A few tips for working from home

26 March 2020 | Andy Hooke

Given the current situation and following the government’s latest advice, we thought it may be a good time to provide some advice on working from home for those who are able to as part of their job role.

Assessment 

With working from home, as long as its temporary the HSE says you don’t necessarily need to carry out a full DSE assessment, but should make clear the importance of good posture and a suitable work space as well as the following:

  • breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
  • avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
  • getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises
  • avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time

(The HSE)

That said; the HSE do provide a simplified assessment that employees could use to assess their own work space if appropriate (read more here) and if the home working becomes permanent then attention should be given to more formal assessment.

If small equipment like monitor risers, wrist rests and keyboards, and even a monitor (for the laptop users) could all be reasonable to allow if it’s going to be slightly longer term (as there is a very good chance this will be) – just keep a spreadsheet of who has taken what so you can follow it up to ensure it comes back to its rightful place.

Generally, unless there is a specific need for a specialist chair – it isn’t necessary to move large furniture for the sake of a temporary period working from home.

Lone working

Another thing to consider is the lone working element and maintaining contact – perhaps a weekly conference / skype call with your team just to check in and make them feel included and not forgotten about.

This leads me onto the Stress / General Mental Health element; equally important to keep in touch and understand how to identify a potential problem and support the employee – admittedly more difficult when remote but the HSE have a page dedicated to it here.

The advice on measures the government are putting in place is evolving on a daily basis, but some key take-aways at the moment are to avoid unnecessary contact with others, stay indoors as far as possible except for certain reasons laid out by the government, maintain good hygiene and ensure self-isolation is followed where appropriate. Further details on the above are here, keep checking for the latest advice: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Hema Mistry

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With over 20 years experience in HR, Hema draws her expert specialist knowledge from a broad range of industries, including employment advisory and consultancy services, retail, manufacturing and leisure. Being MCIPD qualified enables her to quickly understand how organisations operate, how to interact with their business leaders and to deliver effective commercial and practical solutions.

Andy Hooke

Health, Safety & Training Business Partner

Andy is NEBOSH trained and a technical member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH). Andy is often found studying the latest updates to legislation to keep his knowledge up to date and provide the best advice. With a passion for health and safety and experience in a range of environments from large corporates to small business, Andy is well placed to support you in all your health and safety needs.

Jill Colston

HR and Training Business Partner

Jill has over 14 years’ experience in HR & Training. Having started a career as a police officer; she changed careers to HR & Training dealing with Equality & Diversity in the workplace. Jill is passionate about Diversity, Inclusion and HR and has supported companies in managing their HR and training needs. She has a wealth of expertise across HR, dealing with challenging casework, company restructure projects, mediation, training, organisational development systems; equality and diversity.

Arti Patel

HR Business Partner

Arti has a strong background in HR and is a fully qualified CIPD member. She has worked with challenging casework and has a good understanding of how to deal with workplace matters as they arise.

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Jatinder is qualified non-practising Solicitor, he has over 22 years advisory experience in Employment law, HR matters and Employment Tribunal litigation. He manages the legal and HR advice line team ensuring the delivery of advice is effective verbally and in correspondence. He has experience in training and coaching work colleagues in all aspects of legal and employment matters. With his sound understanding of issues arising with in the workplace environment, Jatinder aims to deliver clear and concise client focussed advice.

Anoop Sodhi

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Anoop is an experienced HR Advisor and is part of the Telephone Advice Line Team. Anoop has worked in both the public and private sector, providing Employment Law advice ranging from grievances, disciplinaries, performance management, attendance management and mediation. Anoop is a trained mediator and provides down to earth, pragmatic, commercial advice. Outside of work, Anoop actively participates as a CIPD Board Member of East Midlands.

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