Reducing Risk of Injury While Working as a Digital Nomad

June 10, 2021

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

A truly 21st Century occupation, becoming a digital nomad affords you a degree of freedom that many employees dream of. Since 2014, in the United States alone, people taking up the life of a digital nomad have increased significantly, with 11 million recorded by 2020 as Covid-19 highlighted just how many jobs can actually be performed remotely.

The mobile nature of a digital nomad means that you are put at more risk than standard office workers or other employees and being largely self-employed, digital nomads don’t get to enjoy the level of safety provided by an employer such as hazard protection; this is the payoff for such freedom of movement and choice of work.

As such, you are ultimately responsible for your entire safety, and becoming a digital nomad means that you may be moving around a lot and working in less-than-suitable environments at times where you aren’t settled into a hotel, motel, or temporary apartment.

Practice Ergonomic Safety

As a digital nomad, it is quite possible that you move around a lot. This means that you may not always be in the most suitable places for working, but work you must as without your digital work you cannot support yourself. However, given that you aren’t at the office, you might be working in a way that could actually cause harm.

Repetitive Strain Injury is largely associated with working at a computer and as a digital nomad you will undoubtedly be using either a laptop or a tablet for your work. Looking down at a portable screen can cause up to 60lbs of pressure to be placed on your neck, causing significant injury over time and using an ergonomic tablet stand will allow you to adjust the height of a screen and/or place it on a surface suitable for working on while staying in a comfortable position.

Beware of Glare

Computer screens, especially smartphones and tablets, are quite reflective and as well as the brightness of a digital screen, artificial light and sunlight can be reflected back at your eyes over the course of your work, resulting in damage to your eyes. This can cause eye strain, headaches, and even blurred vision. 

Reducing glare is a relatively easy affair, however, and simple things such as turning down the screen brightness a little, facing away from any lights, and using a glare filter can help with the symptoms and effects of glare. If any of these methods won't work then anti-glare glasses are available that have been specially designed for prolonged screen-time.

Protect Yourself Physically and Digitally

While criminal elements are essentially beyond your control, you can make efforts to reduce the effects of crime upon your person as a digital nomad. Being a digital nomad requires you to carry expensive equipment around with you as part of your job and these could include laptops, phones, tablets, and digital cameras. In the United States alone, laptop theft accounts for billions of dollars in lost revenue while only 4.3% of company-issued smartphones are ever recovered.

Reducing the risk of theft can be tricky but common sense, as always, will prevail. Most devices are stolen while someone is simply walking down the street, standing in line, or awaiting a train at a subway station. The best advice would be to not show your device in public, however, this isn't always possible if you need to work, therefore it is essential that you use a physical lock that can be attached to your device as well as digital encryption in order to prevent access to your work.

*contributed post*

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