Top Tips for Working From Home
With the growing threat of COVID-19 impacting more individuals and businesses across the world, many employers are introducing working from home policies and procedures to prevent further spread of the disease. As an experienced provider of lone worker monitoring services, Safe Shores recognises the need to assist employers with the transition to homeworking, assuring them of the requirements necessary to champion health, safety, comfort and communication.
With this in mind, we have collated our top tips for working from home to make sure you, your staff and your colleagues are safe and comfortable when working in isolation.
Health and Safety
When working from home, safety remains as a number one priority. Before an employee is allowed to work from home, a risk assessment must be carried out to assess whether the proposed home workplace and the activities being carried out by the employee will be safe.
Whilst most homeworkers will be doing low risk, desk-based work, employers and health and safety personnel must ensure appropriate risk assessments are conducted both at the start of the home working arrangement and periodically thereafter.
Things you should consider are:
- How to regulate stress levels
- How to ensure rest breaks and other working time obligations will be met
- Whether specialist equipment is required or needs to be safety tested
- First aid arrangements
- Actively highlighting and reducing hazards that may result in injury
- Reporting work-related accidents
Another health and safety issue that should be considered is comfort.
Comfort at your home workspace
When working from home, comfort is also important. Ensure that you have the best workspace for your needs including a spacious desk, a comfortable chair and appropriate equipment to make your work time comfortable and productive.
An employee’s desk or work area must have enough free space to facilitate their tasks; the area must be clean, warm, well-lit and ventilated with enough room to move and work without hazards.
If you spend a long time at your home workspace, you must also ensure that your workspace is set up correctly. This involves:
- Preparing your chair correctly – ensuring that there is proper lower-back support.
- Adjusting your screen height – ensuring that your screen is at eye-level to reduce straining your eyes or slouching your back.
If you spend a lot of time at your home workspace – don’t get too comfortable! Always ensure to move throughout the day to release tension build-up in your back and to keep blood and oxygen moving around your body.
When working from home, communication is key. Regular communication with colleagues and management increases productivity, and crucially this also reduces feelings of isolation and allows staff to communicate their well-being.
Utilising tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams and other online communication platforms allows instant messaging, making colleagues accessible at the click of a button!
Unfortunately, these tools don’t satisfy the need for regular supervision as required by the Health & Safety at Work legislation eg they do not facilitate emergency distress calls that employees may need when they have suffered an injury, nor do they identify if illness or emergency occurs when working from home.
That’s where Safe Shores Monitoring can help.
Safe Shores Monitoring offers a wide range of products to ensure the safety of lone workers, including those who work in isolation at home.
Our all-encompassing lone worker solutions include the Essential Service, Companion App and Ally Bluetooth Button and Chaperone Device. All have a range of features to ensure staff well-being at all times. When working alone, we can all fall victim to the unexpected. This includes un-anticipated injuries, illnesses or situations that may require assistance, even when working from home.
Our Companion App is very well suited for Home Worker applications, it’s features include:
The Clock function means that with a single button press a home worker can CLOCK ON at the beginning of their work period and CLOCK OFF at the end. Time monitoring helps to demonstrate compliance with the working time directive and communicates activity and wellbeing.
If a homeworker fails to CLOCK ON, their managers are alerted via the Archangel monitoring system which displays all users and their current working status.
The TAG function enables the home worker to record an activity which poses a higher personal risk, and allows them to set a short time frame for monitoring their safety. For example, if the homeworker leaves their home to visit a new customer or to carry out a hazardous task such as an inspection in a confined space – TAGs can be created using a combination of free text and audio files to give maximum situational awareness.
The SENSOR is enabled to create a Welfare Check if no movement is detected within a defined time period. This means that homeworkers wellbeing is actively checked regularly and automatically. Sensor is an advanced Fall and Mobility feature. It utilises sophisticated contextual algorithms to detect genuine causes of jeopardy caused by impact and inactivity. If a homeworker is active (eg making calls, and moving around the home) then no alarm is created.
In an emergency, medical or otherwise, the homeworker can summon immediate assistance from responders by activating the designated SOS button. The alarm is sent directly to the nominated responder, or our ARC, who will be able to respond to your distress call and contact the appropriate emergency services if required.
Sophisticated location services enables homeworkers to be accurately located both indoor and outdoor during any alarm. This allows responders or emergency personnel to attend alarms in the exact location of the at risk lone worker.
At Safe Shores Monitoring, we understand that lone working is a complex topic which requires more than one solution. Technology, such as our Companion App, can benefit the home worker and an organisation’s safe system of work, mitigating the foreseeable risk associated with home working.
However, organisations must demonstrate that they have a safe system of work in place, conducting regular and thorough risk assessments and have equipped their home worker and support staff with the knowledge, communication tools, equipment and skills for home working.
If you would like to find out more about our lone worker solution and how it can benefit your business, please get in touch with us using the contact form below.