Let’s face it, working from home for millions of people is now the norm and that means as an employer you need to incorporate remote and flexible working practices, including hybrid models, to adapt.
But despite being away from the ‘office’, employees are still entitled to a duty of care and protection.
Employers must follow regulations to keep remote employees safe and healthy.
This guide provides tips for home safety, meeting topics, and strategies for managing the well-being of remote staff.
Now on safety and your home office, smart individuals and companies make it a habit to write things down or use video. Others who rely on memory often make poor choices.
To cut risk:
When implementing flexible working conditions in your business, it is important to thoroughly document all terms.
Establish a work-from-home policy that outlines remote workers’ needs, expectations, and rights.
Send weekly messages to remind them of risks, as danger never sleeps. It takes only a minute.
A ‘working from home policy should include:
Eligibility for working remotely.
Selection and approval process.
Regular working hours.
Attendance and timekeeping standards.
Shared communication channels.
Provision for IT and security support.
Connection to workplace culture.
Once this is done, both employees and the company can embark on a thrilling voyage – bidding farewell to the old normal and embracing the exciting realm of the new normal.
Ergonomic Note & Recommendations
Sitting all day with bad posture can cause major health problems. If you’re working from home, make sure your office setup is comfortable and develop good remote work habits.
Performing regular stretches throughout the day can be beneficial for relieving neck strain, stiff shoulders, aching spine, and tired feet.
A desk for good posture is also a good thing to incorporate as taking care of one’s posture is important for all types of jobs, not just those that require sitting at a desk.
When working from home, it is important to resist the temptation of working in non-ergonomic positions such as on the sofa, on the floor, or even in bed. Maintaining proper posture is important regardless of where you choose to work. Using a mobile device, such as a laptop, can be particularly advantageous.
A recommended safety tip for those who work from home using a laptop is to use a table instead of placing it on your lap, as overheating devices can be a common occurrence and potentially result in serious injuries if not cautious.
Select a rolling chair that offers adequate support for your spine and seating.
Position screens directly in the line of sight.
Keep an eye on your hands, wrist posture, and height of sight.
Stick to a posture where your knees don’t touch the chair.
Rest feet flat on the floor so your lower back has support.
Practice 20:20:20: Aim your sight to something at 20 ft. every 20 min. and watch it for over 20 sec.
Read: Sitting All Day? These Work From Home Exercises Will Help You
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
DSE devices, the cool tech gadgets of the digital era, include tablets, laptops, phones, extra screens, and TVs. By adopting top-notch DSE practices, you can bid farewell to pesky eyestrain and cognitive overload.
Using these items incorrectly can cause medical problems like back pain, fatigue, eyestrain, and stress.
You can effectively control these problems through changes.
Consider using external monitors or swapping laptops to prevent neck strain caused by prolonged downward gaze.
It is recommended to use ergonomic seating. Dining chairs won’t last.
Install blue light reduction software. Many products out there cut these harmful frequencies.
Practice reducing your screen’s brightness setting.
Employers are responsible for ensuring the well-being of all employees, including those who work remotely. This is achieved through various measures of protection.
Conducting DSE risk assessments on equipment and workstations.
Training remote workers to use DSEs correctly. Follow the tips mentioned above.
Identify and reduce DSE risks.
Provide medical check-ups (like eye tests) if they raise issues.
Get Rid of Glare
Reflections on your screen can potentially affect productivity and outcomes. To reduce discomfort from harmful light, try using shades, diffusers, or stronger desk lighting.
Health & Safety Hazards
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of remote employees, and it is important to ensure that they are working within safe measures.
Companies must assign a responsible worker or hire a professional H&S officer to perform risk assessments and establish procedures, just as they would in a physical workplace.
Avoid Cuts, Slips, Trips & Falls
Discover these life-saving tips to keep your home accident-free! Don’t let injuries ruin your day – take action now!
Wear non-slip socks and flippers.
Clean up spills quickly.
Pick up the mess on the floor.
Avoid walking in the dark.
Organize and secure cables to prevent tripping hazards.
