Home working is a growing trend, and a boost was seen in the number of employees who work from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With a home becoming the office workplace, there are challenges for both employers and employees. Under the Health and safety legislation, both these parties have duties to ensure the best working practices at home to ensure employees’ higher productivity.
Some people believe that work can be best done in offices. While this is might true for certain jobs – working from home can offer many benefits when done correctly.
This home work training educates employees to set up a heir home workstation comfortably, with minimum distraction.
Managers and staff should be practical, flexible, and considerate when undertaking home working during the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Have a conversation with their employees about how they can improve working from home arrangements
- Support workforces to help them adjust to remote working
- Produce clear home-working policies so that everyone has a clear understanding of the do(s) and don’t(s)
Legislation and HSE guidance state that employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, including those working from home online. During this coronavirus pandemic, it is very difficult for employers implement usual health and safety policies. Therefore, employers should provide working from home risk assessment guidance and templates for their employees to conduct within their homes.
An employer should check that:
- Each employee feels the work they have been asked to at home can be done securely
- Workers have the correct equipment to work without harm
- Sensible adjusting to working from home is made for employees with disabilities.
Employees also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their health and safety. Anyone working from home should maintain regular contact with their manager. They should also tell their manager about:
- Any health and safety risk they notice
- Any homeworking arrangement that needs to change
A Survey of 1481 UK employees carried out by Cartridge People on June 2nd and June 18th in 2020 has found that 40% of the United Kingdom’s workers have been more creative when working from home, claiming that it gives them more agility with their time. Supporters of home working said it has helped to deliver a much better work-life stability giving them more time to spend with their family.
The survey also found that:
- Before lockdown, 29% were already working from home
- After lockdown, 32% said they would now be working from home daily
- 50% believe they got more work done when using a home office
- When working from home 42% believe they have a good work-life balance. 24% say it can help them work around friends and family with 40% disclosing it gives them more flexibility with their time
As working from home has become a major part of our lives. It is important here to note that although this provides employees increased flexibility, it also poses some serious challenges as well.
More and more people are working from home these days – or at least from a coffee shop or coworking space near their home. Between 2005 and 2017, there was a 159% upsurge in the distant work, according to a current report by Global Workplace Analytics.
But not everybody talks about the challenges of doing so, from an absence of organised routine to fewer opportunities for social communication with co-workers.
Companies and employees are trying to make the transition to remote working as smooth as possible so that they can keep work going. Working remotely provides them with different benefits, like no daily commute in the morning, the flexibility of work when you want to, and no strict dress code (unless you have online meetings).
Whilst you work from home, there could occur many challenges with it. It is going to be a bit tougher to adjust for many employees, but people who are in the habit of working from home are finding it difficult as well right now.
Many business leaders think that going remote is as simple as sending a worker away from the office, equipped with a laptop and to-do list.
Laurel Farrer, founder of Remote Work Association says:
“Unfortunately, it is not that simple. When correct policies and procedures are not created to support off-site employees, terrible consequences are likely to occur.”
The major challenges associated with working from home are:
- Getting distracted by everything
- Blurred lines between personal and professional life
- Communication and coordination challenges
- Managing your time
- Staying organised
To overcome these challenges, it is important to provide employees with proper home work training and guidance on how to work from home effectively. So, there will be fewer health risks and individuals remain more productive, whilst staying safe even though they are working remotely.
Due to the situation with COVID-19, people all over the world are adjusting to remote working. For some, this is a casual part of their routine when they need flexibility around their usual plan. However, many are trying to make this adjustment without prior preparation.
On the outside, home working does not seem to pose any dangers to wellbeing and security. You are well aware of the circumstances; you know how the tools work and know your way around the place. But that does not mean you are free from the hazards. Accidents can happen anywhere!
Under UK health and safety regulations, employers have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of all employees, and that includes home workers. While working in a familiar environment, it does not mean that health and safety hazards should be ignored. Creating a home worker’s risk assessment allows employers to recognise and deal with risks, as far as reasonably practicable.
A Home Worker Risk Assessment must assess:
- Whether there is sufficient lighting
- Whether there is adequate ventilation in your workspace
- Whether the temperature of the workspace is suitable
- Slipping and tripping hazards in the workspace, such as trailing cables
- The suitability of space. There should be enough space for work to be carried out comfortably.
Along with the above, there are common workplace hazards that are also likely to be present when working from home. These include:
- Manual Handling and Upper Limb Disorders
- Lone Working
- Use of Work Equipment
- Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
- Mental Health
- Electrical Equipment
A risk assessment of the work activities and appropriate measures to reduce the risks may include a need to visit an employee’s home. This would be done with the cooperation of the home worker.
Choosing your work area matters a lot whilst you decide to work from home. Working from home, even if it is now and then, is becoming more common due to the rapid growth of the internet. But it is not just about the internet when you are working from home online. You need a space that promotes productivity but still does not interfere with the life of other members of your household.
You must also carefully consider day-to-day living as well. Such as special occasions, activities, and guests. Hence, choosing your workspace wisely is very important. With the right setup, you can achieve better results and get more work done in less time. Choosing your work area training can also be very helpful in this regard.
Following things to keep in mind while choosing your workspace:
- Choose a separate space dedicated to work
- Pick a space where you can minimise distractions
- Choose an area of your home where you can work quietly without interruption if possible
The purpose of this online training to work from home is to educate and train the employees on how to work from home and choose a workspace that will be ideal for them. It will help them to work without any distractions and increase their productivity level.
Setting up a proper workstation is also very important if you wish to work from home safely. Working on a sofa might sound ideal, however, this can lead to severe back problems and other health hazards as well. A separate work area is beneficial for home workers where you can setup a proper chair, desk, and equipment. You can achieve your ideal workspace with a little bit of good space planning.
Setting up your workstation requires the following things to keep in mind. Such as:
- Adjust your chair and sit correctly
- Make sure that your screens are at the correct height
- Use your laptop safely
- Take regular breaks
- Conduct a workstation self-assessment
This e-Learning training is specially designed for:
- All staff members, of any office environment, worldwide
- All Managers, Supervisors, of any office environment, globally
The aims of the home working course are to:
- Increase awareness about setting up your own office to work comfortably at home
- Provide a clear understanding of challenges associated with working from home
- Illustrate a home working risk assessment
- Educate the trainees on how to choose your work area and set up your workstation at home
After completing this eLearning training programme, trainees will understand:
- How to find a suitable working area at home that is free from distractions
- How to set up a workstation that does not lead to health problems
- How to avoid bad lighting conditions that cause eye strain and fatigue whilst working
- How to enhance productivity while working from the home office
The working from home online course finishes with an evaluation test. The test appears once the trainee completes all the segments of the training course. There are also short quizzes at the end of each section that strengthens information and maximises trainee engagement in the course.
On the successful accomplishment of the training course, the trainee gets a CPD and RoSPA-Approved certificate. Each certificate includes the following information:
- Learner name
- Course name
- The completion date of the training programme
- The expiry date of the certificate where applicable
All the training certificates, training progress of each trainee, and assessment results are tracked and stored on the Human Focus LMS and can be accessed at any time to review progress, certificates and much more.