Tips for Interpreting in a Home Office Space

-Authored by Roberta Piper

A rapidly increasing number of Americans are working from home, which means we need more Interpreters working out of home offices. Whether this is short term or long term, one should look at making that office as ergonomic and mindful as possible.

What is Ergonomics?
Merriam-Webster defines ergonomics as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” This can relate to chair design, table height, wall color, the space around us, how our equipment is set up, and for Interpreters, the physical signing space needed for interpreting. Each of these measures and concerns are considered to minimize any injuries or distractions and maximize our safety and efficiency as we work. Here is a great article and visual guide to sitting workstation ergonomics.
home office success interpreter

Mindful Surroundings
Along with the ergonomics of our workspace, we set ourselves up for success by being mindful of our surroundings and preparing for our day. Before sitting down to start your workday, consider the things you may want in arms reach as well as the things you want present or possibly absent from your environment on a whole to help you have a successful workday.

  • Having something to drink such as water, coffee, or tea and a little snack to hold you over until lunch.
  • Possibly a candle or diffuser with your favorite scent to calm or energize you.
  • A backdrop or wall color that is neutral and in contrast with your skin tone to maximize your professional interpreting space.
  • Noise canceling headsets such as these can be a great asset to dissuade from any distractions in your home environment.
  • Pictures of loved ones to spark joy.
  • Or even a little desk plant if that brings you happiness.

Many of these considerations may seem small but they can have a large effect on the success and outcome of your workday.

Healthy body healthy mind
There is one last important note for a great workday. Along with an efficient workspace designed with ergonomics and mindfulness, you should also take time to get up and stretch throughout the day. Sitting all day long is not good for our bodies or minds. Getting up and letting the oxygen and blood flow is important and can maximize the work we get done, promoting and encouraging us to do our best throughout the workday.

As always, take care of yourself.

Additional resources:
Click here for Yale University’s home office tips.
Click here for Journey Meditation tips for a mindful workspace.


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