Many office employees in Homestead are now working from home, and while the practice can be rewarding, it also poses challenges. Offices and workplaces need to be set up with employee safety in mind or they face liability exposure and potentially fines and penalties. Most homes, however, are set up for living and not for work.
You may not consider workplace safety at home, but it’s a real concern. Injuries may be more likely for those in Homestead working from home right now because many of us are spending less time socializing and more time at our devices and computers.
Here are some ways to stay safe when working from home:
- Think ergonomics: If possible, set up a comfortable work station with a desk, a proper keyboard, and an ergonomic, adjustable chair. Your monitor should be at eye level and your feet should be on the ground.
- Avoid working too casually: It can be tempting to work in bed or on the sofa, but these spaces may not correctly support your back and posture.
- Schedule breaks: Even with the best ergonomic desk set-up, working without breaks for hours puts you at risk of repetitive strain injury and other work injuries. In a typical workplace, you can be interrupted throughout the day or you may need to get up to get new toner, a printout, or other work essentials. In your home, you can keep everything within arm’s reach and this can mean you stay in your chair too long. Schedule an alarm on your phone or computer for every 30-45 minutes. About that often, get up and walk around for at least five minutes.
- Exercise: During the pandemic, many people are living more sedentary lives, and this can cause muscle and overall weakness which can increase the chances of a workplace injury, strained muscles, and other injury. Create a good workout routine at home, whether that’s walking around the block, doing stretches, or something else. Talk to your doctor before starting any workout program to ensure you’re choosing a safe option for you.
- Watch your posture: Periodically check to make sure you’re not hunched over. This can place additional stress on your back and cause injury. Every so often, check on your comfort level. Does anything ache or are you squinting at the screen because the light is incorrect? Adjust your work space until you don’t feel discomfort. If you do experience pain which may be caused by a remote work injury, see your doctor as soon as possible to get early treatment and to prevent complication.
- Take care of mental health: Physical injury is not the only concern when working remotely. Mental health can also suffer during challenging pandemic times and when working from home, where we may get less socialization. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders can be debilitating. Get proper rest and nutrition and practice good self-care. Take the time to pursue interests and to socialize, even if only virtually. If you notice changes in eating or sleep patterns or find yourself struggling, contact a doctor for help.
Have you been injured while working from home? Remote work may be part of our “new normal,” but injuries shouldn’t be. If you’ve been injured, Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead workplace injury attorney.