National Home Office Safety and Security Week recognizes the unique challenges faced by people working from home. There are plenty of benefits of having a home office, but you also need to consider the precautions necessary to keeping your work area safe and secure. When you work in a standard office, these considerations are managed by your employers, but when you work from home, you have to figure out ways to avoid hazards on your own. Here are some of the top hazards you face from a home office.
Fire– Chances are you’ve considered the subject of fire safety in your home, but those considerations are even more important when you work from home. Everything from untidy cords to space heaters can increase your fire risk, and the stakes are even higher when you risk losing both your home and business. Keep your cords organized, follow space heater best practices, and make sure you have a working smoke detector and fire extinguisher. Also make sure everyone in your family knows the plan for how to safely exit your home in case of a fire.
Injury- Workplace injury can happen at the home office as a result of built-up clutter. Stacks of paperwork, boxes of inventory or toys from your kids or pets can cause you to trip and fall. Also make sure any potentially dangerous tools in your office are stored safely. Sometimes family members might need to use your office, and you want to make sure that they avoid injury as well.
Security- Office building facility and technology managers have to consider the security of the information and people within. You have to consider the same factors when you work from home. It can be wise to make sure you have proper cyber security and physical security measures in place for your home by purchasing any necessary software and installing a home security system. Keep your paperwork organized and stored to keep it out of sight and make sure your physical office door can lock and be secured as well. Make sure you consider your own personal safety, when inviting strangers into your home and remember you can always meet in a public place.
Insurance-Finally make sure that your insurance covers any business related injuries or damages that happen in your home. People occasionally assume that homeowner’s insurance is enough to cover your home office, but that is often not the case.