Back to Insights Back to Insights

The Coronavirus pandemic rapidly accelerated the trend of people either working from home or hybrid working.

Although the threat of further lockdowns is hopefully behind us, the benefits of homeworking will not be easily surrendered. Research conducted in 2021 showed that 85% of people currently working from home wanted a hybrid approach of both home and office working in the future. For employers, this new workstyle will require a rethink of health and safety policies and procedures. 

In this article, we briefly introduce what you need to consider to protect the health and safety of your homeworking employees and workers.

Health and safety requirements for working from home 

There are several health and safety issues to consider if you intend to permit employees to work from home. 

However, the only way to identify these issues and guarantee your employees work safely at home is to include homeworkers in your health and safety risk assessments. Ideally, this will involve personal home visits. 

To conduct an adequate homeworker health and safety risk assessment, you will need to consider:

  • How do you plan to keep in touch with your homeworking employees
  • The type of work they will do (and how long)
  • How they can do it safely
  • If you need to put control measures in place to protect them

Remember, you have a statutory duty to safeguard an employee’s mental and physical health. Things to pay attention to include:

  • Monitoring the signs of stress and poor mental health
  • The safe use of laptops and other work equipment
  • The overall workplace environment

If your homeworking or hybrid working employee spends most of their time working at a computer, you must ensure they have a proper workstation and office chair to protect their backs and hand muscles from strain. 

Trips and slips can result from cords and equipment being left out, so an adequate storage system may also be required. It is also best practice to schedule regular one-to-one catch-ups with your homeworking staff to discuss their concerns and any health and safety issues working from home and check on their general wellbeing.

All of our free employment contract templates contain a homeworking / hybrid working clause. Find out more and download the right contract for your types of employees.

 

Free employment contract templates

 

The benefits of hybrid working

Many employees have enjoyed the benefits of being able to work from home, such as no commutes, lunch breaks with partners and being accompanied by their pets.

If you are running a business which does not rely on daily face-to-face contact, then there are many benefits of hybrid working for your company and your employees. These include:

  • Cost savings
  • Improved employee wellbeing
  • Increased efficiency
  • Wider talent pool

For many employees, being able to work from home improves their productivity and happiness. You will avoid costly health and safety breaches and retain valuable talent by ensuring they have a safe working environment at home.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

At LawBite, we know how hard it is to stay on top of constantly changing health and safety legislation and guidance. 

We have experience helping startups and small businesses achieve their commercial ambitions and comply with relevant legistlation. We can even support you in drafting a working from home health and safety policy that could be used in your business. To find out, book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our lawyers today.

 

Book a free 15-minute consultation

 

Additional resources

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.