As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers. You’ll return feeling refreshed and more productive for the rest of the day.”. Don’t forget that you are there to work - so set yourself up the right way, get dressed and brush your teeth at the start of the day rather than sitting in your pyjamas for eight hours. Don’t fall into the trap of being over-ambitious,” says Eyre-White. This practical workstation checklist may help them. How to stay focused when working from home. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. We asked Karen Eyre-White, a productivity coach and founder of GoDo business organisation, for her advice on making the most of home working. Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available. Employers and employees should be practical, flexible and sensitive to each other's situation when working from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Can face masks really protect you against coronavirus or flu? WORKERS with underlying health issues might be wondering if they can ask to work from home as coronavirus continues to spread. BORIS JOHNSON held a press conference on Thursday to deliver the latest public health advice on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK… Disciplinary and grievance procedures. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. For the latest government guidance: in England, see national lockdown advice on going to work on GOV.UK; in Scotland, see Scottish Government advice on working from home But Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said coronavirus will have a long-lasting effect on how people in the UK work, with a step change in the proportion of people working from home on a … Working from home has become widespread since restrictions to control Covid-19 were introduced in the UK. “When we’re in the office our day is normally broken up with meetings. “There are a lot of potential distractions when we work from home,” says Eyre-White. In order to be productive she recommends imposing structure on yourself. As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers. Beta This is a new way of showing guidance - your feedback will help us improve it. No problem! If your people are working from home you should: provide the equipment they need, for example a computer, phone and videoconferencing facilities; keep in regular contact with them, making sure you discuss their wellbeing; How to protect home workers You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. This has meant a major shift for individuals and organisations. This can affect stress levels and mental health. Are you prepared to work from home? Coronavirus: Coping with the challenges of working from home. A supermarket closed in Codogno, one the northern Italian towns placed under lockdown, on February 23, 2020. A new report commissioned by the business division of mobile operator O2, which is based on two recent surveys of UK workers, has found that 45% of respondents predict a permanent change in their employers’ approach to flexible working when the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) lockdown lifts.. Working from home UK: Should I be working from home? This article investigates to what extent different people within the labour market work from home, either on a regular or occasional basis. Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk) Coronavirus has meant loads of people are now working from home … An empty road at the entrance of the small Italian town of Codogno on February 23, 2020. On 22 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that, in a bid to slow the second wave of the coronavirus, any workers who can work from home should do so – for another six months. This guidance is intended to support employers and the self-employed to continue to facilitate working from home in line with the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s Strategic Framework. This includes them doing workstation assessments at home. However, many others are continuing to work from home, attempting to keep their motivation levels as high as possible as they navigate working in a domestic environment. One of the biggest perks about working from home - slowly moving from bed to the sofa five minutes before you start - can also be your biggest challenge, says Eyre-White. Tips on happier ways to work from home in the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. From attending work conferences in your PJs to ordering Nando's on Deliveroo for lunch, working from home does have its perks. Employers should try to meet those needs where possible. Working from home two days a week is the most popular option, but one in 12 people are planning to ask their employer if they can work from home permanently, its report indicated. From 6 January, a national lockdown applies in all of England. Overview of homeworking. “Just because you’re feeling comfy at home, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a proper break,” says Eyre-White. Working from home shouldn't mean that you don't socialise with anyone. For those people who are working at home on a long-term basis, the risks associated with using display screen equipment (DSE) must be controlled. Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise signs of stress as early as possible. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? On 4 January 2021 national lockdowns were announced for England and Scotland. Empty streets in Daegu, South Korea, on 23 February 2020. This comes after MPs had been encouraging workers to return to the office, as long as social distancing measures had been put in place. Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them? The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Empty streets in Daegu, South Korea, on 23 February, 2020. Two different vaccines have been approved for use in the UK so far. Research has shown that having a diagnosis of high blood pressure is associated with increased death rates in … Read our full mailing list consent terms here. “ In contrast, a day at home can be very unstructured.”