With remote working on the rise, it’s important to understand how you can care for your team when they’re using Display Screen Equipment (DSE) at home. As an employer, you have DSE safety obligations toward your employees. And this doesn’t change when they’re working from home.
Why not take a look at our article on Working From Home & DSE Risks for more details on why health and safety at home are just as important as in the office.
Here are our top tips to better support your remote workers to maintain a healthy home and work life while using DSE on a regular basis.
It’s a good idea to schedule weekly or fortnightly catch-up sessions with your remote employees. This gives them a chance to share any issues and you the opportunity to ask them any specific questions regarding workload or general well-being.
Get regular meetings set in the diary, otherwise, it’s easy to forget and let other things take priority.
When employees work remotely, they often don’t have the same access to typical office equipment like monitors, adjustable desks, or ergonomic chairs. Ask your employees if they have the equipment they need to work safely and comfortably at home. If not, order anything they need through the company.
It’s also your responsibility to arrange a homeworking DSE assessment to ensure their remote workstations are compliant.
This leads us to our next point — the “right” equipment is never just their laptop and their sofa as their desk and chair. It’s impossible to maintain a good posture whilst working precariously without well-designed office equipment.
If your remote employee maintains that they don’t like working with a monitor and adjustable desk and chair, talk to them about their DSE risks and the learning we have taken from the pandemic.
A significant part of reducing your risk of developing health issues from DSE use is having a good work/life balance. Sitting down and using screens without breaks or beyond their contracted hours is a recipe for eye, neck tension, and back pain and work fatigue.
Show that you appreciate their hard work but don’t want overtime to cause them physical, emotional, or mental strain. You could also look at offering mediation or mindfulness resources (there are lots of excellent apps available) to help them switch off fully.
Key to maintaining a healthy work/life balance is taking lots of breaks. When using DSE, it’s good to have a screen break every 30 minutes, even if it’s just for a few minutes to walk around and stretch.
Encourage your employees to take their lunch breaks, exercise during the day, and watch their overtime hours if they are already working with screens full-time.
As an employer, you have an obligation to ensure your home working set-ups are DSE compliant. Chat to your remote workers about organising homeworker DSE assessments. These could take the form of online self-assessments or virtual workstation assessments, as well as in-person assessments.
Unsure what we’re talking about? See our article What Is A DSE Assessment?
DSE can have an impact on mental as well as physical health. When you’re working remotely, it’s easy to feel distant from the rest of the team. Plus, not talking to other people in person can take a toll on motivation.
Providing social opportunities is a great way to make your remote employees feel more supported and connected.
Encourage your employees to visit the office in person from time to time, perhaps for occasions like summer or Christmas parties. You could also arrange online hangouts that are more for socialising than work. Hosting virtual nutrition or mindfulness workshops is also a great way to reduce stress levels and learn as a team.
Everyone reacts well to positive feedback and encouragement! It’s easy to make the odd comment of thanks to employees in a physical workplace. Make sure your remote workers aren’t missing out on nods of appreciation!
If you’re looking to arrange thorough and professional DSE assessments for your workforce, get in touch with us at Workhappy. As the UK’s no.1 DSE assessment provider, we only use qualified DSE assessors and can organise in-person and remote workstation assessments. See our FAQs or learn more about us.