Working from home? Make sure you work safely.
A lot of people are working from home now—and this is a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, even after concerns about COVID-19 eventually fade.
However, it’s not always as simple a switch as you might think. From ergonomics to electrical systems, an office is designed with the needs of workers and equipment in mind. A home office (especially if it’s something like a repurposed bedroom) usually isn’t.
For example, maybe there’s no conveniently located outlet where you want to place your desk. Or you have too many things to plug in, and you need to use a power strip. And what if your office chair, desk, and computer setup doesn’t put you in the right physical position?
All of those things can be serious concerns. So here are three tips to help you stay both safe and productive when you’re working from home, from Electrical Safety Foundation International and other experts.
Create an actual workspace. Don’t work on your couch for long periods (as great as that might sound, it’s not good for your body)—try to recreate an office environment as much as you can. Use an office-style chair or use pillows for additional back support if you need to sit in a regular chair. If you’re on a laptop, elevate it so you’re not looking down at the screen; it should be at eye level or just below. Use an external keyboard and mouse if at all possible, too. And don’t forget that even a standing desk needs to be set up with ergonomics in mind.
Walk around when you can. You don’t just sit all day at the office, do you? You shouldn’t at home, either. Take frequent breaks to get up and move; they can help keep you sharper when you’re actually working, and it’s important to give your eyes a break from screen time as well.
Make sure you have the right power setup. Be careful not to overload your electrical outlets by daisy-chaining extension cords and power strips; if you don’t have the right outlets near your desk or workspace, you might want to consider a different area. (You also should only use extension cords on a temporary basis.) Make sure your computer equipment is connected to a surge protector, and never run cords under carpets, rugs, doors, or windows.
Time for a new home office?
If you don’t have the home-office setup you want, and you think this change could be long-term or even permanent for you, it might even be time to consider a remodel. We’ve worked on wiring for many similar projects, and we’d love to help you create your ideal workspace. Just give us a call at (206) 434-6915 or send us an email to talk about your project today!