Working from home brings many benefits. It avoids the energy-sapping commute, allows you to spend more time with your family and offers the chance to work in more comfortable surroundings. But there are drawbacks too. Below we explore the potential safety issues when working from home and look at tips on how to avoid or alleviate them.
The National Accident Helpline’s working from home study revealed the main areas where there’s safety trouble at home. The study found that the most common injury suffered when working from home was back pain – around a quarter of workers reported this problem. Naturally then, the right chair is extremely important, with the study finding that over a fifth of injuries involved an ergonomic chair; this climbed to almost a third, when any type of chair was involved. The study also found that those with a dedicated home office were best off. 70 per cent of those with this setup reported no injuries whatsoever.
Exercise is hugely important for your physical and mental health. Sitting down and working from home all day can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Ideally, you need to fit exercise into your home routine. This will leave you feeling refreshed mentally, while also allowing your muscles and joints to keep in motion. Perhaps you could go for a run before you start the day, or you could stretch and enjoy some yoga during your lunch break.
Invest in the right office furniture
If your home office has unsuitable furniture, then you’re at risk from back problems and other nagging issues. Ensure that your office is ergonomic to keep your body in a natural position. This includes getting a rolling chair that has back support and padding. At the same time, you’ll need a comfortable desk that can house all your work equipment. Try positioning your monitor or laptop so that your eyes are level with the top third, while being a comfortable distance away from your face.
Check your posture
Improving your posture is a great self-help method to avoid injuries. Ensure that you keep your back straight and sit with relaxed shoulders to try and avoid back pain.
Without colleagues to socialise with, you can find yourself taking fewer breaks. Without breaks you’ll find yourself with impaired concentration and focus. Try and at least wander around the house and refresh yourself from time to time.
Even if you follow the above advice, without office support, working from home can lead to injuries. If you do suffer an injury in this situation though, you can always seek advice froma personal injury lawyer.