How to Protect Your Employees Working From Home
You’re still responsible for your employees’ health and safety – even when they’re working from home.
With the current social climate as a result of COVID-19, many employers are encouraging their staff to work from home. Whilst this can protect employees from contracting Coronavirus, it could put them at risk of ergonomic hazards which will put you, as an employer in breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS). It’s important for employers to ensure that the home office that their employees are working from is ergonomically sound, to not only protect your business but your employees.
Here's how to easily ensure staff are safe and productive whilst working at home.
1. Invest in an Ergonomic Office Chair
Employees spend an average of 6.3 hours of their workday sitting. When their body is not correctly supported, sitting can place unnecessary stress on the back, shoulders, neck and hips resulting in Musculoskeletal Disorders. Ergonomic office chairs when adjusted to suit the individual user correctly, promotes the natural alignment of the spine and provides necessary seated support which prevents common workplace injuries. Overall, ergonomic chairs can improve the employees’ comfort, productivity and concentration
2. Install a Sit-Stand Desk Adaptation
Whilst it may not be feasible to organise sit-stand desks for every employee, sit-stand desk adaptions – such as the Arise Deskalator, simply sits on top of any existing desk, making it an economical and easy-to-install sit-stand solution. Though improving your employees’ focus, sit-stand desks relieve back pain and prevent the risks associated with sedentary behaviour including poor blood circulation, diabetes and heart diseases by encouraging them to move.
3. Install a laptop/monitor arm
Working from home may mean moving from a desktop to a laptop. Whilst practical, laptops aren’t designed to be used for prolonged periods of time because of an increased risk of shoulder and neck injuries.
Installing a clamp-on laptop platform arm will allow employees to raise their laptop screen to eye level to prevent them from hunching their back and neck when staring down at their laptop. Though, the monitor arm can also raise desktop screens in accordance with ergonomic guidelines.
Raising the laptop or monitor off the desk will also give employees more desk-space to work with, ensuring all accessories and paperwork needed for day-to-day tasks are readily accessible.
4. Invest in a storage unit
Employees’ documents and files should be easily accessible to avoid overreaching and back strain. A storage unit located beside or under the desk will not only keep the home office organised but ensure it can be safely accessed. When seated, the storage unit should be easily accessible without the employee bending their back.
5. Invest in active seating
Whilst an ergonomic chair is essential, giving your employee the option to create an active home office environment with flexible seating can improve their overall productivity and efficiency. Active furniture like wobble stools are compact which makes them easy to install into any home office, whilst being proven to improve engagement, concentration and productivity.
It’s unclear how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue, so creating a home office with long-term support in mind with the necessary ergonomic precautions in place, will ensure that employees are working safely and productively from home.
Don’t know where to start? Visit sylex.com to view our full range of 'work from home’ products or contact us for a free ergonomic assessment.