How to be Healthy and Safe in your Home Office – 24 Great Tips
Here are some quick tips on successfully managing your home office, as well as some very important health tips.
- First, make sure your location allows you to run a business from home. Double-check it!
- Make sure you have an insurance that fits your business. Your work equipment may not be covered by your personal insurance. Talk to your insurance agent.
- Have quality backup solutions in case equipment is ruined or stolen, or data is lost. Store back-up disks in another part of the home, or off-site.
- Include power surge protectors to protect your computer and information from electrical power outages.
Beware: Personal and Business Finances are Easy to Mix!
A challenge financially can be how to divide the costs between personal and business. Here are 6 tips to help:
- Keep all receipts.
- Set routines for writing down how much you use the car, or keep a log book in it.
- Having an office phone keeps the bills separate from your personal phone.
- Go through your day and write down everything you use during a day.
- Read up on tax policies and book-keeping.
- Get help in making estimates from a professional bookkeeper if needed.
All these smaller things can add up to a decent amount of money, and possibly tax reductions.
Working From Home Can Be Bad for your Health!
Working all day long on a computer is not great for your posture, eyesight, breathing…… Often this is combined with a lack of exercise……… Here are 6 tips to manage your health:
- Your mother was wrong: fidgeting is good. The more you move in any capacity, be it pacing or wiggling in your seat, the less likely you are to gain weight, according to a 2005 study at the Mayo Clinic. Even tapping your foot under the desk works; it’s a movement that continuously activates leg muscles without requiring much energy or thought.
Stand up and stretch, or walk around at least once an hour. Just don’t sit hunched over your keyboard all day. Do a few jumping jacks, stretch out your limbs and get your blood flowing. A half-hour of walking might not offset eight hours of sitting behind a desk, but every minute of physical activity counts. Plus, even a 10-minute walk can be enough to supply a feeling of energy and decreased tension.
- Reward Yourself with Health. Think of brisk walks and yoga as rewards for your work.
- Stand for your calls. Pace around the house when you are on a phone call. It’s a good opportunity to get away from the desk and stretch muscles.
- Save eye strain. Take a few minutes to look away from your computer every hour, make sure your work area is sufficiently lit, and that your screen is the right distance away from you so you don’t have to squint or strain to see it.
- Keep Moving Here are 5 suggestions for exercises while sitting as well as 8 stretches
It would be crazy to lower your standard of health just because you are working at home. Doing something eco-friendly shouldn’t have to come at the price of your health, right?
8 Other Ways to Improve Your Work From Home Lifestyle
- Keep Cool – or Warm. In summer, open the windows wide and improve your air quality instead of relying on air conditioning all the time. Fresh air and natural light are shown to increase productivity. If it’s uncomfortably hot, consider going to your local library or coffee shop with wi-fi – you will save money and energy, and you will be around people. In winter, wear a sweater to keep from cranking the heat, or use a space heater to keep your office comfortable.
Tackle an item on your to-do list: Unfinished tasks weigh us down.
- Clean up. A messy work environment slows us down by time wasted searching for things, and there is some evidence that it reduces creativity too. Get your schedule, your routine, and your workspace organized and you’ll work better.
- Plan. Set yourself a time limit for what you need to get done today / this week – and stick to it. Otherwise you will end up working all hours, especially if it is your own business. Always plan your work and your strategy – what you need to get done, how you will achieve it, and by when.
Drink coffee. Coffee gets a bad rap, but it really does boost alertness, energy, and ability to focus. Plus it’s a great source of antioxidants and it contains soluble dietary fibre.
- Make specific times for food. Otherwise you will munch mindlessly all day. When you’re working, you’re distracted from monitoring exactly how much food you’re eating.
- Get out. Make sure you do not spend too much time at home – you need to get out, and to meet people.
- Use Green Cleaning supplies that don’t have toxic volatile organic compounds in them.
While it’s great for the planet that you’ve cut out your commute, spending all your time in the same building can drain your energy and cut into your social interaction. Make time every day to get outside, whether it’s to run errands, go for a walk, or hit the gym, and get a free conference program like Skype to chat face-to-face.
Is working from home really eco-friendly?
In 2008, 56 percent of Sun Microsystems’ global employees worked half their week at home. Sun asked if working from home really saved energy, or just transferred the energy cost and load to employees. They found that:
- Employees saved more than $1,700 per year in gasoline and wear and tear on their vehicles by working at home an average of 2.5 days a week.
- Commuting was more than 98 percent of each employee’s carbon footprint for work, so cutting the commute in half, made significant savings.
If you are aware of the problems and can overcome them, a home office is a really great place to work! (I love it!)
Photo Credits: Home Office Window – microsoft.com Organised Office and open window with dog – Microsoft.com/Corbis. Coffee – microsoft.com/istockphoto.