What will the British Working from Home Future Really Look Like in 2020? #WFH
Health & Safety eLearning
What will become of your working from home scenario, and how will it play out for your work in the near future?
At the end of March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced British businesses into “having to” work from home - there was a mad-rush to hide away and make-do with whatever space was available, some of us scrabbling to learn how to work online better too - all under rushed circumstances.
And due to the rush, British businesses needed to jump into the deep-end of remote-working and understandably DSE workstation health and safety assessments took a back-seat due to the unprecedented state of emergency... 🚨
What about now, and moving into 2021?
As we move forward, it seems that working from home could be the new normal and #WFH is going to be here in the long term for a lot of us. How this impacts you will ultimately depend on whether you have the luxury of space at home and a lack of distractions!
i.e. A person living alone with a closed-off spare room might be delighted to be able to work in comfy clothes, with the dog for company too, being able to put the washing machine on when they stop for a break or pop to the favourite local café for lunch.
But, a person living in a crowded family home with only the kitchen worktop for space, or a ‘make do’ setup in the bedroom, might also be distracted by other occupants, Netflix on the TV, Apple Music streaming out loud and occasional family squabbles... 👪
How will you and your work manage this situation in the longer term, especially in regard to workstation DSE safety?
If you’re thinking “Why should the business care about WFH Display-Screen-Equipment safety?” There's a great article on the deep effects of productivity and DSE risk management on Ben Hoskins's developer blog, not to mention foreboding legal safety obligations from the HSE.
Under normal circumstances home working might have only been considered if there was a suitable workstation at home, with all the ergonomic considerations such as chair adjustability, screen height considerations etc, following a home workstation assessment by the employer.
So, at what point do we transition from “making-do with WFH due to COVID-19” to “planning real home working” and implementing real changes to unlock the power of remote working in the longer term.
It will be tempting for many businesses to look the other way, whistling a happy tune, hoping that no-one will make a fuss about the move from temporary emergency arrangements to permanent homeworking, but as we’ve seen time-and-time-again with health and safety regulation best practices - the transition will not go unnoticed for long.
Building a Better Safer Future at Work
Focus on the “Build-Back-Better” concept rather than working back towards the way things were, we can openly look forwards, planning ahead for the existing changes and changes still to come, which include home working. #BuildBackBetter
Better-by-design, before the Government and the HSE kick-in, lower your organisation's risk by getting ahead of the curve without much of a change in the short term - employees can alert their managers, and managers can train their staff to get real-world feedback about the businesses current state of their WFH DSE safety.
If you’re thinking, “Why would team leaders and managers have to think about health and safety, surely that’s the job of the health and safety person, Right?” You should take a look at our eye-opening Health & Safety Standards course or Health and Safety Management courses, as the UK law says all people managing staff have a requirement to actively understand and address health and safety matters themselves.
IBIS Training is a well-respected online health and safety training provider, around for over 15 years, and of course we think a great way to ask employees about their current workstations at home is by enrolling staff on our 20min Workstation Safety course, and getting feedback about their current WFH situations in comparison, from their own environment. This will guide you on the next steps, and our well-respected elearning fits perfectly into our post-pandemic digital world.
Whatever the future of Britain's workforce is, working from home will likely have a large part to play for many roles, even if only working remotely part-time. Digital innovations have been leaning this way for some time, and we need to adapt.
Let’s focus on keeping everyone’s back, neck and wrists up-to-scratch before the pains, claims and loss of productivity really kick in for a large workforce who already #WFH.