Managing Home Workers

As an employer, we have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers. When one of your employees is working from home, you should consider:

  • How will you keep in touch with them?
  • What work activity will they be doing (and for how long)?
  • Can it be done safely?
  • Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?

There will always be greater risks for lone workers with no direct supervision or anyone to help them if things go wrong.

  • Keep in touch with lone workers, including those working from home, and ensure regular contact to make sure they are healthy and safe. Regularly check that your employees are ok, keeping in place lines of communication and detecting if they are becoming stressed or feeling down.
  • Give your team members as much access to you as possible - you won't be seeing them in the corridors or office, they can't stop by your office. Give them access to your diary to allow them to set appointments to 'meet' with you.
  • Consider how you can best support communication between team members.

You should encourage employees to:

  • Define work and rest time;
  • Set up a designated workspace;
  • Get dressed;
  • Write a daily to-do list;
  • Contribute regularly to team chats/group emails and encourage 'non-work' conversations;
  • Ask for support when needed.
  • Put in place an emergency point of contact, where they can get help if need be.
  • If an employee is ill, they should take time off.
  • Encourage employees to do some sort of exercise at lunch time even if it's walking round the kitchen or stretching.
  • Encourage employees to eat healthy foods; it's easy to snack on crisps and chocolate. Drink plenty of water.

Please see the Icon for pdf Top Tips for managing remote teams [1.76MB] from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) for further tips.  You may also find Chartered Management Institute Guidance on Managing Virtual Teams helpful.