Thought Leadership

The human factor. Thoughts and observations.

The life-blood of any organisation is its people; the success of every system, in every organisation is determined by human factors. We are seeking a deep understanding of these human factors; these are some of our thoughts and observations.

Working from Home: Safety, Health & Welfare Guidelines for Employers and Employees

Working from Home: Safety, Health & Welfare Guidelines for Employers and Employees

As part of a range of stringent new measures to control the spread of coronavirus, some employees (where practical) may be temporarily required to work from home. This means they will carry out their usual work for agreed hours from their private dwelling space. The ‘Organisation of Working Time Act 1997’ applies, whereby the working week cannot exceed 48 hours over a 4-month average for most employees.

Employer’s Responsibilities
Employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees, and in the context of employees working from home this means:

  • Creating a Company Policy for ‘Working from Home Arrangements’
  • Confirming with the employee that they have the space/ facility to work from their own home; this is a quiet spot with a desk/ table and a comfortable chair, and adequate lighting and ventilation
  • Providing the employee with the tools required, e.g. laptop, phone, and ensuring the security/ confidentiality of devices
  • Creating a plan and setting out the steps for working from home so that there is clarity and structure
  • Allowing for flexibility where an employee has other responsibilities, e.g. they may work very early in the morning and/or later in the evening to accommodate family life
  • Staying in regular contact with the employee- at least once a day- to ensure all is well; this is scheduled contact and is very important in the context of lone working

Employee’s Responsibilities
Employees also have a duty of care, meaning they need to ensure that no harm is caused to themselves or any other person as they carry out their role, and in the context of working from home this means:

  • Making themselves familiar with Company Policy
  • Identifying a quiet space in their home that they can work from, with a comfortable place to sit at a desk or table
  • Setting up work devices such as a laptop so that the screen is at eye level and the power cable is not constituting a trip hazard
  • Ensuring they are clear on the work plan set out for them and the schedule agreed
  • Staying in touch with colleagues as per the plan- this is critical
  • Maintaining a healthy and balanced routine for personal wellbeing (see ‘10 Steps’)

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