What you are entitled to when working from home
As the COVID-19 storm rages on, it looks like we’re buckling down for at least a few more weeks of home working, maybe more.
If you’re one of the droves of professionals working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, there are certain standards that your employer needs to meet to ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable working environment.
Yes, as a home worker, there are things you are entitled to right now.
The question is—Are you getting them?
Sector, industry or role aside, your employer has a duty of care to you as a homeworker. There are minimum requirements that your boss needs to meet. And, to make sure you get what you deserve, we’re going to tell you what they are right here.
What you are entitled to as a homeworker
If you are working from home for the foreseeable future, looking after your health is essential.
Maintaining optimum levels of happiness and personal wellbeing shouldn’t be some far-flung luxury, it needs to be a priority.
Here’s what your employer should be offering to help enhance your wellbeing when you’re working from home.
Access to software & communicative tools
To ensure you can work to the best of your ability while gaining access to personal support when you need it, your employer is required to provide you with seamless access to the right digital tools.
You should be equipped with the tools to collaborate with your colleagues and talk to your boss or senior staff should you need professional, emotional or practical support. Without this level of functionality or connectivity, your productivity and wellbeing will suffer.
If you feel that you lack the appropriate applications or software to connect, collaborate, and access support, you should bring this up with your employer, immediately.
When you’re working for home, your employer should provide the office tools and equipment that will empower you to work fluidly and in a way that will benefit your health.
Poor posture and substandard office equipment are proven to hinder longterm health while degenerating levels of wellbeing while at work.
That said, you are entitled to:
- A high-quality laptop stand or standing desk.
- Up to date ergonomic hardware such as a laptop, mouse, and keyboard.
- Appropriate chairs, desks, and organisational tools, if required.
Again, if you feel that your existing equipment is detrimental to your health and wellbeing, talk to your employer and ask how they can help.
A safe & healthy working environment
By law, every employee should have access to a safe, healthy working environment. If your home working situation isn’t safe and not designed with your longterm health and wellbeing in mind, you have a right to request reasonable adjustments.
If there is an aspect of your home working environment that you believe is unsafe or causing you physical and mental distress, you should document what you feel needs to change and approach your employer.
This Citizens Information guide will help to steer you in the right direction.
The perils of poor posture & bad work habits
It’s clear that your employer should play a pivotal role in your wellbeing when working from home. And, to put this duty of care into a living, breathing perspective, here the reasons that poor posture, prolonged sitting, and bad work habits are terrible for you:
- Longevity: Studies show that by reducing excessive sitting to three hours a day, it’s possible to boost your life expectancy by two entire years. On the contrary, sitting down hunched over your desk is likely to shorten your life expectancy.
- Vitality: Completely sedentary work situations and lifestyle are known to be as detrimental to your health as smoking.
- Complications: Poor posture at work is linked to a wealth of chronic health conditions including heart disease, spinal deformations, varicose veins, anxiety, and an increased risk of a variety of cancers.
- Performance: Poor dietary choices as a result of imbalanced work schedules and bad work habits are linked to poor productivity and performance. On the flip side, a good diet and standing at your desk will optimise your abilities and flood your body with energy.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”– Lalah Delia
Essentially, fostering good habits, working with the right tools, and standing for long periods will enhance your working from home health and wellbeing, significantly.
As much as it’s down to your personal initiative and choices to ensure you stay healthy at work and increase your chances of a long, happy existence—your employer is obliged to help. So, make sure you get what you deserve.
If you’re allocated a budget for better work tools and equipment, one of our eco-friendly, ergonomic, and completely portable standing desks will help you optimise your performance while protection your health and wellbeing, not only in the short-term but long into the future.
Why stand? As humans, we are designed to stand for long periods and as such, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting is one of the best things you can do for your longterm health.
Plus, by filling your body with oxygen-rich blood, you will feel happy, energised, and ready to take charge of your workday. Essentially, it’s the smart thing to do.
If you feel like your current working from home situation is bad for you, it’s time to take charge and do something about it. Contact your employer, explain the issue (or issues), and get the tools as well as the support you deserve, now.
Even if you’re set to migrate back to the office when the time comes, you could be working from your home for some time. Even a few weeks can have a significant impact on your longevity, so don’t let your current setup slowly kill you. Once again: take action, ask your employer for help.
We hope this information helps and for more invaluable insights, check out our four essential working from home wellbeing tips.