Whether you’re a remote worker or use a home office to manage household tasks, you’re encouraged to check the safety of your work environment during the second full week in January, which is Home Office Safety and Security Week.
The number of Americans who work from home full-time or on occasion has skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you have a dedicated home office space or set up at your dining room table, there are several things to consider to ensure your work environment is safe.
Make a Plan
Review or create your home fire escape plan (get tips here) and make sure you know the best ways to exit your home office in an emergency. Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure your electrical system can handle your electronic devices; consider investing in a power strip. Clear clutter and ensure that cords and wires are out of the way to avoid trip hazards.
Evaluate Device Security
When is the last time you changed a password? Thought so. Use this week as a reminder to change your passwords, but make sure your new passwords are secure. Combine upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols to create a stronger password. If you struggle to remember and manage passwords, you might want to consider a password management tool.
Do you have anti-virus and firewall software? Make sure it is up to date. Delete any unneeded files from your computer. Back up important files.
Did you change the default password on your router? These tend to be vulnerable. Make sure that all devices in your home that are connected to the internet, from smartphones to thermostats, are up to date with the latest security patches.
Take Inventory and Consider Upgrades
Look around your home office. Is your chair falling apart after years of use? Does the wall behind your computer need a fresh coat of paint? Do you need new equipment to do your job more effectively? Some companies provide equipment or a stipend for home office materials. Even if this benefit is not available to you, it might be time to consider making some changes to your home office.
Take inventory of your office equipment and make a detailed list. If a fire, theft, or other event causes your equipment to become damaged or stolen, you’ll have a list for insurance purposes.
Do you have paper files that contain sensitive information? Whether they are for work or personal use, make sure to keep them locked securely in a fire-safe box when not in use. If you no longer need a sensitive file, shred it.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.