Hold handrails when using stairs.
Be aware of your lifting capacity.
Cover Evacuation Plans
Remote workers should know the proper procedures for safely leaving a property in case of an emergency.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Let’s face it, not having an emergency plan is just plain silly. But here’s the good news – routine training in household conditions can strengthen your bond with your colleagues while preparing you for the unexpected.
In other words, make sure you know the fundamentals of an evacuation plan.
Discover a wealth of essential knowledge, from exit locations and meeting points to life-saving fire prevention equipment instructions!
There are escape routes from all rooms in a home.
Please ensure that escape paths are unobstructed.
Please make sure that all escape routes, doorways, and walking areas are kept clear to prevent accidents such as slips, trips, and falls.
Equipping children with the necessary skills to seek assistance or remember crucial numbers can potentially save lives.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In the realm of the home office, employees must remain vigilant and watchful for the lurking dangers of potential fire hazards and flammable substances. From the innocuous flicker of candles and dazzling decorative lights to the fiery presence of lamps and scorching hot plugs, and even the unsuspected fire-starting culprits that dwell in our very kitchens, every element has the potential to ignite a blaze of chaos. Stay alert, stay safe, and extinguish any risks before they engulf your workspace in a fiery inferno.
Smoke alarm installations in every room, except bathrooms.
Test if batteries are functioning once a week.
Install carbon monoxide detectors.
Home offices require fire safety plans, just like workplaces.
Get Fresh Air
Don’t let stale premises ruin your health! They can lead to respiratory issues, irritated eyes, and even trigger allergies. Stay fresh and breathe easy!
Managing Electrical Devices, Wires & Outlets
Remote work equipment must be legally safe to use. Everyone should conduct risk assessments, tests, and annual maintenance examinations and keep proper records, especially with remote work agreements. Without this, there may be legal disputes.
Keep your cool and prevent your gear from going up in smoke – remote workers, take note and avoid overheating your equipment, especially those electrical goodies!
Make sure to give those wires a daily inspection! And remember, never overload sockets, use sketchy chargers, or forget surge protection. Safety first, folks! Avoid the dreaded “daisy-chaining” technique, where you recklessly plug in multiple extenders or adapters together, as advised by the expert.
Prevent Theft & Cybersecurity Risks
Companies need to establish strong procedures to prevent theft, cyber risks, and data leaks. According to security professional Ivan Radev, there are several steps to secure business data.
Keep work and personal devices separate.
Ensure internet routers are secure and updated with firmware.
Use supported operating systems.
Keep software and passwords updated.
Use reliable encryption.
Think of endpoint data protection.
Protect email data.
Install professional firewalls.
Evaluate security access.
Control physical documents.
Safeguard data copies and backups.
Visuals can leak information, too.
Inform, train, and educate staff on the best practices. Cybersecurity training helps recognize anomalies.
It is recommended to not leave any belongings near windows where they can be seen by people passing by.
Use these tips to protect your sensitive business information.
Focusing on Wellbeing
Taking care of personal health and well-being is crucial for both employers and employees. By practicing healthy habits, productivity levels can skyrocket, benefiting both individuals and companies alike.
Kickstart your day with the powerful duo of meditation and exercise! Experience a myriad of incredible benefits like supercharging your metabolism, banishing stress, enhancing your cognitive abilities, and conquering burnout like a boss!
If a company offers Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) or services, promoting participation among remote workers can bring about positive change.
Use these easy safety tips for remote work to get the best returns for everyone!
Create Health-focused Routines
Creating a structured schedule and allowing flexibility for unforeseen circumstances can enhance productivity and adaptability in a remote work setting.
Ensure that everyone adheres to their work schedules, just as they would in the office. Additionally, make sure they cease working and power down their computers at the end of the workday.
Explore: Positive Affirmations For Work That Can Boost Your Confidence and Productivity
Maintain a tidy and organized workspace.
A clean and dedicated space for work can be a game-changer!
Remote workers need to prioritize basic hygiene, regardless of their workspace.
It is recommended that individuals send out a daily reminder for people to let fresh air in for a minute.
