Is your business currently operating remotely? How can you ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees when they’re off-premises?
As we all have come to recognise, there are many benefits of working from home, but also drawbacks and hazards that need addressing. For example, after just two weeks of lockdown, over 50% of people questioned in the ‘Institute of Employment Studies homeworking wellbeing survey’ reported the development of aches and pains that they had not experienced when working in an office environment. 58% reported neck pain, 56% shoulder pain and 55% had experienced back pain. In addition, the blue light of laptops can cause optical issues and headaches, as can poor lighting conditions.
This will be of great concern for you, as it is the employers responsibility to ensure staff are working safely under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), but how are you supposed to do this outside of the office? Fortunately, there are several things you can do, but some of the responsibility resides with your employees too.
In this article, the team at Sussex Facilities Management have compiled a few simple things that you can do to help your workforce and ensure they return to work in full health.
One of the simplest measures you can implement is requesting employees to undertake a home working risk assessment. This will help to identify any potential hazards and rectify them in the most efficient way possible. For example, declare any faulty work-related appliances or furniture that could be harmful to the wellbeing of the employee. If required, we could even carry out a PAT Test. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01444 812 171.
You can also distribute simple guideline documents to remind your employees of the importance of their wellbeing. For example, prompt them to get up and stretch every 15 to 20 minutes.
With many employees at home crouched over low coffee tables or working from kitchen stools, they will likely develop back pain or other more serious conditions if it is not dealt with. Ergonomic furniture like the following is the most effective way to tackle this.
- Ergonomic office chair: Ergonomic chairs are designed specifically to help support your spine and can help reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. They are also usually adjustable to each individual to provide the utmost comfort. Alternatively, depending on your employee’s preference, you could invest in standing chairs or kneeling chairs.
- Adjustable office desk: You may want to consider pairing the chair with an adjustable desk. Everybody is of a different build and height, some with longer torsos and some with shorter torsos. Adjustable desks can be tailored to each individual, for maximum comfort.
However, we understand that this could be quite an investment for your workforce, particularly for a medium to large business, so you want to make sure it is money well spent. This study found that those provided with an ergonomic chair developed fewer aches and pains and, consequently, an increase in productivity of over 17%!
If you would like help sourcing high-quality, ergonomic office furniture, contact us today.
Smaller office equipment can also cause significant aches and pains!
Keyboards: Standard keyboards that sit at an angle can often cause wrist and hand strain, sometimes leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or repetitive strain injuries. An ergonomic keyboard and computer mouse can reduce strain, increase comfort and help boost the productivity of your workforce.
Lighting: At Sussex Facilities Management, we would recommend working under a soft light desk lamp to improve optic health and distributing blue light glasses to those suffering from headaches from screen glare. These can be sourced for a relatively low cost as well.
If you find that your workforce is suffering from aches and pains and you’d like assistance in rectifying this, contact us today. You can speak to a member of our friendly team by calling 01444 812 171 or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org