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.
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
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.
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