Working from home - a guide for employers Back
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The coronavirus pandemic has quickly had a significant impact on the way that we work. Recent social distancing measures have resulted in many employers moving their staff to a 'work from home' environment, whether they were ready or not.

LGIS have prepared the following tips on working from home and staying safe, addressing the immediate areas that employers need to think about. Members may wish to conduct a more thorough working from home checklist, available to download, at a later date.

It's important to remember that employers have an obligation to make sure that their employees have a safe work environment. They need to take all reasonable steps to ensure their employees are safe and that individuals are equipped with the knowledge to also look after their own safety.

There are three areas that need to be considered when quickly setting up a safe workspace at home:

1. Communication

  • Check-in: Establish a procedure for the manager and worker to periodically check-in with each other, confirming that the home worker is safe and well and not experiencing any issues. If issues are identified then working arrangements should be reviewed. Managers should regularly check-in on their employees' well-being, either during team meetings or on an individual basis. Now, more than ever, employees need your support and guidance.  
  • Emergency communication: Telephone or other communication devices are readily available to allow effective communication in an emergency situation
  • Incidents: Any safety incidents will be reported using the business' incident reporting system

2. Workplace and home safety

  • Power: Do not overload electrical outlets to avoid fire risk.
  • Trip hazards: Identify and reduce any trip hazards in the area. Be aware of your extension/power cords.
  • Emergency: Emergency contact numbers and details are known, i.e. 000 for fire, ambulance or police
  • First aid: Ensure first aid supplies are available and accessible
  • Smoke detector: make sure a smoke detector is installed in/near the designated work area and is properly maintained
  • Safe storage: Keep your laptop and equipment in a secure place after hours that can be protected from damage or theft.

3. Ergonomics

  • The chair: Use a sturdy chair that can be adjusted where possible. Refrain from sitting on very soft couches and chairs as they do not support the body evenly during extended sitting.
  • Set-up: Adjust seating height where possible, so your forearms are parallel to the floor when typing and your hips are not lower than your knees. If you cannot adjust your chair and your feet cannot firmly touch the ground, use a book or ream of paper to raise your feet to the correct height. 
  • Support: Place a small pillow behind your lower back while sitting to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
  • Desktop: Use an external mouse and place objects — such as your phone, mouse, and printed materials — close to your body to minimize reaching.
  • Monitor: Utilise your monitor. If this is not possible place your laptop on a riser/block/paper ream; the top of screens need to be at eye level.
  • Useable space: Ensure there is sufficient usable space on your designated working surface.
  • Breaks: Take short micro-breaks (approximately two minutes in length) every hour to stretch and move your body. If you have phone calls to make, get up and walk around your house or even outside!

With or without a pandemic, working from home is becoming more common, and for many employers and employees, it comes as a significant change. While telecommuting will likely be the norm for the next several weeks, employers should be patient with themselves and their employees as they navigate this new world of work.

For more information about working from home contact LGIS:

Emma Horsefield, OSH Program Manager
emma.horsefield@lgiswa.com.au | 0407 957 932

Dane Casserly, Injury Prevention Consultant
dane.casserly@lgiswa.com.au | 0438 182 548

LGIS services

Getting Comfy @ Your Workstation (Not your couch)

Do you have staff working from home and in need of some ergonomic advice? No problem! Our Injury Prevention team are able to provide 1-on-1 Telehealth Ergonomic Assessments to assist your workers to get set up to the best of their ability. Appointments will be conducted via Zoom, which can be accessed on laptops and mobile devices.

If you are interested please contact our Injury Prevention team via phone or email:
Dane Casserly, 0438182548 / dane.casserly@lgiswa.com.au
James Larkin, 0419355943 / james.larkin@lgiswa.com.au

Keeping Well @ Home

Whether your staff are now working from home or still working from the office, supporting them to keep physically and mentally well during times of change is essential. During this 1 hour online seminar we provide some tips and tricks to stay well, and an opportunity connect with others from within your organisation.

If you are interested please contact our HR Risk team via phone or email Shauna McQuade, 0428 430 394 / shauna.mcquade@lgiswa.com.au

Let's talk Resilience

We are needing to be resilient now more than ever! Resilience supports us to deal with and bounce back from difficult and stressful times. This 1 hour online seminar will provide staff with ways in which they can develop different aspects of resilience to promote positive wellbeing.

If you are interested please contact our HR Risk team via phone or email Shauna McQuade, 0428 430 394 / shauna.mcquade@lgiswa.com.au



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