While home working is now becoming the new norm, it was estimated that only 30% of UK employees operated remotely during 2019.
However, the Covid-19 outbreak has changed this status quo both quickly and dramatically, with all employees encouraged to work from home where possible as part of stringent social distancing measures.
This is particularly prevalent in the public sector, if you are in the public sector and working from home, you need to ensure that your employees have an ideal set up which allows them to work from home comfortably. Legal firms such as Browne Jacobson can provide businesses in the governing sector with the information and expertise they require to ensure that the business and their employees are covered. In this post, we will look at the ideal setup when working from home and ask how you can realise this.
Get the Right Equipment
This is arguably the biggest challenge when working from home for the first time, as without reliable equipment you cannot hope to reach the necessary levels of efficiency and productivity.
Of course, those who work permanently from home may be able to cover the cost by buying crucial equipment through expenses, while freelancers can often offset this cost through various examples of tax relief.
The same cannot be said for temporary home workers, and as a general rule you’ll need a laptop or desktop computer that runs from a reliable Internet connection. The good news is that these basic items of equipment will suffice for most people, so they represent an excellent starting point.
Pay Attention to Ergonomics
When you start work for a new business and operate from their office, you’ll often have to meet with an occupational health specialist to ensure that your workspace is safe.
This isn’t available to home workers (apart from those with special requirements or disabilities), so you’ll need to take proactive steps to ensure that you desk and working area has the right set-up.
More specifically, you’ll need to ensure that your computer or laptop display is at the correct height and distance, to avoid you straining your neck muscles or hunching over the device.
This will always ensure that you’re able to work comfortably and safely throughout the day, while hopefully improving your posture over time.
Reducing Repetitive Movement
You also need to focus on reducing repetitive movement where possible, as these can cause temporary or permanent injuries to nerves, muscles and ligaments over time.
Capral tunnel syndrome (which affects the wrists) offers a relevant example, which is why you be careful when typing or using a mouse and try to stretch and exercise your wrists during the day.
On a similar note, you should also remember to stand and movement at least once every year, to maintain good circulation and prevent your joints from stiffening. This is good advice whether you’re working at home or in the office, but it’s arguably a little easier without the boss watching you!