3 Tips to Protect Your Staff When Working From Home
For a huge number of industries, the last year has seen a radical shift in the way that we work. From mostly travelling to a fixed office, the pandemic has caused a huge move towards home working, remote working and more flexible working patterns.
At the start of this shift, there was a lot of advice and information around on how to help your teams manage the transition to home working, including ensuring they had the right equipment and work environment. But, we’re now nearly 2 years into this shift – and for many businesses, working from home has become a big part of how they operate.
For many people, the advice and guidance they need from their employers has moved from how to get the right ergonomic desk chair at home to how they can stay safe in the long term. So, what should you be doing as a business to support your teams when they work from home? Your existing safety and security practices may need updating.
Here are our top 3 ways that you can protect your staff when they’re working from home.
Invest in training and the right equipment
At the start of the pandemic, many businesses spent a lot of time working on health and safety practices around display screen equipment and desk ergonomics. Of course, this is still of critical importance when it comes to looking after your staff – and you should continue to review this regularly to ensure it still meets everybody’s needs.
But, now that things have developed, and many people have transitioned towards a hybrid working system, you need to ensure that your staff have the right equipment to keep themselves safe wherever they’re working. For example, does your business know which members of staff are coming into the office each day? For many businesses, a transition to hybrid working has meant adding a lot of unknowns to their safety systems, with flexible office occupancies and home working not on a fixed schedule. You need to invest in the right hardware, software and training solutions so that in the event of an emergency, you can quickly account for all of your members of staff.
Additionally, the training requirements of your business may have changed massively as a result of a switch to home working. Previously, you may have been able to rely on specific members of staff as key contacts for safety situations like fires or irate customers. But, with everybody working from home, can you get the right response to the right place? You may need to ensure more members of staff are trained on the correct de-escalation methods to ensure that they’re able to deal with any issues that arise while they’re performing their duties from home.
Empower your line managers
Our second top tip when it comes to safety when working from home is to use your existing staff infrastructure to set up new support and safety networks. This means empowering your line managers to help their teams, whatever they need – whether this is a safety issue, a mental health one or any other kind of emergency.
Creating clear points of contact and regular communication for all members of staff can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and a sense of “falling through the tracks” that can often cause safety issues where people feel that they can’t ask for help.
This may, as we have already mentioned, mean investing in extra training for your manager team to give them the skills they need to manage safety situations. You may also have to widen lines of communication, and ensure that you’ve giving everybody all of the information that they need. Previously, you might have been able to rely upon safety information moving throughout an office due to everybody’s presence in the same physical space, but working from home safety procedures will need to be clearly communicated, reiterated and regularly reviewed and updated.
Gather the right data
Our last tip is around data gathering and understanding your employees. Since you can’t physically see safety issues within your workplace, you’ll need to be a lot more proactive in terms of gathering data around what safety challenges your teams are facing. This may involve running more frequent staff surveys, ensuring “near misses” and incident logs are properly escalated and logged, or making use of the line manager network that we’ve previously mentioned.
You’ll also likely want to capture more data about the ways that your team are working, to understand how you can best support them. This means encouraging open and honest dialogue about what’s happening in their daily work environment and how it could be improved or made safer.
The safety challenges your business faces with working from home are unique and can be hard to understand. But, Little Green Button are here to support you. Our software based panic alarm system can be used on all employees devices to ensure quick responses for safety issues, even when people are working remotely.
And, our app means roving members of staff with no fixed location can still get the support they need. Find out what else we can offer lone workers or those working from home here, or get in touch with a member of our sales team for a free demo.