It is now clear that some form of home working will continue to feature once lock down restrictions have been lifted. Currently government advice remains work from home from home if you can.
Companies introduced home working at speed at the onset of the pandemic to maintain some form of activity. Now that it is likely to become a permanent feature for at least office based employees, employers need to put it on a more formal footing.
Employers need to consider if the home set up is:-
Fit for purpose. Is the furniture the employee uses adequate for permanently working from home. Do they need a new chair or desk?
Is the home wifi suitable for the task?
Is the employee using your computer with a link to your server, or their own laptop if their own how secure is it? Do other family members have access to it?
Can the homeworking set up comply with confidentiality and GDPR requirements?
The employer should carry out a remote risk assessment to satisfy themselves that these issues have been properly addressed and systems are in place. The employer still retains health and safety responsibilities towards the employee even if they are home working.
The employer should agree with the employee regular reviews of the efficiency of the home working set up.
If you don’t already have one you need an up-to-date homeworking policy for more help please contact me at https://www.ukemploymentlawadvice.co.uk/contact
The employer needs to understand that working from home is not a soft option. It is not the ideal solution for everyone. Should the employer be uncomfortable with home working they should be encouraged complying with covid secure requirements to come to the office as much as possible
Employers should recognise that working from home can lead to mental health issues due to isolation and lack of interaction with peers and managers. Working from home employees should be encouraged to participate in regular video meetings to hope overcome these issues.