As an employer, it is vital to keep your employees safe and healthy. You take responsibility for your employees when they work in the office, and the same applies to when they work from home. Your organization still needs to comply with health and safety legislation, and identify any potential remote work hazards before allowing your employees to work from home.

Statistically Speaking

An estimated 56% of the U.S workforce has a job that can be done partially from home. With the COVID-19 pandemic, most employees that are capable of working from home, are. Based on historical trends, those working remotely before the outbreak of COVID-19 will work from home more frequently, even once they are allowed to return to their offices. For those that are new to remote work, there will be a significant upswing in their remote work frequency. A projected 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days of the week by the end of 2021.

With these statistics in mind, employers need to understand and prepare for the increase in remote work. Many employees are working from home as an emergency fall-back at the moment. Still, it is time to start considering how to ensure their health and safety at home. The COVID-19 pandemic will have permanent effects on workers’ frequency of remote work.

Employers should understand how this affects their responsibilities when it comes to their employees’ health and safety.

Keeping Employees Safe

Employee Safety Means Employer Safety

There are many benefits to allowing your employees to work from home — such as increase productivity and job satisfaction — but there are still liabilities. Employees are required to follow health and safety policies in your business, whether they work in the office or at home. Examples may include keeping the floor around the desk clear, wearing appropriate clothing, and having a first aid kit accessible. As the employer, you are responsible for controlling and mitigating risk for your employees. There are many ways to succeed, but becoming familiar with the environment in which your employee plans to work is most important. Once you have familiarized yourself with their working environment, you can easily mandate adjustments, create a telecommuting policy, or provide the necessary equipment to keep them safe.

Ergonomic Tools are Crucial to Employee Safety

Having the proper physical workplace items will help prevent long-term chronic illnesses. It is essential that employees are taken care of, and that their health and safety are a top priority. If their workplace equipment is not adequate for them, they may be unsatisfied with the job, or productivity may decrease drastically. They are also more susceptible to injury when working with tools that are not fit for them. Employees in the office and at home require the proper tools to stay healthy, safe, and successful.

Keeping Employees Healthy

Injury and Long-Term Illness prevention

Part of keeping employees safe and healthy is prevention. Having a clean space and the proper tools will decrease the risk of accidental injury. Investing in ergonomic office solutions will prevent long term effects such as chronic illness. The CDC says that prolonged sitting time is a health risk that can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. The CDC also states, “breaks in prolonged sitting time have been correlated with beneficial metabolic profiles among adults, suggesting that frequent breaks in sedentary activity may explain lower health risk related to waist circumference, body mass index, triglyceride levels, and 2-hour plasma glucose levels.” (CDC) Giving your employees the tools they need will decrease health risks and help prevent future health issues.

Giving your employees the tools they need to succeed is key to employee satisfaction. It is an important measure that is necessary for their health and safety. LifeDesks products will allow you to provide your employees with quality-grade, ergonomic tools to improve your employees’ health and to assist in guaranteeing their safety. As the employer, you are responsible for giving your employees practical tools for success. It is easy to see when employees that you see in the office every day need better tools, or another change to improve their health and safety. Remote workers, however, are often forgotten. In these trying times, many employees are forced to work from home. As offices begin to open back up, statistics show that workers will prefer to work from home, at least part of the time. It’s essential to be prepared and to implement measures to keep them safe and healthy.

Works Cited

Grzadkowska, Alicja. “The Workers’ Comp Risks When Employees Work from Home.” Insurance Business, Insurance Business America, 28 Feb. 2020, www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/workers-comp/the-workers-comp-risks-when-e mployees-work-from-home-215287.aspx.

Bowman, Natasha. “Remote Work and the Law: Legal Issues That Remote Leaders Must Know.” Workplaceless, www.workplaceless.com/blog/remote-work-legal-issues.

“Liabilities of Letting Employees Work From Home.” The Hartford, www.thehartford.com/small-business-insurance/liabilities-employees-work-from-home.

“Keeping Your Remote Worker Happy – A Guide for Employers.” ShieldGeo, shieldgeo.com/keeping-your-remote-worker-happy-a-guide-for-employers/.

Lister, Kate. “Work-at-Home After Covid-19-Our Forecast.” Global Workplace Analytics, Global Workplace Analytics, 12 Apr. 2020, globalworkplaceanalytics.com/work-at-home-after-covid-19-our-forecast.

Pronk, Nicolaas P., et al. “Preventing Chronic Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011, www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/11_0323.htm.