While you might not consider workplace health and safety to be a top concern for your remote staff, ensuring employees’ physical and mental well-being while they work from home can be a difficult feat. Indeed, teleworking carries the following health and safety risks for your staff:
♦ Musculoskeletal disorders caused by poor display screen equipment (DSE) use or manual handling
♦ Stress, anxiety or depression caused by physical isolation from co-workers
♦ Electrical injuries (eg electric shock or burns) caused by faulty electrical equipment
♦ Accidents or injuries caused by a lack of supervision or lone working risks
Even though you don’t share the same workspace as your remote staff, HSE regulations still hold employers like you responsible for maintaining employees’ health and safety while they work from home.
With this in mind, take the following steps to promote workplace health and safety for your remote staff:
♦ Conduct a risk assessment for your teleworking programme. Consider your employees’ specific home workstation restrictions and capabilities.
♦ Provide remote staff with adequate teleworking equipment. Educate employees on safe use, storage and handling of this equipment. Further, make sure employees have access to IT support in the event that they experience technology or software failings.
♦ Schedule regular check-ins with remote employees via phone or video chat to discuss stress levels and mental well-being. Make workload adjustments and provide employees with additional support resources as needed.