More than 1.7 million people already work from home on a regular basis in the UK, but millions of people are likely to be home working for the first time this week.
The TUC says it’s vital that staff:
- Have access to safe working conditions in their own home.
- Have access to relevant equipment and IT. Bosses should pay for wi-fi for workers who don’t have internet access at home.
- Have a clear understanding of what work they are expected to carry out, especially if this differs from their usual duties.
- Take regular breaks and follow their usual working hours if possible.
- Keep in contact with colleagues – by email, Skype, phone and chat for example – to avoid the mental health effects of isolation.
However, many people are simply not able to work from home, especially frontline workers in public services. The TUC is calling for their safety to be protected as much as possible.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s essential for those people who can work from home to do so during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s important to have a safe place to work and to keep in regular contact with colleagues.
“But not everyone has the option of working from home, especially those running our vital public services at this difficult time. The rest of us working from home, not making unnecessary journeys and avoiding social contact will help keep them safe.
“And no one should be left out of pocket because they can’t get into their workplace or work from home.”