Increasingly, employees are being encouraged or mandated to work from home in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Coronavirus poses the greatest threat to our society in recent memory and we must all do our part to slow the spread. Regardless, the disruptions that it is causing are of great consequence to all of us.
While most of us will find positives in working from the comfort of our own home, it does mean we are removed from our companies’ resources in the workplace, and mentally, this can exacerbate problems for many people.
JESI Work from Home Risk Assessments facilitate constant communication and optimise the process of regular check-ins for both employers and employees. These regular risk assessments and check-ins are key to the ongoing support of employee wellbeing. They can help mitigate some of the potential issues that have been flagged as possible concerns.
Removal from Immediate Support
Positive working environments provide employees with support networks. This might include a staff counsellor, supervisors invested in your emotional state or just your friends at work. Lacking these social resources can have a significant impact on employees’ wellbeing when they are continuing with their usual work activities remotely.
The model WHS laws require employers “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.” As indicated by SafeWork Australia, this includes employees who are working someplace other than their usual workplace – at home or elsewhere.
SafeWork Australia identifies the substantial psychosocial risks that removal from a typical environment invites. Risks of this nature can include (but are not limited to) isolation, diminished social support from colleagues and supervisors, fatigue, online harassment and domestic violence.
To mitigate the threats to mental health associated with working from home, employers are prescribed a number of recommendations, critically:
- Providing guidance on what a good workstation is.
- Maintaining daily communication with employees through phone, email, skype or another platform.
- Providing continued access to an employee assistance program and appointing a contact who employees can talk to about any concerns.
Your employees are your greatest asset – you have a responsibility, both regulatory and ethically, to care for their wellbeing. Ensure this is the case with regular check-ins and risk assessments, made easy with JESI. If you’re looking for more information to help look after your staff’s wellbeing during this difficult time, please reach out to the team at JESI.