If you’re one of the millions working from home for the first time this week, our new guidance for homeworking should help.
On Monday the Prime Minister asked everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.
For lots of workers all around the country that now means working at home for the foreseeable future.
TUC research has found that 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 and it may feel a bit strange.
That’s why the TUC has today published new guidance for homeworking. We think it’s essential that staff:
1. Stay safe
If you’re now working at home you need to have access to safe working conditions. If you’re working on a computer think about your desk set up and posture. Try and set up somewhere quiet with plenty of natural light.
2. Have the right equipment
You’ll also need to have access to all the relevant equipment and IT software you would normally use in your day-to-day working life.
If you need access to a programme you don’t have available at home, then talk to your manager. Bosses should pay for wi-fi for workers who don’t have internet access at home and need it to do their jobs.
3. Know what is expected
If you’re now working remotely – perhaps unexpectedly and at short notice – you’ll need a clear understanding of what work you are expected to carry out, especially if this differs from your usual kind of duties.
4. Work regular hours
It can be hard to stick to set hours when working from home. And while we don’t know how long these new working arrangements will continue, it’s key to set good habits at the outset.
It’s important to take regular breaks and get up and move around when you can. Follow your usual working patterns where possible.
5. Keep in touch
Working at home for long periods of time can become lonely. It’s important to stay in touch with colleagues to avoid the mental health effects of isolation.
There are lots of different ways you can do this. You may want to think about setting up regular Skype video calls with colleagues. Or you can use email, phone and chat groups like WhatsApp, for example.
Advice agency ACAS have published some information on how best to work at home for both bosses and employees which is worth a look.