There are a record number of Australians working from home right now. Thanks to the pandemic, almost 2.6 million Australians nationwide have said goodbye to the office and hello to making their home suitable for daily office use. Because of this increase in people working from home, the number of incidents causing working from home injuries has also increased. This blog will look at the risks associated with working from home and the most common injuries. This blog will also explain what you can do to avoid these common injuries and the role of the employer in providing safe working from home environments. 

What are the three most common WFH injuries?  

Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

This injury stems from poorly set up home workstations that do not offer good ergonomics. It’s often an ‘invisible injury’ because its effects aren’t always visual and symptoms take a while to appear. However, this can be a devastating injury for those that suffer from it. 

If you are working from home you need to ensure that your home office setup is sufficient for  your overall health and wellbeing. A good office setup is important for reducing the risk of sustaining injury with your hands, wrists, neck, and shoulders. Taking breaks little and often to stretch, get fresh air, and walk around is also important to avoid RSI. If you don’t have an ergonomic workstation and follow working from home advice, it can lead to RSI symptoms like:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor circulation
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Numbness and nerve damage

To help you with your working from home set up and practice, your employer should assess the set up of your home workstation. This should be done either via videocall or with a self-assessment checklist.


Migraines are one of the most common working from home conditions for full-time workers. This is due to a combination of poorly lit workstations and long workdays. Migraines extend beyond sharp head pains as there are a number of side effects associated with them. For example, if you suffer from chronic migraines, you are three times more likely to experience depression. 

You can reduce your risk of migraines by having a home workstation that is safe and free from hazards like flickering lights. Your employer is responsible for ensuring this happens. 

If you are suffering from migraines, you must contact your employer to let them know before it impacts your quality of life. From this, they can reassess your working from home set up and make any necessary amendments. 

Depression & Anxiety 

Working from home can be a lonely experience. Working from home can have ramifications on your mental wellbeing, which makes depression and anxiety one of the most common working from home injuries. This can be due to the loss of social elements from being in a workplace as well as a lack of efficiency from not being in a work environment. This lack of efficiency can result in longer hours and more stress. 

When working from home there is the danger that there is now a blurred line between work, home, and leisure time. This lack of clarity can elevate stress levels, disrupt sleep and ultimately, damage your mental health. 

Employers must understand the importance of maintaining good mental health. Effectively your employer should: 

  • Provide you with clear instructions on how to continue to work while maintaining a good mental health state. 
  • Ensure that you understand how to report any issues you could be experiencing with your mental health. 
  • Provide you with easy access to communicate with your colleagues and bosses. This can be through video calls, instant messaging, and email. 

Unfortunately with Covid-19, it is unlikely that working from arrangements are going to massively change anytime soon. So, it is more important than ever to set up a working from home environment that is beneficial for your wellbeing as well as efficient for your job. Your health and safety come first regardless of where you are working!