Many people coming from traditional work environments have always left their safety in the hands of OSHA’s safety experts and monitors. When working from home, security falls on you.
While you may think of your home as a safe space, there are dangers. In today’s post, we share some simple tips to reduce the risk factor.
1. Don’t leave the stove to check your email
This is at the top of the list because I am a repeat offender. Your computer is a rabbit hole no matter how small the task you think will only take a few seconds. Before you know it, several minutes have passed and the smoke alarms are blaring. Don’t risk it. That a little thing I can’t wait for much more than a skillet of bacon.
And while we’re on the subject, when was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors? Where is the closest fire extinguisher to your home office? What is the expiration date of that fire extinguisher? Now that many people are working from home more frequently or permanently, it’s a good time to review these simple checkpoints that often escape us.
2. Update your antivirus software
If your work-from-home job is providing customer service, there’s a good chance your employer has tested your computer, or at least provided guidance, to ensure your computer is well protected from malware and viruses. Otherwise, or if you work in another industry, it’s a good idea to make sure your computer is secure. You should also not click on links in emails from unknown people or download software from unknown sources.
3. Enable 2-factor authentication
Many online services today offer 2-factor authentication, or 2FA. This means that when you log into your account online, not only are your username and password required, but you’ll also be required to provide a time-sensitive code that can be sent to you via text message or provided by an app. authentication. This is a worthwhile extra step to secure your online accounts.
4. Keep your space clean
Many injury-related accidents occur in the home, even under normal circumstances. Now that more people are home most of the time, that number can only increase.
Falls are among the most common causes of injuries in the home. While you may think it’s less of a worry now, since if you do get hurt, you can recover at home while still working from home, that doesn’t mean it can be any easier. If your remote work involves heavy typing or mouse use, consider the consequences of hurting your wrist or breaking a finger.
Keep your office clutter free. Make sure the hallways in your house are clear. Even a late-night trip to the bathroom in the dark can result in a spill. Take time at the end of each day to put things in order. And don’t leave the stove unattended.
You can lessen the chance of musculoskeletal disorders by customizing your workspace for you. While this is a service often provided in a corporate workspace, it can be overlooked—or overwhelming—when it becomes your responsibility as a remote worker. But that doesn’t make it less important.
According to OSHAMusculoskeletal disorders or MSDs account for 33% of all worker injuries. That’s a lot! msd It can include things like carpal tunnel, pinched nerves, or herniated discs. These are all things that are likely to work from home.
Take some time to make sure your workspace setup he has a neutral spine and his line of sight is slightly below eye level. Make sure your wrists and arms are not tense when typing or using the mouse.
6. Prevent isolation
The effects of isolation on many in the past year have been devastating. There has not only been an increase in suicides, but also many other mental health problems, including Trauma and Stress Related Disorder (TSRD).
Isolation is a concern in the world of working from home under the best of circumstances, some studies estimate the effects to be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day! It is more important than ever that you strive to connect with others on a personal level. I’m not talking about social media, which can cause a further downward spiral, I’m talking about reaching out to the people you know in real life. People you care about but may have been separated from for a while.
Even small things can make a big difference in your mental outlook:
- Start your morning by sending a “Thinking of You” card to a loved one or friend.
- Call someone you know in long-term care. They would probably also appreciate a familiar voice.
- Find out what activities are available in your community. Depending on your location, you might be surprised to find movie theaters, community centers, restaurants, and more open with social distancing guidelines. If you are healthy, take the opportunity to get out of the house and away from the news and social media.
- Take a walk in the fresh air.
- Get a pet.
- Volunteer online, or in person if available, for a local organization or charity.
- Connect with your local church to see if there are any socially distanced or online support groups available.
There are serious health implications for a sedentary lifestyle. It is very easy to be inactive when working from home. There is no one to hold you accountable. No coworkers to invite for a walk during lunch. It’s easy to just sit.
You have to get moving. This could be as easy as taking a walk around the neighborhood or an exercise class at your local gym. If the weather is bad, it’s still not an excuse. There are exercise apps for days. No equipment required in many cases! Just a few to review:
- Digital Squad
- My Fitness by Jillian Michaels
- daily burning
Many of these also offer meditation or yoga classes. Don’t miss the opportunity to relax and unwind too.
8. Know who you’re talking to
During these difficult times, scams have only been on the rise. This is especially true when it comes to impostors. They are not only waiting for you on your computer, but also on your phone. You may receive calls from people who say they are everyone from the IRS to your local police department to charities. Inevitably, these people are looking for money. They may ask for a donation or try to convince him that he owes money and that he will be severely punished if he does not pay now.
Take a step back. Tell them you will call them back. Not on a number they provide, look up the number for yourself. Call and ask if it’s really them calling.
9. Don’t be fooled by scams
Now is also a good time to refresh your memory on the red flags of remote work. We have a list of those here.