When it comes to staff in the workplace, you’ve got the opportunity to look after them because they’re in an environment that you’ve set up to help them stay safe while working.
However, with this unexpected virus hitting the globe and therefore putting a lot of people working from home who may not typically work from home, safety has been compromised. Therefore, it’s important that as far as businesses are concerned, they’re taking the necessary measures to keep them safe. Here a few tips to use to help keep your own staff safe during this time and in the future where staff would work from home.
Carry Out A Risk Assessment
Firstly, it’s good to send out a risk assessment to any and all of your staff that are working from home at the moment. This will be a specific at-home risk assessment that should be managed by your HR manager and is an extensive checklist that the employee will have to fill in, sign, and return. There should be one copy for them and one copy for you so that you both have evidence of a risk assessment being done.
The risk assessment should cover all the basics in terms of where they’re working and the comfort/safety levels of the location. It helps if staff can take photos of the area, with some companies opting to use video in order to get a better understanding of the employee’s home working area. There is difficulty with doing a risk assessment at home because there might be things missed by the staff member, and so it’s important to check and double-check before signing it all off.
Once the risk assessment has been done, work can continue as normal or you might have to bring in the necessary equipment to make it a safe and healthy environment for that staff member.
Provide Any Necessary Equipment
Talking of equipment, if there’s anything that you find a staff member hasn’t got, and that could be risking their health or safety, it’s important to get it for them or else they shouldn’t be moving forward with the work that is requested of them until the suitable equipment is provided. This might just be a simple case of getting in footrests and monitor raisers for the work laptops or desktop computers.
The last thing you want is to not provide the proper equipment, and your staff member injures themselves in some way. That can cause a problem for you if your staff member decides to hire workers’ compensation and injury lawyers that would enable them to receive a large payout in compensation due to your lack of effort as the company owner to keep your staff safe.
Continue 1-2-1 Meetings Virtually
Even though the staff is working from home, meetings can still take place, and they should really be taking place to ensure everyone is doing ok and how they’re finding the new working environment. This means that a lot of virtual meetings have been taking place throughout the globe for many different businesses.
Your company should be doing the same and they can do so with 1-2-1 virtual meetings. These can be a great way to ensure that your staff is being cared for and that they’re getting some one-on-one time with the manager or boss to have a weekly or bi-weekly update. There’s nothing wrong with going the extra mile and really showing you care as employees during this time.
Encourage Strict Working Hours
When working from home, staff and employers can blur the lines of working hours, but it’s important that as an employer, you’re encouraging strict working hours. That means that your staff are still working the same hours that they would if they were in the working office. Nothing should be changing simply because they’re at home. It should be at the worker’s discretion, whether they wish to work an extra hour or two.
Be Mindful Of Break Times
And remember to be mindful of break times too. Just like you would in a typical working environment, staff are very much welcome to pop out to get some fresh air for ten minutes or to go and grab a coffee from the kitchen. Ensure that this is something that’s still accounted for because if when they’re at home, they still need to take their regular breaks, including lunch.
Looking after your staff when outside of the workplace is just as important as when they’re in the office. Make sure you’re setting the right processes in place to keep your staff protected.