How Are Employers Addressing Workplace Safety in the Home – Tips From HR Professionals
With the onset of Covid-19’s second wave, remote work is becoming the new normal. Organisations are now taking steps to make working from home a productive, safe experience for both the employer and the employee.
Issues Employers and Employees are Facing
As employers and employees continue to mindful about mental and physical wellbeing while working from home the topic of workplace health and safety is on the rise. Organisations have an obligation to carry forward their health and safety policies to the home workplace, as employers are still responsible for their employee’s overall welfare during company time.
What are the best practices to tackle health, safety and security when your workforce has moved their offices home?
Best Practices for a Safer Home Work Environment
If you have to work from home, why not make the most of it? Here are some tips from UK HR professionals to help you transform your home into a safe working environment.
Set up a Designated Workplace
Creating a designated workplace in your home allows you to focus on tasks. This assigned workspace can help to reduce distractions, but it also allows you to put safety first, ensuring it’s compliant with your employer’s health and safety policies. The equipment you use must also pass your employer’s safety criteria. This includes your computer, software, internet, and remote access to the company database.
According to the Health and Safety Authority Legislation, “it is essential that tasks and working conditions do not adversely affect the health of employees…” Creating a designated workplace in your home allows you to make necessary customizations, so supervisors know that your work is being completed with safety, comfort, and security.
Create a Set Schedule
You can create a set schedule for your workday, including breaks. Following the schedule will give you the freedom to “switch off” when your workday is over. Constantly thinking of work while being at home could lead to burnout. Managers should encourage employees to cultivate healthy daily exercise routines and taking time to get out of the house safely. Of course, following all local Covid-19 protocols.
Following your set plan will help to keep you from being “on the clock” or constantly available to supervisors. It’s easy to get distracted by deadlines and workplace pressures. As an employer, you need to keep this to an absolute minimum allowing employees the opportunity to care for themselves and their families during this difficult time of transition. Physical and mental well-being needs to be a priority of both the employer and employee.
Foster Work Relationships
In your physical workplace, there are many ways to “gathering at the water cooler.” Employees often share their lives with each other and feel connected. Working from home removes this daily friendly conversation, and employees are finding they miss interacting with each other.
As an employer, you can foster these interpersonal relationships by having employees meet in small workgroups, virtually, of course, allowing for more small talk to take place. If possible, and if your local area allows, setting up small gatherings at the office or getting together for a quick meeting can help to foster workplace camaraderie.
Many companies have made arrangements to implement workplace safety in the home since the Covid-19 outbreak and its never-ending lockdown. The greatest challenge for businesses has been the discomfort that comes with these new working environments and the lack of safety and security protocols for businesses and their employees.
In challenging times like these, employers should encourage greater sensitivity and communication. On the sam note, employees shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, support, or assistance from colleagues, managers, or team leaders. Protecting employee mental and physical health, as well as their company infrastructure while working from home must be the number one priority for all employers. If you have top tips your company has been fostering, then please share – we’d love to include in this article.