Are employers taking proper care of their remote workers?

Home working was on the rise even before Covid-19 struck, and has increased well over 150% since 2005. But in the last few months, it has soared.

Employers are responsible for their staff members’ wellbeing in the same way as if they were in an office, even if they are actually elsewhere. And nearly three quarters (74%) of companies plan to move more workers to remote working post-lockdown (Gartner, April 2020). Now Remote Reach has launched home wellbeing assessments for staff who work remotely.

James VanDyke, director of the London based organisation, said: “As the workforce continues to shift to flexible home working, we are delighted to be offering this service for businesses that are progressively promoting the wellbeing of their people.”

The assessments come in three parts: a DSE (Display Screen Equipment or ergonomic risk assessment), an electronic PAT test and a mental health wellbeing assessment.

The latter is rooted in the Thriving at Work report of October 2017, which set a framework for employers to follow to support the mental health of their organisation. Meanwhile, PAT testing consists of routine safety checks for electrical appliances a worker is using, and DSE home worker tests ensure those working remotely on computers are doing so safely.

VanDyke added: “We feel that organisations are not prepared, or fully aware of the need to be compliant in these areas. Home workers still present a risk to employers, even if they’re not physically present in a workplace. Employers should be asking themselves whether they are taking good enough care of those who are remote working.

“In short, we assess the physical health and environment and the mental wellbeing of the home worker to reassure both them and their employer that all is well. We believe that, as well as being the right thing to do, it’s good business practice and boosts employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.”

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