Initiate a 5-minute routine at the start of workdays for everybody to declutter and wipe their work area,
Explore comprehensive programs aimed at assisting employees in establishing a zero-waste office and workflow.
Adhere Schedules, Hours & Breaks
Working from home can turn your schedule into a wild rollercoaster, blurring the line between professional and personal. Rumors and myths fly around about skipping breaks, working non-stop, and ignoring any sense of structure. Don’t fall victim to the chaos!
It is recommended that companies encourage regular screen breaks and full lunch hours for remote workers to prevent overworking and work-related stress.
Reduce Sources of Distraction
For optimal productivity, it is recommended that home office employees work in a quiet environment, free from distractions such as family members, pets, TVs, or snack cupboards. This helps to minimize disruptions.
Create a sanctuary of silence by embracing the magic of headphones, earplugs, or a gentle fan to ward off pesky noises and bid farewell to the awkward phone-neck embrace. But remember, nothing compares to the blissful harmony of pure peace.
Keeping essential items such as phones, tablets, or documents within easy reach can help prevent unnecessary strain.
Additionally, it is important to have all required equipment and stationery prepared before beginning work.
Wherever one works, there should be no distractions.
Timely Communication Throughout Channels
Messaging and video apps have revolutionized the way we connect with others, replacing the traditional office “swing-by” and “hi” with on-demand communication.
Maintaining connectivity is essential for motivation, productivity, and the overall well-being of individuals working remotely. Disrupting this connection can lead to negative effects on workflow and collaboration.
Daily conversations are like a secret superpower for your brain, happiness, teamwork, and countless other amazing benefits!
Address Lone Working
Isolation and loneliness are common challenges faced by remote workers.
There has been a noticeable shift in socialization since transitioning to remote work. It is the legal responsibility of companies to ensure the protection and safety of all employees, including those working remotely or alone.
Provide proper care for your lone workers. Take a thorough evaluation of the working environment, the overall health of your team, and their communication needs. And, of utmost importance, ensure that you implement extra safety precautions and equip employees with remote work skills to safeguard their well-being, particularly those with health risks.
Regularly communicating with lone workers can have a significant impact as you may be their only source of conversation throughout the day.
Remember to record all telephone conversations. Virtual meetups offer a wide range of possibilities for exploration and discovery. Discussing the daily difficulties we face has a significant influence on addressing communication obstacles in remote work.
It is important to consider that the Peter Principle can have negative effects on remote teams.
It is not safe to have children in a room with sharp, heavy, poisonous, electrified, and flammable objects.
You can’t lose focus because of play, drama, or funny questions.
Manage Mental Fatigue
Stress is common but hard to spot.
Establish reasonable deadlines, prioritize work-life balance, and reduce stress to improve your health.
Ensure everyone knows how to communicate and seek support for personal issues, both in-person and remotely.
Go Out & Exercises
Engaging in regular exercise may present challenges for those currently working remotely. It is possible that commuting to work provided the majority of our physical activity before the COVID-19 pandemic. Is that even possible?
Scheduling time for exercise is important for both physical health and maintaining a sustainable remote lifestyle, as well as achieving professional results.
Stretch early in the morning.
Stretch throughout the day.
Every few hours is okay.
Take a walk a few times a day.
Long-term safety and remote work.
Many businesses worldwide are experiencing advantages from implementing flexible working conditions. Consider incorporating outsourcing into your business model for work delegation.
This new hybrid work environment was different from what we knew before
The productivity of remote work and business growth will depend on finding the right method and company culture.
If your recruitment efforts are not bearing fruit, and/or you need further help with creating a healthy home-work environment, contact Search Masters for assistance. Our team of professionals can help you find the ideal personnel to empower your business.
Search Masters utilizes numerous online resources and tools to help you find the perfect people for your business.
Search Masters can assist you with creating job postings that could appeal to competent applicants and offer advice on assessing resumes and applications to find the ideal candidate for your business.
In addition, our assistance on interviewing skills, salary discussion tactics, and more is only a phone call away.