When you choose a bag for work, one of the most important decisions you will make is how you're going to carry it.
Different bags are designed with different ways of carrying them in mind. And if you are carrying a heavy load each day, you need to make sure the bag is comfortable for you to use.
There are a few key ways you can carry your bag based on its straps and handles, and we'll go through the pros and cons of each below.
In your hand
Some bags only come with a short top handle for you to hold in your hand.
Having a handle like this can be practical if you're quickly lifting the bag up, but it's not very comfortable for a longer period of time.
So if it's a bag you're planning on bringing back and forth from work each day, you probably want more options to carry it than just this one.
In the nook of your arm
Some bags can be carried in the nook of your arm, but don't have long enough handles for you to pull them over your shoulder. This was the case with the very famous Luggage bag from Celine.
You need to decide for yourself if you'll be able to carry a bag all day if this is the only way to hold it.
It can be an excellent way to carry heavy bags in general, as this type of grip gives a lot of support. But it does mean you have to hold the bag in front of your body all the time, and you have less flexibility to move your arm.
If you're walking a lot, it can be more comfortable to hold it flat under your shoulder instead.
Over your shoulder
You get more support if you're able to carry your bag over your shoulder. It also helps to be able to change between different positions when you hold it.
But you need longer handles or a shoulder strap for this to be possible, and you need to make sure the size is just right for your body.
If you try on a bag that has a shoulder strap, make sure you try it on with a winter coat so you know you can use it all year round. Sometimes, our shoulders get so big with a coat on that it isn't possible to pull the handles over them.
One of the more comfortable ways to carry a bag is cross-body. It gives a more even pressure on your shoulders, and you can keep your hands free.
If you're bringing your handbag on a plane and need to keep your ticket and passport in your hands, it can be very helpful to have a bag you can carry like this.
But you need a pretty long strap to be able to do this, and it has to work with your height. After all, a woman who is 150 cm won't need the same sized strap as someone who is 175 cm.
It's beneficial to have an adjustable strap so you can fit it to your height accordingly.
On your back
It's becoming more and more popular to have handbags that double as backpacks. This can especially be good if you are cycling to work and need both of your hands free.
If you're running, you might not be able to use one of these as they won't be stable enough, and you need a strap across your chest and a custom-sized running backpack.
But if you don't need as much support, you can also use a handbag with an adjustable strap and fasten it tight enough to have the bag on your back with the strap across your shoulder and chest.
On top of your suitcase
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of different ways of carrying your bag, but it can be very important if you travel a lot.
If the handbag has a strap or double-sided pockets so you can tread it over the handle of your suitcase, you can balance the bag on top of it without it falling off.
This means all you have to do is slide that suitcase across the departure hall without lifting anything at all.
Mix several types of handles
It's also important to consider if you need multiple ways of carrying your bag. If you're using it a lot, you often want to be able to change your grip.
It can be fine to hold your bag in your hand for a little while if you need to offload your shoulder, but you would destroy your fingers if you had to hold your work bag like that every day.
A good mix is to have an adjustable strap that can be taken on and off with some sort of a top handle as well.