hello in the hallway, a small talk over coffee, or a conversation over lunch.

Because we've also learned the benefits of spending more time at home, avoiding the commute and daily traffic jams, being more supportive of our children, taking delivery of a package, or simply not having to leave the house on a cold, rainy day. And so we accept that, as the above studies show, everything has changed and part of our professional future will be at home.

Health starts with good ergonomics – also at home

But after all this time, our backs have also learned that working at a kitchen table is not the same as working at a suitable desk with an ergonomic office chair. At least mine did and started talking.

So I decided to recreate the standup desktop I enjoy at mimacom as best I can and share it in this article. In my opinion, ergonomics is not about finding the perfect posture, but about changing posture throughout the day and varying between different healthy postures, interspersed with an occasional walk or short break to drink coffee or stretch.

Flexible working sitting and standing

My ideal desk should have a sitting and a standing option, ideally with two monitors so that the screen I use most often is at head height and I don't have to turn my neck. Also, I usually spend my days in two different locations, so I set up two workstations.

I solved the first requirement of being able to work both sitting and standing with a hydraulic monitor arm that alternates between a table and a taller dresser. This is a simple option to replace the height-adjustable desk.



ergonomics home office 1



I still opted for an electric standing desk at my primary work location that can store up to 3 memory positions. So at the push of a button, it goes directly from my ideal sitting to standing height.



ergonomics homeoffice 2



Keep moving while working

While reading an article about programming one day, I came across a man who had a treadmill under his standing desk. As it happens, we also have one at home, so I occasionally put it under my desk and walk at the minimum speed (1 km/h) while I work. Maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but some jobs, like being a programmer, can easily be done while walking. That's how I make sure I keep moving even when I'm working at home.


![ergonomics homeoffice 4](//images.ctfassets.net/sl17l1u5p7bn/2hz9IpDp1ljgAIYiUH7PpD/018f921523e6bb6d1e0cd688a44fe611/ergonomics-4.gif)

And you, what solutions have you found to work more comfortably at home?

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The author
Juangui Jordan
Juangui Jordán
Senior Software Engineer
Juangui Jordán is a full stack developer, more and more specialized in frontend and UX. Always willing to learn and share his knowledge and experience with others. As he says, in addition to the "fireman's work" that any developer does almost every day, Juangui tries to contribute some clean code to mimacom's projects.
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