As we enter the lockdown phase of the Coronvirus outbreak, most organisations have sent as many employees as possible to work from home. However it is important to recognise that although your employees are now out of sight, they shouldn’t be out of mind. In this blog we look at the things you need to be aware of when your employees are working from home.
Health and Safety considerations
The Health and Safety Executive advise that you should consider not just the working conditions that your employee has but also the impact that home working has on them as an individual.
From a physical perspective, do they have the equipment that they need? Have they completed a Digital Screen Equipment (DSE) check? If not this link takes you through to the workstation checklist. Please be aware that if you currently make reasonable adjustments for anyone in the workplace, this should be replicated (where possible) at home.
You should also think of the stress and mental health of your homeworkers. Not everyone deals well with isolation so a weekly all team meeting via Skype or Zoom may be a good way to keep everyone plugged in.
Equipment and GDPR
Insurance when working from home
Another thing to check is whether your insurances (Employers Liability etc) covers home working. If anything were to happen to your employee, would they be covered? Clearly there won’t be meetings going on in employee’s houses so the question of Public Liability is less of an issue.
Do your teams have the equipment they need to work effectively and are they GDPR compliant? Do you have a secure portal to share sensitive information? If employees are using their own devices, are they secure? All these considerations would normally be planned weeks in advance but now that companies are making decisions on-the-hoof, this may not have been thought through.
Not everyone works well at home. So how will you ensure that you keep a track on what your team is doing? There are some great apps out there that promote project work and collaboration. It may be best to invest in some tech to help keep a track on deliverables. Also don’t forget to have check-ins so your team can express any concerns they have. Just because they aren’t in the same office, doesn’t mean that they don’t need supporting! You don’t need to micromanage but show that you are there and that you care.
Can your IT systems cope?
Again this may be a difficult one to sort after the event but can your IT systems cope with a large number of people logging in remotely? If not, you may need to prioritise access which will take some thinking.
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