Home working – A good practise guide
If you permanently work from your home or split your working time between the workplace and home (sometimes called hybrid working) you are considered to be a home worker.
The health and safety responsibilities for you and your employer are the same whether you are working at home or in a workplace.
Your Employer’s responsibilities include
- telling you how to do your job safely in a way that you can understand,
- letting you know about the risks to your health and safety from current or proposed working practices;
- informing you how any risks will be controlled and who is responsible for this;
- advising you how to get first-aid treatment and what to do in an emergency.
- making sure you have access to :
- training to enable you to do your job safely;
- any equipment and protection necessary for you at work (such as clothing, shoes or boots, eye and ear protection, gloves, masks etc) and ensure it is properly looked after;
- health checks if there is a danger of ill health because of your work;
Your responsibilities include
- taking care of your own health and safety and that of others who may be harmed by your actions while you are working
- co-operating with your employers and other workers to help everyone meet their duties under the law
- following any training you have received when using any work items your employer has given you
Working Remotely from Home
Working from home can be a mutually beneficial way for the both the employee and employer to work together. The following information is given to help you carry out your role safely and productively and while home working.
The Basic principles
- Set and stick to a routine – don’t revisit your computer outside your regular hours
- Stay in regular contact with your manager and colleagues
- Talk to your manager about workloads and be open about how you’re feeling
- Take regular breaks during the day and use your annual leave
- Find out who you can speak to if you need help or support
Adopting these basic principles you can help prevent stress and look after your mental health when working from home.
If you are struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, you could also contact your doctor, or your employee assistance provider or occupational health provider if you have one.
Your work environment
If you can, create a dedicated workspace for you to work. This should ideally somewhere quiet, away from people and distractions like the TV.
Make sure you have all the equipment you need before you start to work.
When setting up your workspace:-
- arrange equipment and furniture to avoid trailing leads and cables
- check that your plugs, leads, wires and cables are in good condition
- keep the area tidy and free from obstructions that could cause slips or trips
- check you have adequate lighting in your work area to avoid eyestrain
- position any screens to avoid reflection or glare
- put frequently used objects, eg telephone/printer within easy reach to avoid having to repeatedly stretch or twist to reach things
If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try exchanging your handset for a headset.
Avoid sitting/standing in one position for long periods of time – remember to move about regularly throughout the day.
If you haven’t got office furniture like an adjustable chair or footrest, try using items such as cushions to support you in a chair or a box as a footrest or ask your employer to help you with getting the right equipment.
Working on a computer
When using a computer for work click on the link for a Display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist. Please complete this and return it to your line manager.
To help you to complete the checklist and set up your workstation appropriately for maintaining good posture follow the guidance outlined below.
Standard workstation setup
- Top of screen level with eyes, about an arm’s length away
- Relax your shoulders – try to position yourself high enough so you don’t need to hunch your shoulders
- Computer and screen directly in front of you on desk or other surface
- Keyboard just below elbow height
- Back of the seat provides good lower back support (or use cushion, to provide additional back support)
- Seat height equally supports front and back of thighs (or use cushion to raise seated position)
- Gap of 2-3 cm between front of seat bottom and back of knee
- Screen and keyboard central – don’t twist your back
- Mouse in line with elbow
- Rest your feet flat on the floor. If they are not use a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that is comfortable.
Consider these additional points when setting up your laptop for prolonged use.
- Keyboard and mouse separate from the laptop so screen can be elevated on a laptop riser or similar
- Display screen separate from the laptop
For further information and guidance on the above or any other aspect of home working please Contact Solution22 – HR Consultancy Services