Guidance on Home Working

Working from home or remotely can very challenging and isolating. Sometimes our attention wanders or we miss people. Get into a routine as a structured day can be a good way to address this.

  • Designate a place to work that is as free of distractions as you can make it. Ensure you can work safely.
  • Set a routine for working at home - it's important to get up and get started, to take regular breaks including a lunch break, and to finish working and turn off at an appropriate time.
  • No matter how tempting, avoid working in your pyjamas all day. Working from home is likely to be a big change already so try not to lose all your daily routines at once.
  • Have a proper lunch break. Stop, make something nice to eat, and eat away from your work area.  Try and get outside and get some natural light if you can do so safely, and try some exercise, again within guidelines on social contact.
  • Use your outlook schedule to clearly say to others when you are working and when you are available to speak.
  • You will start to get insights into things you can improve on in this working pattern. Soon you'll get to know when you do your best focused work, or need the most input.
  • When you are done for the day, pack away your work things or leave your work area at the end of the day.
  • Use video calling software for informal chats - Soup. Sandwich and video lunches - or virtual coffee catch-ups for example.
  • Try and keep a separation between work and personal - think for example before connecting with colleagues you wouldn't ordinarily link with on things like Facebook and respect the boundaries people have between work and home life.
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Working with display screen equipment

You need to complete your own basic assessment of their work environment when working on Display Screen Equipment (DSE) at home. The Icon for pdf Connect Health Display Screen Equpment Guidance [166.26KB] can assist with this. There are some additional simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risks from display screen work:

  • breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity. It doesn't have to be much just something that takes you away from the DSE for a short time.
  • avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
  • getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises
  • avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time
  • You should agree with your manager the equipment needed to work from home when you have completed the Icon for pdf Home Working Checklist [268.46KB].  You should discuss any issues you find with your manager.
  • You may need to request to take some additional equipment home. eg keyboards, mouse, risers. This should be discussed and agreed with your manager. You should look to create a comfortable and safe working environment (eg supporting cushions).This short video makes some useful suggestions in how you can do that

 

Connect health have also developed this short video which aims to de-bunk some health myths and provide some simple but factual information around Homeworking topics such as set up, exercise, nutrition and sleep.  There are also some exercise videos that you may find useful

  • The council can still offer Icon for pdf physiotherapy support [165.62KB] remotely during this period of social distancing.
  • The Councils Four Pillars of Wellbeing site provides a wider range of Information on workplace health and safety. This site has been created to support of the Employee Health & Wellbeing Framework developed to deliver the People Strategy. The site provides wellbeing information in one place that is easily accessible to staff and managers. 

Employees Home Schooling

If you are home-schooling or looking after children whilst trying to work, have a conversation with work about those realities. Try and set up a routine whereby you have distinct times for working and for helping with school time. Dividing your attention may leave both things suffering and being there for children offering undivided attention at these uncertain times is very important.  Taking time to speak to children about the Coronavirus might help allay their fears and help them to focus on educational activities.  The Icon for pdf Childrens Guide to Coronavirus [1.06MB] may help.

If you are working at home and undertaking child care this short video may be helpful.

There are also a number of useful sites to help you with home schooling