Be Local: Make working from home more comfortable | BeLocal Network

Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.

About 8 million workers in the United States work from home and many of the at-home workers maintain an office inside their house.

During this past week, dubbed Home Office and Safety Security Week, a focus has been placed on home offices as at-home workers have been encouraged to analyze the safety of their work environment.

Don Hodor, owner of Southpointe Telecom Technology, which has been in operation for more than 25 years offers services for security, network systems for computers, printing, phone systems and others that can all be integrated together into differences packages.

Hodor said the most important points of discussion for home office safety and security include.

  • Home security alarms;
  • Protection of privacy;
  • WIFI integration;
  • Privacy on phone calls;
  • • Secure package delivery;
  • The ability to look transparent from the office;
  • And phone call transparency.

Recent statistics show that about 43% of American workers do so from home on occasion.

According to U.S. Census data, 5.2% of Americans work entirely from home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put more of a focus on people working from home. Business are finding out that leasing or renting office space may not be as pertinent in the future because having employees work from home, is a more economical way to do business.

The benefits of working from home include flexible schedules for employees, wearing more comfortable clothes while working, fewer office distractions, no commuting, spending more time with loved ones, controlling of temperature, employees can customize their workspace and having the ability to save money.

The downside to working from home is that such workers are responsible for their own safety and security.

The at-home workers may need to develop things like a fire escape plan and installing their own smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Other ways to ensure the home office is safe is to childproof it and ensure the electrical system can handle the demand of all the electronics.

At-home workers are encouraged to keep their office clutter-free to avoid trip hazards. Important paperwork should be filed in fire-proof file cabinets. From a technological standpoint, anti-virus and firewall software should be up to date. Data should be backed up and stored in password-protected files.

A,J. Williams, controller of Oak Spring Road, Washington, said surge protection is a focus of his company.

“We guarantee against any surge protected computer or any electronic devices,” Williams said. “We check any circuits to ensure they are not overloaded and could cause damage.

“We do a good bit of residential business and have seen an increase in power supply and to home office access to electricity, where you may not normally need it.”

Williams said 70% of the company’s business is now residential.

“At beginning (of pandemic) things were slow and there were nerves and uncertainty,” Williams said. “As time has gone on, business picked up. People began setting up for home offices.”

Experts suggest, the best way to observe home office safety and security week is to take an inventory of office space. The experts suggest examining how to make the home office safer and exploring ways to ensure electronic files are secure and that all the equipment is protected and insurance.

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can contact Chris Slota at 724-225-1326 or by email at [email protected]. Discount cards are available at the Observer-Reporter and Almanac office, 122 S. Main St., Washington.

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