For many people these days, the idea of working from home used to be a dream, but is now a feasible reality. Lots of companies now offer some degree of telecommuting, and of course there are some freelance jobs you can do from home full time.
The thought of being able to spend your working day in your own place, having no commute, and no boss looking over your shoulder sounds like paradise to a lot of people who have spent their working lives travelling to an office every day. However, what you may have imagined when first offered the chance to work from home (whether all the time or just on some days) is probably a little different from the reality. If you think that when you work from home you can curl up in your pyjamas and do all your work from your laptop in bed, then you are preparing yourself for problems. While it is of course, up to you where you do your work, if you tend to work on your sofa, at your dining table or just about any other place you might sit when you are not working, you are probably risking your health.
Health and Safety for Home Workers
There are several reasons why you always have to do those workstation health and safety assessments when you work in an office. Partly because of your employers responsibility for keeping you comfortable, but also because employers realise that the health issues caused by improper work station set up can lead to you taking time off sick, or even suing them! The problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, back and neck problems, eye strain and headaches that can affect you if an office isn’t set up properly can also naturally affect you at home, so you need to take the matter of creating a healthy working area into your own hands. Your company may even provide you with a set of guidelines you have to follow for your home office (for example that you must have a five wheeled office chair with adjustable height and backrests), and you may be able to buy the things you need as corporate expenses.
What Do You Need, at a Minimum?
You can spend a fortune on creating a state of the art home office with lots of cool accessories and swanky ergonomic furniture, but if you just want the minimum you need to work in a healthy position at home, office desks and chairs are the crucial things. You shouldn’t work for any length of time without a chair specifically designed for the purpose, and a desk large enough for you to work at easily. You may also need a stand for your laptop (if you use a laptop) so you can use it with the monitor at a comfortable height so you aren’t hunched over it.
Home working can be a really nice experience and you can be very productive, but it is important to think of your work space as a work space rather than simply wherever in your house you feel like sitting at any given time!
About the Author
Mandy James is a professional blogger who contributes to a number of sites, mainly focusing on careers and business. She works from home full time, and understands the leap between the idea of chilling out at home all day, and the reality of getting things done in a safe and healthy way from home!