There has been a growing trend towards flexible and work from home scenarios over the last 5 years but many businesses are still unprepared for full-scale remote working.
So, let’s look at some key things to consider when adjusting to working from home.
Of course, not all industries or job roles are suitable for remote work. If your industry isn’t one of them, still consider if there is any other work that they can be doing in the short term outside of their normal remit and that can be accomplished in the home environment.
Now is the time to set and communicate clear guidance around work from home policies including sick pay or leave entitlement and the availability of additional Government support.
Other considerations include:
- Space: do workers have a practical and secure environment and area at home to work in? Either a a dedicated room, existing desk space or temporary set up.
- Health & Safety: Health & Safety regulations also apply to your homeworkers. This includes the seating and layout of the desk, computer workstation, electrical equipment testing & certification, adequate lighting, ventilation and heating.
As an employer you will need to communicate these regulations to your homeworkers. Your employees then have the responsibility to apply these policies within their homes. It is recommended that employees do a home risk assessment, document it and inform your employer of the results.
- Security: homeworkers will need to be able to secure business supplied equipment and protect sensitive information in accordance with data protection regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Act) or CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Law). You may need to re-evaluate and document your new work from home data protection policies and practices if not already done.
- Equipment: do employees have a telephone line and adequate broadband access? What equipment, like computers and printers, do they need to do their work?
- Insurance & Costs: review your existing business insurance policy and contact your insurance provider with any additional requirements, which may incur additional costs.
You may also need to investigate your tax, insurance and reporting obligations if you decide to provide homeworking expenses to your employees.
Expenses you may consider include:
- Household expenses like gas or electric