Best Health and Safety Practices for Your Home Office
By Amy Collett
Many of us dream of running our own home offices. Thankfully, the internet age has made that highly possible, all you really need is a reliable connection and a great computer. However, if you plan to have in-person interactions, you'll have to take special precautions to keep yourself and your customers safe.
Today, retired MD William Lynes shares a few quick tips on how to do just that.
Set up your structure early.
When you're forming your business structure, you have to think about the potential for adverse interactions with customers. While we all hope for 100% client satisfaction, you'll need to keep yourself, your business, and your assets as separate entities. In this vein of thought, consider forming an LLC, which may have different rules and regulations depending on where you live.
Ensure proper airflow.
Germs and viruses can live on surfaces or in the air. To reduce the chance of airborne transmission of either of these, make sure that your home office is in a room with central heat and air. If this is not possible, you might consider a window AC unit. Even if you already have a window unit, you'll want to find a portable air conditioner repair shop nearby to help make sure it's in working order if it's more than a decade old. Keep in mind here, however, if it has a busted compressor or motor, buying a new unit may be the way to go as modern appliances move the air better than an outdated AC.
Leave plenty of space between you and your customers.
While handshakes and hugs might be back in fashion, it never hurts to look for ways to keep physical distance between you and your customers. You might, for example, invoice online or utilize online collaboration programs so that you can work together before you have to be face-to-face. Also, set your chairs at either end of a conference table and utilize a projector screen when you need to see the same things.
Offer virtual consultations when possible.
Just because the pandemic is dying down does not mean that the coronavirus, influenza, or the common cold are going away anytime soon. During the “sick” seasons, ask your clients if they can visit virtually. For this, you will need to stage your office for the best lighting – Digital Camera World asserts that good lighting helps you present yourself more professionally. You also want to ensure that you have a quality microphone, noise-canceling headphones, and screen-sharing capabilities.
Keep a separate entrance.
Another crucial consideration to keeping your family safe when you run a home business is to ensure that your clients enter and exit through a dedicated business space. Make sure your office is well marked; PrintHouse offers tips on signage, including where to place it and the best font types for visibility. This will help you minimize the risk of cross-contaminating.
Dr. Lynes has shared insight on self-care before. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, even when you’re working from home. Although you may no longer have a commute and you’ll have access to healthy food from your own refrigerator, you must remember to pull away from work from time to time for a night out, a movie in, or a few minutes of exercise. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically will put your body in a better position to fight off potential sicknesses in the future.
According to IncFile, approximately one-third of the 4.3 million people that quit their jobs in January 2022 did so to launch their own business from home. If you are one of these, congratulations. This is an exciting time, but also one that may put you into contact with more people every day. Keep yourself and your family safe with the simple steps above. From protecting your assets with an LLC to ensuring your office has proper air circulation and signage, all you do will reinforce your commitment to your customers, yourself, and your family.
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