The world of work has recently undergone dramatic and lasting changes. The option of working from home is an important consideration for businesses able to operate with employees working remotely.
The health and performance of employees can be positively affected by a shift to remote work for suitable roles. With the goal of improving employee efficiency, experience, and retention, many companies are moving to take advantage of these opportunities.
While the definition of a “workplace” evolves, what should employers be considering when arranging for employees to work from home?
- Ensure employees have the necessary equipment and software for their roles.
- Provide ergonomics training and solutions for home-based workspaces.
- Establish guidelines for collaboration, including video meeting platforms and accommodations for in-person meetings when necessary.
- Consistently update safety training and regularly review safety requirements, including when employees working from home are considered lone workers.
Did you know that across North America most current health and safety laws define working from home as working alone?
The parameters and safety regulations for lone worker employees can vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of work being performed. In Canada. For example, is the worker:
- The only employee of your business in the workplace at any time?
- Being supervised by the employer or a designated supervisor, at any time?
- Is assistance readily available to the worker in the event of an injury, ill health or an emergency?
Under most provincial regulations working from home is working alone. Employers with employees working from home should consider whether lone worker safety monitoring is required by provincial or state regulations, and ensure that the following safety concerns are addressed:
- For employees working from home, do you have a system for reporting workplace injuries?
- Is the employee the only member of your organization in their household?
- Do you have a lone worker safety check process in place? Can you generate an audit report demonstrating consistent and effective adherence to your safety check process?
There are many ways to perform safety checks, but some lone worker monitoring options are far more costly. A manual check-in process reduces the productivity of all employees involved while leaving plenty of room for human error.
Manual check-in processes can be time-consuming and inefficient. To meet regulatory audit requirements, a supervising employee must maintain a detailed log of safety checks. A forgotten phone call or an unexpected absence can easily lead to a complete breakdown of a manual safety check process. This endangers employees working alone and leaves an employer to deal with the consequences of not meeting regulatory requirements.
The most cost-effective and efficient method of handling safety checks for a remote workforce is to utilize a reliable and easy-to-use app, backed by a 24/7 emergency monitoring service.
Employees working remotely can focus on their tasks and check-in quickly when prompted by the Safe Alone app, a reminder text message, or an automatic phone call. With the flexible advantages of working from home, lone workers can pro-actively adjust their safety check frequency settings to accommodate varying workday schedules.
No one needs to remember to make a phone call or to write down the details of a safety check. The CheckMate Working Alone system automatically performs safety checks and maintains a detailed audit report of all safety check activity. If a safety check is missed or an alarm is generated, trained operators try to contact the lone worker, and an employer’s emergency protocols are followed to provide seamless safety support. A fully manual process simply can’t provide the same comprehensive security or timely emergency response.