Home Improvement (Safety & Savings) Advice for Telecommuters
Home improvements are surging as families want to adjust their space and add more features to accommodate spending more time at home due to the ongoing pandemic and its repercussions.
While many are aware that home improvements necessitate adjusted insurance coverage, they don’t recognize different types of insurance coverage when working from home.
To better navigate the ever-changing dynamics in your home, we’ll share the most popular home improvement additions and adjustments and their pros and cons, including a time frame, cost, resale value, and even insurance considerations as a remote employee.
Risks to Telecommuters’ Health
Eye fatigue, musculoskeletal discomfort and problems, stress, mental and cognitive burden, and the health implications of a lack of bodily movement are all linked to an unsuitable workstation and stationary employment.
A home workspace evaluation should be used to decide the special equipment, materials, and accessories and the preventative actions to be taken. User-specific requirements, space constraints, and time spent at the computer must be considered.
What is the best way to set up a home office that is both functional and comfortable?
What a person is doing with their hands significantly affects their seated position. So think about how you spend most of your work time before making any modifications. Can you type for hours on end? Do you work with a mouse or a stylus a lot? If you work for long periods, tailor your workspace to be healthy and pleasant.
Your home office should be tailored to your body type and job requirements. In reality, for ideal workplace ergonomic posture, your feet should be flat, but your legs should be stretched, and your torso should be leaned slightly rearward rather than vertical.
To acquire a solid setup, concentrate on making changes in the four areas noted below.
#1 – Neck and Head
Your head should be vertical to your neck to protect your neck, shoulders, and back safe from harm. The least amount of tension is caused by this posture.
Admittedly, if you’re working on a kitchen table with a laptop computer, the screen will be too low for your eyesight — even if you can read the data on the screen. A low-sitting monitor screen will lead to you bending your neck forward.
Consider using an external keyboard and mouse with your laptop and installing it on a computer stand to avoid this. If you have a monitor, an economical method would be to stack books under it to bring it to a suitable eye level. This will maintain your head and neck in a neutral, stacked posture.
#2 – Position of the Hand and Wrist
Similar to your head, your hands and wrists should be in a relaxed position. To put your arm and hand flat on the table, extend your arm and hand forward. You want the hand, wrist, and forearm to be virtually flush. A wrist hinge is something you should avoid.
Try to use any controllers with your hands in a neutral stance. As a result, make the necessary adjustments to your work environment. Adjust the height of your table or chair, as well as the distance between you and your keyboard and mouse.
Maintain a clean, straight line with your wrists and arms. Bending the arms out to the side or across the body’s centerline is not recommended.
#3 – Support for the Back and Posture When Seated
There’s a widespread belief that you should sit with your trunk perpendicular to the floor or at 90 degrees.
Choose a seating position that lets you view the screen while also supporting your lower back. It may seem like you’re in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, leaning back slightly.
Try placing a cushion, pillow, or towel behind your lower back if you don’t have a fancy office chair that rocks back. That’ll help a little. Chair cushions with lumbar support may be purchased at a reasonable price.
Consider orthopedic seats, saddle-like devices that fit in any chair, and tilt your pelvis into a more ergonomic posture. A footrest may also help people who are shorter in achieving proper posture.
Also, ensure the seat does not reach the back of your knees since this might cut off blood flow and create swelling in your feet and ankles.
#4 – Your Daily Work Schedule
The last point to consider is performance. Take breaks often but only for a few minutes at a time. Take a small break every 20 minutes to get up and stretch for a minute or two. Better still, go for a stroll while preparing a cup of joe.
Circulation, comfort, and performance all benefit from physical activity. It also lowers the chances of being hurt.
It’s important to remember that sitting isn’t always harmful to your health. Sitting for extended periods is unhealthy, just as standing for long periods without moving is unhealthy.
What is the best way to make my home office seem like a professional environment?
(Image from Unsplash.com)
A dedicated workstation at home, or even a room you’ve cleared out to do something you like, such as writing, reading, or creating, is crucial for inspiring creativity and motivating you to get down to work.
Even if your job doesn’t encourage creativity, having an exciting dedicated workstation might make it easier to get through the day.
You will want to work productively in an office that expresses your personality and provides the required comfort. So, for your next remodeling job, here are a few home office renovation ideas for you to consider.
- Create a fun workspace. Fill your workplace with art, either purchased or created by you, to keep you feeling energized, positive, and driven throughout your time there. Spray-painted murals featuring motifs that speak to you are a powerful motivator and energizer in the workplace.
- Optimize your space. If you work from home, you will most likely spend a significant portion of your day at the office, so keep your workspace free of clutter and mess. A separate space with enough seats is necessary when it comes to a home office.
However, making the most of it does not imply cramming printers, file cabinets, and other junk into every available space. The use of available space must be maximized. Use every available horizontal and vertical space by creating open shelves to manage the goods that would otherwise be stuffed into cabinets.
- Incorporate natural light, if possible. A gloomy and drab environment will inevitably demotivate you and reduce your productivity. Among other things, light plays a significant role in room renovation.
Natural light expands the space and reduces eye strain and headaches caused by staring at a computer screen all day.
If you have a window with plenty of natural light, keep the monitor away from it to reduce glare. If there isn’t any direct natural light in the room, place a lamp on the desk.
If I work from home, is my homeowner’s insurance sufficient?
If you work from home as a remote employee, your employer’s insurance will likely cover job-related concerns. If you are not a full-time employee or work for a BYOD (bring your own device) organization, certain aspects to consider may help alleviate this.
It’s possible that if you use your home equipment for business, you won’t be protected if you file a claim.
For example, if your cookie-baking hobby becomes a company and your oven is destroyed in a fire, is it a business equipment loss or a homeowners insurance problem? This is an example of a circumstance you should address with your agent before launching your company.
While some homeowners insurance covers specific business equipment such as laptops, there are usually limitations based on the equipment’s value or usage. Separate business insurance may be required.
Cybersecurity breaches and doing face-to-face business with customers are other concerns.
For those that run a home-based company, there are various insurance choices. Your best chance is to speak with your carrier or agent, explain your situation, and see what options are available to you. There are even options for homeowners insurance for those with bad credit.
It can be worthwhile to shop around for home insurance if you haven’t done so recently. There’s a chance you’re losing out on discounts or better insurance coverage.
Imani Francies writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She enjoys helping remote employees create an efficient workspace and find the best home insurance coverage for their work-from-home needs.