Call for employers to do more to safeguard the health of their employees

employeesIn April 2020, 47 percent of UK employees worked from home and for many, they still haven’t returned to the office. The events of 2020 have been unprecedented, as rules and advice from the government have changed at rapid rates in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. But one thing that remained relatively consistent is the encouragement for those who can, to work from home.

However, amidst the chaos of employers transitioning their operations to home working, they are failing in their duty of care for home workers, claims new research commissioned by workspace solution provider Fellowes. Current legislation around home working is outdated and lacks clarity – as it is only a legal requirement for employers to provide workstation risk assessments if employees are ‘permanent’ home workers.

New research, claims 45 percent of workers who have worked from home during the pandemic have never completed a home workstation risk assessment, putting their physical and mental health at risk.

Half (49 percent) work from an improper workstation when working from home, with 10 percent admitting to working from their sofa, 5 percent from their bed and 3 percent even working on the floor, as experts warn the long-term implications of this is huge on our bodies.

Not only are employers failing to check the suitability of their employee’s home workstations, but they are also neglecting to contribute to them too. Workers are spending on average £1,300 on equipment needed to do their jobs from home.

Mental wellbeing is also taking a huge toll with over a third (35 percent) feeling stressed or anxious. More worryingly, a further 32 percent admit working from home makes them feel lonely and isolated.

Image by Rajesh Balouria