. It can be difficult to tear yourself away from your laptop if you’re worried people might think you’re slacking off, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks. What work activity will they be doing (and for how long)? Instead, she recommends being realistic and then possibly achieving more than you set out to; and feeling satisfied, rather than feeling disappointed you didn’t do everything. The government has been working with industry and partners to monitor the impact of coronavirus on the UK supply chain of medicines and technology and put in place measures to protect UK patients. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. A view of a deserted street in Codogno, northern Italy, on February 23, 2020. For those who might find themselves at home for an extended period of time, what is the best way to maximise productivity, maintain good physical and mental health, and not spend all day in your pyjamas when working from home? As lockdown restrictions have varied, some workers have begun returning to their offices, at the discretion of their employers. The prime minister will update MPs and … Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Thousands of people are likely to be working from home for the first time this week due to the coronavirus outbreak. Our research found that 60% of the UK’s adult population are currently working from home during the Coronavirus lockdown. This results in 23.9 million Brits working from home are saving around £1.1 billion each week between them. Home working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health. Working from home. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. It’s fair to say there have been a lot of twists and turns since then, and a lot of emotional pressures. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and wellbeing. Although this can be frustrating, they divide the day up and create natural chunks of time,” explains Eyre-White. This page has been updated to take account of working arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. “If you really struggle to apply yourself when you’re on your own, try virtual ‘body doubling’ - connect with a colleague via a Skype video call but both work ‘live' on your own project rather than chatting,” she says. For some equipment (eg keyboards, mouse, riser) this could mean allowing workers to take this equipment home. Coronavirus: 'Work from home if you can' and 10pm nightlife ban as government tries to tackle virus surge. For others, it's just like any other week. This includes banning companies from buying medicines like insulin that are meant for UK patients and selling on for a higher price in another country. This also includes making sure you make time to make proper meals and drink water regularly, rather than snacking continuously throughout the day and then crashing in a sugar slump at 3pm. 2. A view of the empty entrance to the Università Cattolica (Catholic University) in Milan, northern Italy, on 24 February, 2020. HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It is also important to have an emergency point of contact and to share this so people know how to get help if they need it. Working from home during coronavirus. When we originally published this toolkit, the first paragraph mentioned being past the peak of infection and looking ahead to coming out of lockdown in the near future. 145 things on the to do list? And we've just discovered another one. However individuals who have to self-isolate for 14 days when returning to the UK from some countries abroad (continually under review by the UK government ) are not eligible for statutory sick pay if they do not need to self-isolate for any other reason. This document details practical steps and considerations for employers and employees which will allow them to create healthy, sustainable homeworking conditions using the SHARE approach. “Maybe it’s walking round the block, making a special kind of tea, or lighting a candle at your desk. The Government has said everyone in the UK should avoid "non-essential" travel and contact with others to help curb the spread of coronavirus as patients continue to multiply in the UK. UNISON is working proactively with the UK governments and other bodies to keep you safe at work. If you are self-isolating but cannot do your work at home, then, by law you should at least receive statutory sick pay. “If you’re the kind of person who'll miss your colleagues when you work from home, build opportunities for socialising in to your day,” says Eyre-White, who recommends trying to call colleagues rather than always email or Slack messaging. “So proactively manage things which might interrupt your focus.”, She explains: “Keep them limited to short breaks in between chunks of focused work. A lone cyclist wearing sanitary masks pedals in the center of Codogno, Northern Italy. “A wide, open day working from home can feel full of possibilities. A man wearing a face mask crosses a road in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak. For example, you should ensure that housemates or family members do not take photographs or make social media posts which could compromise client confidentiality by including, for example, file names containing clients’ personal data or documents. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Keep in touch with lone workers, including those working from home, and ensure regular contact to make sure they are healthy and safe. The health and safety toolbox: How to control risks at work, Deciding who will help you with your duties, Reporting accidents, incidents and diseases, How to carry out a COSHH risk assessment, Simple checks to control dust and mist. For other larger items (eg ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks) encourage workers to try other ways of creating a comfortable working environment (eg supporting cushions). However, employers should provide workers with advice on completing their own basic assessment at home. In the office your day is broken up by everything from meetings to water-cooler chats, lunch breaks and even toilet breaks, but when you are sat at home on your own with no face-to-face interaction planned it can be easy to just work for long, unbroken periods. “We all slow down in the mid-afternoon and having a lot of your list under your belt will give you the momentum to power through,” she recommends. Of those who did some work from home, 86.0% did so as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Being in an office gives us a limited number of ways to get distracted but when you start working in a new environment (especially a very familiar one) it can be easy to let yourself get distracted. 