Working From Home – is it as simple as taking your laptop home?
As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown periods in New Zealand, many employers are now considering the benefits of employees working from home, either on set days, for a fixed term or permanently.
Working from home can be a positive experience for employers and employees. Benefits can include:
- A better work life balance for the worker
- Improved productivity as there can be less distractions
- Increased job satisfaction
However working from home doesn’t suit every employee. Drawbacks to consider:
- Employees feeling disconnected and lonely
- Reduced access to technology
- More distracting for some workers dependent on their circumstances
- Blurred boundaries between work and home
- Financial costs for employees
There are many factors to consider before allowing an employee to work from home. Employers need to ensure that all human resources and health and safety legal requirements are complied with and that internal company policies are established, communicated and adhered to.
It is important that employers consider:
- Is a new employment agreement required? Such as a variation to the existing IEA to include “Working from Home” clauses. These clauses may outline: days and hours worked from home, trialing the arrangement for a period of time and/or end dates of the arrangement, asset supply and management, IT requirements and support, security of assets and online information, health and safety requirements, reimbursements, who their contact person is.
- What are the health and safety implications? Does the employee have adequate equipment or a workstation to set themselves up safely at home for this new arrangement?
- How will the employer receive confirmation that set up requirements have been met, especially from a health and safety workstation ergonomics perspective?
- How will communication be maintained between the employee and the employer? How will you reduce the risk of employers feeling disconnected or isolated?
- How will the worker have access to work information, for example policies, procedures and forms?
HR Connect can:
- Develop working from home clauses for your IEA or a suitable variation letter
- Develop a Working from Home Policy (from both an HR or and H&S perspective)
- Develop a Workstation/Home Office Health and Safety Checklist for employees to complete prior to commencing work from home.
- Carry out ergonomic workstation assessments for employees at home or the office
Contact us on 0800 131 557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org