A number of previously unrecognised weaknesses of corporations have been exposed by the current epidemic, most notably the difficulty of continuing business as usual while ensuring the safety of employees. The recent increase in work-from-home agreements is one answer to this problem. Managing a workforce from a distance may be challenging, particularly when it comes to issues that need close attention to detail, such as workers' health and safety in the workplace. By recognising these dangers and taking precautions, businesses may avoid legal trouble and improve the manager-employee connection even when geographical distance is an issue. To help, a deeper look will be taken in this article at the top three environmental, health, and safety issues that are frequent while working from a distance.
1. Physical Ergonomics
There was more of an emphasis on creating comfortable and productive workplaces for employees before the rise of the telecommute. This top goal is important for a number of reasons, including improving the quality of the workforce, lowering absenteeism rates, and increasing productivity and efficiency (DAFW.) Musculoskeletal diseases (MSD), which may be brought on by overuse, repetitive motion, and poor posture, are responsible for 30% of all DAFW cases in the private sector in the United States, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The results of these studies suggest that when workplace ergonomics are improved, both employee health and job satisfaction rise. Worker efficiency and productivity may be improved by employing technical and administrative steps to remove risk factors related to the uncomfortable posture brought on by using non-ergonomic office furniture.
2. Mental Health
Employers should also consider the emotional well-being of their remote workers in addition to their physical safety. Workplace stress has been a major factor in the prevalence of mental health problems for some time, well before the advent of pandemic-induced anxiety, depression, and other such conditions. Work-life balance may improve with the advent of work-from-home settings, but remote employees are more likely to experience loneliness and isolation as a result of their circumstances. An organisation that recently did this was LinkedIn, which provided its 15,900 full-time staff with a paid week off to disconnect and refocus. Providing time for workers to talk about their well-being is just one example of a kind gesture that may go a long way toward building a safe and supportive workplace.
3. Working Environment
Last but not least, the home environment of telecommuters should be taken into account. Employers are nonetheless responsible for providing a risk-free and healthy workplace, even if all employees are working from home. As a result, it is crucial to be aware of the typical risks faced by telecommuters. Employees who work from home face unique risks to their health and safety because they lack the support of supervisors and coworkers. Home electrical plugs, for example, are more vulnerable to overloading when extension cords and higher output devices are plugged into them, in contrast to the standardised workplace environment.
Over the last several decades, businesses have invested heavily in creating workplaces that are as secure and pleasant as possible for employees. However, the dramatic change from traditional offices to remote and hybrid arrangements creates additional difficulties for worker convenience and security. If these problems aren't resolved, they may have a negative impact on morale, output, and the company's name. The health and safety consequences of remote work must be included within the EH&S leader's remit. EH&S leaders can mitigate the risks associated with working from home by taking preventative measures like providing employees with information on how to make their workspaces safe, encouraging two-way communication between supervisors and workers, and laying a solid foundation for workplace arrangements and worker health.