I have a lot of friends who work from home. Most are entrepreneurs running their own business, some are able to work from home instead of traveling to an office. I personally love the schedule flexibility I have running my own business and being able to do all the administrative work at home. Working from home is a lot different than working outside the home, and sometimes we don’t think of the safety and security that can be taken for granted in the workplace.
So you might be thinking … I live here, my home is safe, why do I need to think about safety & security? We need to think about it because in a nutshell, things can happen. You could get hurt, your computer could get a virus, or something could happen that would limit your ability to do your work or run a business from home. Safety & Security covers a wide range of things, but here’s a checklist to keep your home office safe and secure.
- Do you have a home fire escape plan? There are some great resources for fire escape planning over at the NFPA Fire Prevention Week website.
- If you have a separate room for your office, can you lock it?
- Is your work area uncluttered to avoid trip hazards?
- Are your electronics plugged into wall outlets or UL approved power strips?
- Avoid using multiple extension cords or have cords stretched across areas where you or your family could trip over them.
- Do you have a lot of electronics, computers, or equipment to plug in? Consider having an electrician add outlets or check to make sure your home’s electrical system can handle the demand.
- If you have kids make sure your office is childproofed or have your office off limits when they are home.
- Do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?
- Is your anti-virus and firewall protection up to date? Is it time to upgrade?
- Do you regularly back up your data? Do you have an external hard drive or server you back up to?
- Keep stored data confidential, use lockable files or password protected files.
National Home Office Safety & Security Week is January 8-12, 2018. Schedule a little time each day this week to check on the safety and security of your work area, equipment, and files. Action and prevention now could reduce the chances or an accident or equipment problem in the future.