Considering the Safety and Health of Home and Hybrid worker

Home and Hybrid workers – Health and Safety Guide

You’re a home worker if you permanently work from your home or split your working time between the workplace and home (sometimes called hybrid working). Ensuring workplace health and safety remains essential even when your employees work from home. Our  health and safety guide is designed to support the success of hybrid work setups, emphasising the importance of maintaining health and safety standards for remote and in-office work.

What the employer must do

Unsurprisingly, if you think about it, the employer has the same health and safety responsibilities for you whether you are working at home or in a workplace (Duties under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work At 1971), this applies to those who:

  • work at home long term
  • routinely split their time between their workplace and home (sometimes called hybrid working)

Most of the time, risks to home workers will be low and the actions you should take to protect them will be straightforward.

Things you should consider as part of your risk assessment for home workers include:

  • stress and poor mental health
  • using equipment like computers and laptops safely
  • their working environment

You should talk to your workers about their arrangements, as working from home may not be suitable for everyone. For example, some people may not have an appropriate place to work or may prefer to come into the workplace for wellbeing, mental health or other reasons.

What the workers must do

Like any worker, you must take care of your own health and safety and that of others who may be harmed by your actions while you are working (Duties under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work At 1971).

  • You must cooperate with your employers and other workers to help everyone meet their duties under the law.

Home workers: stress and mental health

There are some things you can do to help prevent stress and look after your mental health when working from home.

  • Stay in regular contact with your manager and colleagues
  • Talk to your manager about workloads and be open about how you’re feeling
  • Take regular breaks during the day and use your annual leave
  • Set and stick to a routine – don’t revisit your computer outside your regular hours
  • Check your employer’s ‘working from home’ policies and how to get help if you need it

If you think your work is affecting your mental health or wellbeing, you could also contact your doctor, or your employee assistance provider or occupational health provider if you have one.

Working on a computer – DSE Assessments, etc.

You should take simple steps to protect your health when working on a computer. The HSE have a simple video and practical tips on good posture. Try to find a suitable area to work in, avoiding uncomfortable positions and making sure you move around regularly. If your workstation assessment (DSE Assessment) shows you need extra DSE equipment, your employer cannot charge you for this.

Home Workers – the work environment

Wherever you work in your home, there are some things you can do to keep yourself healthy and safe:

  • arrange equipment and furniture to avoid trailing leads and cables
  • check that your plugs, leads, wires and cables are in good condition
  • keep your work area tidy and free from obstructions that could cause slips or trips
  • check you have adequate lighting in your work area to avoid eyestrain