Regardless of where you’re set up (or what you’re wearing under the desk)

The watchword for most people over the last several months has been “adaptation.” Many of us are so far out of our comfort zones that we’re going to need Waze to show us how to get back to them. One of the biggest changes has to do with our homes, and the fact that many of them have been turned into pseudo schools and/or offices.

If you are fortunate enough to still be working and you’re now doing it from your dining room, basement or even a closet, perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to your new workplace.

While you may now be dealing with a new set of distractions, like kids and pets, at least your commute is much shorter. Plus, pants are always optional. What isn’t optional is safety. To have a productive work environment, it has to be safe, and the biggest hazards in a home are usually related to electricity. That’s why we’ve put together this guide that offers some helpful tips.

Don’t overload your outlets

If you actually have a room designated as a home office, you may be tempted to simulate the office experience as much as possible. In addition to a computer, this may mean you’ve hooked up a variety of other electrical devices, including monitors, a printer, and various chargers.

Maybe you even have a hot plate, microwave, or mini fridge. While that actually sounds pretty awesome, you definitely don’t want to overload your outlets. This can be a drain on your system.

Also, consider unplugging things if they’re not being used. In addition to saving money, this will reduce the risk of dangers like a fire. Be careful with extension cords, too, as they’re really only meant to be used temporarily.

Check your cables

Even if you’re new to remote working, it is possible that the equipment you are using has been in service for a while. This means that it could have some old or worn-out cords.

If you notice things like discoloration or fraying on a cord, this is a shock or fire hazard, and it should be replaced. Cables can also be a tripping hazard, so if you need to use many, make sure to run them near a wall or perhaps secure them with things like zip ties. This is especially true if you frequently have small visitors to your makeshift office who may not be that great at paying attention to where they’re walking.

Consider some upgrades

If you anticipate going back to the office soon, your current setup may be fine. However, if it could be a long-term thing – or perhaps something more permanent – it might be best to make some upgrades or updates to your electrical system.

This is especially true if you’ve noticed any warning signs, like flickering lights or outlets that make you think twice about plugging stuff into them. And while not a safety precaution, you may also think about adding in some other things that can help you be more productive, like USB ports.

If natural light is hard to come by and you’re tired of having to use lamps, perhaps an overhead fixture is the right choice. One with a fan may be especially nice. A generator could be another addition to consider, so you don’t lose precious time or data during a power outage.

While we all hope things go back to normal soon, it will probably still be a while before that happens. The important thing is to roll with the punches, go with the flow, take it one day at a time, and [insert your favorite cliché here].

If this means working from home for a while longer, so be it. And whatever electrical challenges you may be facing, you can feel confident that Universal Electrical is here to help. Contact us with concerns or questions.