TIPS TO UPDATE AND ACCIDENT-PROOF YOUR HOME WORKSPACE January 11, 2021 | Home Inspection , Safety , , Home Maintenance | office , electrical , organization Sunday marked the start of Home Office Safety and Security week, an annual awareness event that takes place the second full week of January. With everything that’s happened in 2020, it’s no surprise that almost 30% of people are expected to continue working from home this year. If you fall into this category, then use this week to organize your workspace for safety and efficiency. Corral Your Cords Charging cords, cables and other loose wires don’t just make things look messy, they also pose a tripping hazard as you walk around. Not only can you end up flat on your back, you run the risk of pulling your expensive equipment down with you. Wrap up and secure your runaway cables with zip ties and tape to keep them in place and out of the way. You won’t have to perform a balancing act when moving through your office during the day and you’ll keep your electronics protected. File It Away Your remote station might not be as big as the one at your office, which can cause things to pile up. If you have the budget for it, invest in a filing cabinet or other storage system to organize your documents. You’ll avoid spilling your coffee on an important worksheet, while also reducing a potential fire hazard. It’ll also help if you stay on top of the mess by quickly discarding any papers you don’t need. Protect Your “Co-Workers” Whether it’s a small child or your four-legged friend, creating a safe workspace for them is just as important. Along with wrapping up cords, replace or repair ones that have begun to fray. Use plastic covers for outlets to prevent any shock hazards as well. Keep sharp objects like scissors, staplers and letter openers tucked away in a drawer and lock it if possible. To avoid a runaway toddler getting a head injury, put padding on the corners of your desk and filing cabinet. Lock Down Your Laptop Home office safety doesn’t just mean protecting yourself from physical harm. Last year, remote employee errors caused an almost 20 percent increase in security breaches. From clicking on a phishing link to unsecure passwords, companies in 2020 had to dish out extra funds for malware protection for remote workers. You don’t necessarily have to purchase an add-on, but if you feel like it’s needed, communicate your concerns with your boss. A good practice is to check all links and senders for anything out of the ordinary, and if you ultimately don’t trust it-- don’t click it! Breath of Fresh Air Sitting inside all day in a stuffy house can irritate your nose and throat, making your workday difficult. Ventilate your office periodically by cracking a couple windows or turning on a fan. Since you’re spending so much more time at home, getting a carbon monoxide detector is a smart investment. Combining a CO detector with fresh air means you’ll breathe easier and keep yourself safe. Right Tool for the Job The last way to keep yourself out of harm’s way while working from home is to try and make your remote space as close as possible to your one at the office. It might require you ordering a few things online, but you’ll be able to better focus on your work. In addition to a stable desk, look into purchasing: A desk lamp An ergonomic keyboard and mouse A comfortable chair These simple furnishings, along with regular stretch breaks, will save your body from any unnecessary strain that comes from sitting in front of a screen. Have Your Remote Space Checked Out! To be sure that your home office is safe, have it checked out by a professional inspector from NPI!