A guide to working from home during the Coronavirus
For those that have not done it before “working from home” sounds great; kicking back on the sofa, watching daytime television while replying the odd email. But the reality is different.
And as an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers. A simple risk assessment is recommended when setting up someone to work from home.See: www.hse.gov.uk for guidance.
The workload might be the same but without the instant contact of your co-workers, it can feel very isolating and leave employees without a clear sense of direction or purpose. There are also lots of distractions, that can steer people off track.
A “Working from Home” Policy is needed [contact us for a model template] which should consider the following areas:
Remote working can make workers feel lonely and out of the loop. Whether working from home is part of someone’s working routine or it’s been implemented as a precautionary measure, consider how you are going to keep in touch with employees and have regular check-ins.
Business “as usual”
Provide some guidance on working from home etiquette - it can be very tempting to lounge about in pyjamas all day but not much work will get done! Encourage employees to get into a normal work routine, with start time, finish time and regular breaks away from the computer screen.
Check-in with your team
As a manager be sure to check in on your team - this way, your team can know you’re on hand and are able to get in touch with you when needed. Don’t forget to let your team know if you’re checking out too.
Take regular breaks
When working from home it’s easy to feel like you’re not being as productive as you would when you’re physically at work. Like any other working day, it’s essential to allow breaks to refresh the mind.
Easy access to the fridge, the temptation of Netflix and the neediness of pets and family members are just a few of the distractions people may experience when working from home. Due to the never-ending list of distractions, it’s vital employees have a work plan. This will keep people on top of work coming in and help you stay focused when distractions do arise.
Our partners at Engagement Multiplier have developed a free survey tool for employers to check in on those working from home at this difficult time.