Updated: 22nd January 2021; 1 May 2020
To some businesses the thought of ‘letting’ your employees work from home may sit very uncomfortably with you, it is a different way of working but it doesn’t have to be a daunting experience or a bad experience. By trusting your employees and having the ability to let go of full control as a manager / employer, your business can still go on. You may even be surprised that it works just as well or better than the ‘normal way we work’. You never know until you give it a go, so before you think of furloughing employees, give it a go, your business may thrive!
Below are a few ideas to help your employees to keep focussed during the working from home period. Remember it’s not about working 9-5 it’s about getting the job done and working flexibly together.
As an employer you may also have invested in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have then great, make sure you highlight this to your employees so they can get extra support that is available to them, if you don’t then perhaps you may want to look into the benefits of having a program in place.
You have a duty of care to your employees; this means you should look after your employees mental and physical wellbeing while working at home as you would do if they were in the office. For example, is their workstation set-up ergonomically, do they have the right equipment for the job. How are they mentally coping with the work and isolation. An employer should consider ways to alleviate such problems and monitor to support their employees. You may want to complete individual risk assessments enabling you to know what the situation is and then being able to take the appropriate action for your employees. Action could be to purchase equipment for home working to make it safe. It could be setting up informal coffee calls on Zoom, offering an employee assistance programme and much more.
Accidents and first aid at work is translated to at home when working from home and as such, if any accidents occur while they are working for you then this should be recorded in the usual manner such as in the accident book. Employees that work from home should also have a basic first aid kit to hand, if your employee does not have one then you should offer this to them.
To check you are compliant with legislation review and update your working from home policy and procedures notifying employees of the changes.
Working from home doesn’t mean that your data protection and security is less important, it means that the way you deal with it changes, therefore updating home working policies and procedures should be completed and communicated. Training may also be required depending upon the changes. If a data breach were to happen at your employees’ home, you are still liable and will need to report it in the usual way.
If you are unsure about what to do with the above information, please seek advice and support from a professional HR Consultant or legal professional. Whether you would like support with your business during COVID-19 or you would like support in other areas, our HR Consultants are here to help you get it right, so get in touch.
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