One year ago, there were only 4-5 percent of employees who were working from home. Now almost half of the employees are working from home. Such is the impact of this current pandemic of COVID-19 around the globe.
Term Paper Easy experts prepared these tips for the health and safety issues that people are facing while working from home. How all the stakeholders, while working together, can resolve these issues?
Challenges of working from Home:
Both employees and employers are facing many challenges to run the business operations as they were doing before the pandemic.
Employers are facing issues in smooth business communications due to the technological barriers and limitations. Developing new ingrained systems and software to meet the required needs for virtual work is also a big challenge. It can be simple for large organizations but for small businesses it is not a cost-effective solution.
On the other hand, employees are facing challenges of their own to take care of the situation. One major challenge of working from home, people are going through, is physical and mental health. Another challenge is switching on and off for work and closing the day while being within in 20-30 feet boundary.
Role of Employer:
All of these issues are major risks for the health and safety of the employees. Taking care of these risks, the role of the employer is as important as the role of an employee.
Employers should have a detailed assessment of work from home of all the employees. This assessment should not only be mental and physical but also the settings of the environment in which an employee is performing its role.
It was tough for the employer at the start of this pandemic, as business continuity was the most important thing at that time. But now as everything has settled and work from is the new norm and may continue in the future. So employers should have policy and guideline for home workspace that is based on standard safety measures.
Making the policy is not enough but to support employees set up such workspace in his/her home for better health and safety is important.
A detailed guideline on how to maintain physical and mental health during work from home will play a critical role in creating awareness.
Role of employee:
Employee has to take his/her health and safety of the home workspace seriously, as he/she will be most affected directly in case of any mishap.
A recent study has shown that more than half of the home workers have reported an increase in physical pains. Sitting on a sofa or bed instead of an office desk is the major cause of this pain. Another reason is the posture of the home workers while sitting on a desk.
Other than physical health, home workers have to take care of their mental health. Sitting on electronic devices without proper breaks and having no one to talk around (in the office you will always find someone have little chit chat to get yourself relaxed) can increase the anxiety and stress in people.
An employee has to follow all the instructions provided by the experts and their employers to maintain their physical and mental health along with a safe workspace.
Opportunity for occupational health:
In all this scenario, there is an opportunity for occupational health to work in collaboration with employees and employers to create an awareness for a safe and healthy home workspace.
Occupational health should work with employers to design a proper workspace for each employee. Supplying that safe workspace equipment to employees is the need of the hour. But for all this to happen employers have to take a step forward in this direction.
This is not only for the safety and well-being of a homeworker but will add more value to the productivity for the employer. A healthy worker (both physically and mentally) can be more productive as compared to others.
Another important role of occupational health is to conduct virtual training sessions to create awareness.
Every stakeholder involved has to play their role positively towards the development of a safe and healthy home workspace.