How to childproof your home office
Working from home has so many conveniences and advantages, particularly for the stay-at-home parent with young children at home. Separating work and children, however, is an added task particularly important for the home worker. To properly childproof your home office, you may find it necessary to take extra steps and set routines to do regular safety checks.
Having a separate, safe and secure workspace at home is essential to a home-based worker doing a good job and being a responsible parent. Separating babies and children from work-related supplies, equipment and paperwork is beneficial to both children and your work.
Setting Up Your Home Office
Work-at-home parents who are able to keep a separate study, den or office just for their work are fortunate, especially if there is a door that can be closed, shutting off home from work.
Too often, however, stay-at-home parents are intermingling a few minutes of work with parenting, housework and family life, which sometimes means a laptop computer on the kitchen table with glue and construction paper, business calls with cartoons and crying in the background, and colouring books mixed in with important documents on your desk.
If you can’t devote a separate room to your work, try to keep work-related items physically separate from children.
Use the CHILD SAFE Checklist
To keep your children safe from potentially dangerous office items, go through your home office workspace using the CHILD SAFE checklist. CHILD SAFE is an acronym for a list of potential hazards in your home office: Choking hazards (paperclips, pushpins), Hanging objects (phone cords, power cords, window pulls), Ingestible substances (ink toner, correction fluid, glue), Large objects (file cabinets and shelves that could topple over onto a child), Doors and windows (keep them locked to prevent accidents), Sharp objects (scissors, X-acto knives, pins), Alarms (smoke and carbon monoxide), Fragile items (breakables and important documents) and Electronics (anything that can cause electric shock).
Tips to childproof your home office
To effectively do your job from home, protect it from a child’s spills and scribbles. Here are some tips for protecting your work and your kids from each other.
- At the end of your work session, keep your work supplies in plastic bins with snap-on lids. Store them in a secure place out of reach from your children.
- When doing work while in the same room as your children, bring out something fun they like to do. Think about colouring, easy crafts they can do by themselves, puzzles, or follow-along books on tape.
- Children sometimes have a fascination with electronics and other “adult” items. Save old computer keyboards, mobile phones and calculators that don’t work anymore and give them to your child. They can then do pretend-work alongside you while you work.
- Keep copies of important papers in a safe spot and backup your computer files often. Save them to a disc and keep the disc in a safe place. If there is an accident, you’ll have copies to rely on.
Jon | The Money Shed (@themoneyshed)
June 28, 2019 at 10:39 am
Great post this! I’d never even thought about how you need to make your home office secure! You always hear about the kitchen or living room but your personal work space not so much!
July 2, 2019 at 2:35 pm
Exactly, just think how disastrous things could be. It’s worth spending the time to make it all right.
June 29, 2019 at 9:00 am
One day my son said ” Mummy, I have tidied up your desktop” – thank fully he had just moved folders around on my screen into neat lines. Serves my right for leaving things open.
July 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm
I bet your heart was in your mouth going through the possibilities though 😉
June 29, 2019 at 9:28 pm
These are great ideas and very handy too, we have this little Mr. patter-feet roaming everywhere
July 2, 2019 at 2:37 pm
Well yes, little people find ‘everything’ so interesting when it doesn’t belong to them 😉
June 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm
those are great tips , we have been lucky as my daughter when she was younger did not venture into my home office kind regards Pati robins
July 2, 2019 at 2:38 pm
You were very lucky, my children are often very interested in my desk.
June 30, 2019 at 6:37 pm
Some great tips here. Thankfully my kids are old enough to not touch anything they shouldn’t, but backups are still essential for those unexpected accidents.
The Unbalancing Act
July 1, 2019 at 10:54 am
I’ve been a mum for 7 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen the CHILD SAFE checklist! Thank you for sharing as I will be taking that home with me now xo
July 2, 2019 at 2:41 pm
You’re welcome, I hope you find it helpful in the future x