More employees are either being encouraged or instructed to work from home.
Many of our clients are instructing employees to work from home until the end of March, and developing contingency plans for working from home in the near future.
If you work from home, it becomes a ‘place of work’. A lot of organisations have a working from home checklist but one thing a lot don’t think about is, where is the boundary between work and home, it’s important to clarify where this boundary is from a workers compensation perspective.
Same as a workplace, you must ensure that the ‘plant and equipment’ are safe, this is where the working from home checklist is helpful, this ensures that the right equipment is set up. Previously safety professionals would do a home check, but you could also ask for a photograph, or skype, zoom or facetime the workspace to ensure it cuts the mustard. You don’t want employees working from bed all day!
A question that has been raised by our clients, is what happens if employees don’t have the right equipment? Regardless of it’s just a day or a year that they are utilising the ‘home office’ so to speak, they are still at risk of injury and at risk of workers compensation claims, so it’s important employees have the right equipment. If it’s just a short term arrangement, you may allow employees to borrow their office chairs, salary sacrifice purchasing office furniture or offer them older furniture that was due to be recycled or disposed of (as long as it’s safe).
Although this pandemic is a terrible event, looking at working from home options does help businesses move into the more mobile workforce which is great for workplaces in the future.
Click here to download the checklist we recommend to our clients when working from home.
Click here to download the ergonomic checklist we recommend.