Is Your Home Office Setup a Hazard?

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You may be one of the lucky ones who are able to work at home, especially if you run your own home Internet business and answer to you and only you.

Whether you’ve got a great separate space devoted to an office, you share a space with the guest bedroom, work in the basement or in some other area of your home, you’ve got to make sure your home office is safe.

Safety comes in many forms – the safety of your clients if they make visits, the safety of your home and the equipment, and the safety of your own work space and materials.

So what can you do to make sure it is the safest it can be?

Safety for Clients

You need to have a safe area for your clients to come if you do see them in person. Some people opt never to have clients in their home and prefer to meet off site, like at a coffee shop.

But if it makes sense for you to see them at your home office, here are a few good safety guidelines:

• Create a safe entrance. That means no slippery walk ways, loose stones in the pavement, or unsafe hand rails. If they fall or hurt themselves, you can be liable besides losing their business.

• Make sure your pets are in another room. Not everyone loves dogs or cats, and even if they do, it’s not very professional to have a jumping dog or shedding cat around.

• Keep your home office clean and clutter free to make it safer when you have clients over.

• Also, for your own safety, you may want to meet a first time client at an offsite location, or at least let a friend or family know that you’re meeting someone at your home office.

Safety Against Electrical Hazards

There’s a chance of overloading your electrical outlets with your equipment, like computers, printers, a router, and whatever else you’ve got plugged in. But you can be careful to prevent any accidents.

Among the safety features you should put in play:

• As the article “What’s involved in an electrical inspection?” looks at, find out and think about getting one. That way you’ll know your set up is safe.

• Use surge protectors and turn off equipment when you’re not using it, or at least at the end of the day.

• Keep wires and cords tucked away. It’s easy to trip over a cord and pull everything down. The clean, clutter free office will help out here, too.

Safety and Your Family

Your family may use this space as well, so you need to make sure they won’t get into your work stuff.

• If possible, have a separate work computer. It’s not always feasible, but if you can, have a separate computer just for you. That way, no one will delete or lose any important work you’ve done.

• Remember the clean and clutter free area? That will help against losing anything or having it accidently ruined.

• Keep equipment away from the edge of desks and tables so no little fingers pull anything down.

• A door is ideal so it can really be your space. Think about adding French doors to a more open space.

You can safeguard your office against hazards, no matter where it is. The more you put into it, the safer it will be.

Not everyone has the perfect home office space, but work with what you have and remember how lucky you are to work at home!

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: Heather Legg is an independent writer who covers topics related to social media, small business and working from home.

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