Here are six tips that will help keep you safe when working from home:
• Get to know the neighbors. With so many people working from home, it’s highly likely that one of your neighbors also works from home during the day. Take some time to introduce yourself to your neighbors, if you haven’t already, and perhaps find a local meetup of others that work from home as well (plus it’s good networking).
• Make your house as secure while you’re in it as you do when you aren’t. Sure, we all lock the door behind us and turn on the alarm system when we go out or even when we go to bed, but taking those same precautions when you work from home is a smart bet. If you don’t yet have a home security system, now is the time to invest in one.
• Check your windows – and lock them. I’m not suggesting you deny yourself the lovely fall breezes we’re having these days, but I do suggest you be sure you lock the windows in the rest of the house while you’re working in your home office. Also consider window treatments; while it can be nice to see the yard while you work, it also lets strangers see right into your office full of expensive equipment.
• Exercise caution when you answer the door. Chances are you often receive packages from FedEx or UPS if you work from home, and this can teach you to relax your guard when you hear the doorbell. No matter how safe your neighborhood is, you need to always check carefully before you open the door to anyone, particularly when you are home alone.
• Don’t hold meetings at home. This might seem obvious, but even if you’ve had a long email relationship with a client, don’t meet them at your home while you’re alone. Schedule a meeting in a public place such as a cafe or coffee shop, or even take advantage of coworking spaces that offer conference rooms for meetings to members.
• Use a buddy system. If you work alone, it is very important that you have someone you check in with regularly. If you’re meeting a client offsite, let your spouse or a friend know before you go, and check in with them when you return. Use digital tools such as Skype or Gchat to stay in touch with professional friends throughout the day as well (but be careful to not let them become a distraction). Being connected helps you stay safe.
The perks of working from home far outweigh these safety concerns, of course, but it’s still good to bear them in mind. Practicing these basic tips to keep yourself safe will make a difference.
Now, go check those windows.
Missy Ward is Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine and blogs on MissyWard.com.
This article appeared in issue 24 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in October 2013. Read issue 24 of FeedFront Magazine.