As we tentatively take our first steps outside in a post-pandemic world and it’s probably no longer acceptable to open the sauvignon blanc on a Monday lunchtime, our thoughts are turning to what
life will be like in the coming months.
Will life really ever go back to how it was before? Should it? Can we learn from a slower pace of life? Can we do anything differently?
Whilst the answers to these questions remain unknown, what is glaringly apparent is that the economy needs a kickstart. This means that many of us are facing the reality of getting back to work as some furlough schemes are lifted and businesses start to reopen.
As it stands, the advice is still to work from home if you can. So up and down the country, tens of thousands of extra workers have been working from home, joining the 1.7 million who already report “mainly working from home”1.
Some of these employees that are new to working from home might already have a home office set up. But for many others, working from home means sitting at a kitchen table shared with kids doing their homework or worse, being perched on the sofa with a laptop. And for eight hours a day, this is bad news for the posture of the country.
In the UK, back pain is the largest single cause of disability, with, “lower back pain alone responsible for 11% of the total disability of the UK population”2. Poor posture, caused by poor workstations involving display screen equipment, is a major cause of back pain, along with being in one position for a long time3. Problems with the neck and wrists are also commonly caused by poor workplace posture.
At the moment, the risks are greater – for example, whilst a rigid backed, upright dining chair might look great and be perfect for an hour or two at the dinner table, it’s not going to provide proper lumbar support as a ‘desk chair’ for the long working week.
Which is why proper, robust workstation assessments are so crucial. Now, more than ever, with employees working outside of what may be the usual confines of an office environment, protecting them is paramount.
But how do you perform a workplace assessment at an employee’s home, when we’re all socially distancing? At Virtual DSE, we specialise in DSE appropriate, virtual workstation assessments over the telephone or video link. We can help direct you and your employees to developing a home workstation that’s comfortable, safe and compliant.
Now is a time when productivity, moral and dedication can slip, with anxieties, worries and fears over the unknown taking up the mind space of so many. Making employees feel looked after, when a lack of engagement during remote working can make them feel forgotten, can help to boost business.
Allowing employees to work comfortably and free from injury risk at home also means that you as an employer can take longer to prepare your offices and other working environments and put precautions in place to make them ‘Covid secure’ for the eventual return of staff.
Ensuring safe home workstations and extending the transition period for employees working from home to returning to the workplace has multiple benefits. It means that business can continue, staff wellbeing and moral is maintained and those that are present in the workplace in fewer numbers are kept as safe as possible. Plus, there’s less pressure on transport systems allowing those who do need it, to travel at a safe distance from other passengers.
Get in touch today to see how we can help you and your employees working from home.
2 NHS England https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/charles-greenough/