Working from Home What you need to know

Since the Coronavirus outbreak back in March it has become the ‘new normal’ for employees to work from home full time. However, whilst some employers are beginning a phased return into the office, others have made the decision to make it a permanent change. If you are an employer who has made that decision, there are a few things to be aware of…

As easy as it was to announce, ‘we are all working from home from tomorrow for the foreseeable future’, making home working permanent means considering all other aspects associated with it.

Place of work:

If employees are to work from home permanently, they will need their place of work to be changed in their contract to home based. This may sound like an easy change, but you will need to consult with them before making any changes to their contract. In addition to this, you will need to consider any mileage claims if you are expecting them to travel to other places of work.

Risk Assessments:

It is normal practice to complete a DSE assessment when an employee starts work. When an employee goes to home working, they will need a DSE assessment to be completed at their homework space. It is important to ensure that their place of work is adequate and that they are not sat on their sofa with their laptop balancing on their knees. Although they are working from home, employers are still responsible for the health and safety of all employees.

Equipment:

It is no secret that an employee needs equipment in order to work from home. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the equipment needed for them to carry out their role. Although providing a laptop is the easier option, it is also worth considering providing screens, keyboard and mouse’s to make it easier for the employee to work and mitigate any risks to their health, safety and welfare.

Expenses:

Working from home can run up additional costs for employees that they may speak to their employer about. For example, their electric bill and broadband may be more expensive as their usage will be higher. Employers should have their own expenses policy; however, it is worth considering giving allowances to employees to cover the additional usage so they are not at a financial disadvantage.

Keeping in touch:

Working from home does not mean working alone. It is important for line managers to keep in regular contact with their employees, not only to keep on top of their work but also to check in on them and for their mental health. With advanced technology, employees can now communicate with their co-workers and line managers through the use of video call. Common video calling software include Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Its important to set clear expectations from employees if they are working from home which includes keeping in touch, working hours and how to manage a work-life balance. It is also important to know about employees’ personal circumstances which may require more flexibility i.e. childcare.

If you require any additional support with working from home, please fee free to contact us on 01527 571617.

“The training that was provided was well presented with good advice of how to extend our health and safety knowledge base. I would recommend all those who are looking for a health and safety consultant to use this team.”

Gareth Lainson – Director  
Gareth Lainson – Director

“Thank you to Agility for all of your help, and especially for the promptness of your responses. It is good to know we have someone as dedicated as you watching our back!”

Steve Boyd – Managing Director 
Steve Boyd – Managing Director

“A Poole and Sons have used the services of Agility since 2010. We have always been very pleased with the professional tailored approach that we have received from all of the Agility divisions.”

Steve Lupton 
Steve Lupton

“With our company consistently expanding within the industry, we found it beneficial to outsource our health and safety management to Agility. Using Agility provides us with a continuous update on all health and safety aspects.”

Wayne Evans – CEO 
Wayne Evans – CEO

“Agility has been very efficient getting through the testing quickly and we have had several comments to say the audiologist makes the test much easier and clearer to understand. Agility has been very flexible and great at helping to translate with some of our staff.”

Angela Cooke – HR  
Angela Cooke – HR

“I had HR training from Agility to develop my understanding of capability, disciplinary and absence management. Their teaching style is easy to understand and follow.”

Colin Branagh – Production Manager 
Colin Branagh – Production Manager

“One of the best decisions of 2011 was to join Agility for health and safety support. For a rapidly growing business, I would strongly recommend the services of Agility, they have now helped to take the business to a new level.”

Nigel Markey – Managing Director 
Nigel Markey – Managing Director

“Our decision to use Agility to provide these services was based on their team’s experience in these specialist areas, the attention to our operational needs and requirements and their proactive approach in service provision.”

Phil King – CEO 
Phil King – CEO

“I found the Asbestos Awareness Course very instructive and informative. It was well presented and to the point. I will certainly recommend your company to others.”

Neil Johnson – MD  
Neil Johnson – MD

“Agility were extremely flexible in customising a bespoke course to suit my needs, delivering a hot house one-to-one fire safety workshop from which I took much valuable information and which generated many ideas for subsequent implementation.”

David Riley – Occupational Safety Manager  
David Riley – Occupational Safety Manager

“Agility were extremely helpful and flexible in arranging a bespoke course at very short notice at their excellent Bromsgrove facilities.”

Malc Beddow – QHSE 
Malc Beddow – QHSE

“Thank you very much for your support…it is much appreciated. Going through the evaluation sheets afterwards, the highlight certainly appears to have been Agility’s workshop.”

Michael Jameson – Chief Officer 
Michael Jameson – Chief Officer

“I would like to thank the Agility team for making me feel most welcome at their Disciplinary and Grievance seminar. The quality of the seminar was excellent, together with the venue and the refreshments provided.”

Metsec 
Metsec

“Agility were extremely helpful in taking into consideration Gardner Denver’s needs when tailoring a suite of Managing Safely courses.”

Hydrovane 
Hydrovane

“The courses were well planned and delivered in a very practical and professional manner. The course has allowed our employees to use the knowledge gained to proactively enhance the health and safety culture within the organisation.”

Kevin Hambidge  
Kevin Hambidge