Recommendations for the employers
- Allow workers to temporarily take home the equipment they use at work: such as a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, chair, footrest or lamp. You should keep a record of these items to avoid confusion when office-based work is resumed.
- Remote workers should be given guidance on how to prepare a workplace at home to ensure it is ergonomically sound.
- Staff should be encouraged to take regular breaks (every 30 minutes) to get up from their desks, move around and stretch.
- Remote workers should be trained and supported in the use of computer hardware and software. Tele- and videoconferencing tools for example, may be essential for home-working but can be problematic for employees not accustomed to using them.
- Good communication must be ensured at all levels, from strategic information provided by management to the responsibilities of department leads. Remember the importance of routine social interaction between colleagues. While the former can be incorporated into scheduled online meetings, the latter can be implemented through online chats or "virtual coffee break" meetings.
- The risk of workers feeling isolated and under pressure must not be underestimated. This can lead to mental health problems if not supported. Effective communication and support from the management and the ability to maintain informal contact with colleagues are important.
- Please note that an employee may have a partner who also works remotely or children who need care because they do not attend school or attend online lessons. Others may be caring for the elderly or chronically ill and those who are in isolation or quarantine. In these circumstances, management should be flexible about staff working hours and performance.
The EMPOWER project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 848180