'We need people to start working from home where they possibly can,' declared Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread throughout the UK… According to Money Saving Expert and all-round financial guru, Martin Lewis, anyone who has worked from home since April 6 2020 - even for just one day - can claim tax relief for the entire year – worth £60 or £125. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Advice on time off during coronavirus, using and carrying over holiday, and returning to the UK. Italian police officers set a road block in Codogno, Northern Italy, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. When someone is working from home, permanently or temporarily, as an employer you should consider: There will always be greater risks for lone workers with no direct supervision or anyone to help them if things go wrong. If contact is poor, workers may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. Millions of workers have found themselves facing the prospect of having to work from home for long periods of time due to the coronavirus pandemic. If working from home is our post-coronavirus future, let’s not forget its complex past. Coronavirus (COVID-19): update This page has been updated to take account of working arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A lone sanitation worker sits near the closed Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on February 24, 2020. “Switch from home to work mode,” she says, by having something you physically do to “flip the switch”. “This can be an effective way to break the day up and maintain your concentration levels,” she says. Growing number of Britons working from home, says ONS This article is more than 6 months old Many businesses reluctant to reopen during coronavirus pandemic, data suggests With the current outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), most people are expected to work from home where possible. There are some simple steps people can take to reduce the risks from display screen work: The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors has published infographics to help people working at home. A change of scene is all we need to give our brain a break, and it’s the perfect time to put a load of washing on or empty the dishwasher.”. There is no increased risk from DSE work for those working at home temporarily. For example, working in 45-60 minute chunks of focused work followed by a short break. Related As any period of temporary home working extends, employers should have regular discussions with workers to assess whether additional steps are needed, for example where they report: Where employers decide to make working from home arrangements permanent, they should explain how to carry out full workstation assessments and provide workers with appropriate equipment and advice on control measures. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. She suggests choosing three to five things to do and aim to get the majority done before lunch. On average, each of these workers will save £44.78 a week by cutting out things like commuting and buying lunch out. Will young workers be the victims of the decline of the office? Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. At the start of the first lockdown, only key workers were expected to leave their homes to go to work, with the government advising everyone else to only leave their households to buy food, medicine or to do one daily form of exercise. The guidance can be applied across any sector where working from home is a feasible option for both workers and businesses. Talking with your workers about working safely during the coronavirus pandemic. breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity, avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position, getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises, avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time, aches, pains or discomfort related to their temporary DSE arrangements, adverse effects of working in isolation, on remote IT systems, working longer hours without adequate rest and recovery breaks. Distinguishing between work and home mode is essential, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Working from home as most of us are, the challenges around privilege and confidentiality are different to those in the office. Britons will be told to ‘work from home if you can’ as one of a package of new measures to fight the second wave of coronavirus. Boris Johnson says everyone should work from home where possible, We asked Karen Eyre-White, a productivity coach and founder of, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Coronavirus: Streets around world left empty, How to be productive when working from home. It's also a good idea to wash your hands frequently and wear a face covering. Millions of workers have found themselves facing the prospect of having to work from home for long periods of time due to the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn’t matter what it is but do it without fail to create a strong association in your mind,” she says. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? everyone who can work from home must do so; if you cannot work from home, plan your journey to avoid crowds So in that situation employers do not need to ask them to carry out home workstation assessments. 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