Working from home is a great option for many mums. It tends to be a lot more flexible than a typical nine-to-five job and allows parents to spend more time with their little ones.
If you do want to go it alone, however, it’s important to create an adequate workspace and make health and safety a top priority. You might not have an office manager to whip you into shape, but there are plenty of things you can do to stay safe – and even improve your wellbeing.
Keep a first aid kit nearby
According to The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, you should keep adequate and appropriate first aid supplies nearby – even if you are self-employed. The equipment you need will depend on the type of work you do, so it’s a good idea to carry out a thorough risk assessment of your premises so you can buy the right items. If your work is considered low-risk, you will only need basic domestic supplies, which you might even have already what with kids running around.
Make adequate space to work
Whether you live in a luxury country mansion or a modest city flat, it’s essential to have enough room for your business. Sure, not all of us have the luxury of a spare room or office, but you should at least have space to walk and move around freely. If clutter is an issue, throw old files, boxes, paper, broken electrical equipment and anything you don’t need away and ensure the area underneath your desk is clean and clear. Being cooped up isn’t healthy for the body or soul, so it’s well-worth having a spring clean.
Ensure you’re sitting comfortably
If you do a lot of clerical or admin work, sitting comfortably at your computer is essential. If your chair is uncomfortable or you tend to slouch, you could end up with backache, neck pain or a wealth of other ailments, so always think about your position. Adjust the backseat of your chair to fully support your lower back and ensure your forearms are horizontal when you type. Your wrists should also be straight and your mouse and telephone within easy reach to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Always take regular breaks (even if it’s just a quick trip to the loo) and carry out regular stretching exercises to stop your muscles from seizing up.
Take care of your eyes
Working with PC, laptop and even tablet and smartphone screens can put great strain on your eyes. To avoid headaches and squints, attend regular eye examinations, wear glasses or contacts if necessary and look up from the screen whenever you have the opportunity. Make the font size of your documents bigger if it helps you to read, adjust the lighting on your electrical equipment and avoid working in dark or gloomy environments as this will make your eyes tire quicker.
Prevention is better than cure, so don’t take your eyesight for granted in this case.
Everything from the correct eyewear to the right UK first aid kit can help you work at home safely, so do all you can to protect your health.