Whilst some Employees and the vast majority of Self Employed persons have always worked remotely, the Pandemic has changed the workplace completely in that so many more people are working remotely.
Working Remotely can be defined as working away from a Head office or a designated location where supervision and communication with a Manager is continuous.
“Work from home where possible” is still the advice given by the Government. The country is slowly opening up more with the reopening of Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauty Salons and allowing house buyers to view the property they are buying. However, until our vaccine rollout reaches all age groups, employers are encouraged to continue to operate the remote working strategy.
Working remotely changes the workplace hazards, the hazards still exist but the environment has changed. In some instances, the Employee is now working from their kitchen table rather than a workstation that has been ergonomically assessed and set up. In person meetings and daily exchanges are no longer happening, this can impact on communication and the ability to dully open up about any concerns that the employee may have. Isolation from work colleagues can result in diminished support in the workplace. The work day may become extended, employees may feel that they have to read and answer emails and/or phone calls long after the official work day has finished. These all have implications on the safety, health and welfare of the employees and the Company Safety Statement needs to be reviewed in light of these changes.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has issued guidance on working remotely and full details can be found at this link https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Remote-Working/Guidance-for-working-remotely.html
If you would like some assistance on implementing this guidance, please contact us today.