What has become clear to us, speaking to our clients, is that the temporary homeworking arrangements made hastily during the COVID-19 pandemic have suited many people. We have really enjoyed the opportunity to work from home, spending less time commuting and more time with our families. This new pattern of work has proved working from home (WFH) is a real possibility and suits some of us very well. However, WFH is not always a sustainable, tenable, long-term solution and that’s where hybrid working comes in.
Hybrid working brings new challenges for managers: DSE for hybrid workers, mental health support, communication and privacy issues are all hot topics. In this post, we will focus on DSE.
What Is ‘Hybrid Work’?
When people talk of hybrid working, we tend to think of it simply as an arrangement of working from home for part of the week, and at the office for the remainder. However, hybrid work can also encompass more flexibility in terms of how we work and when we work. This flexibility allows us some freedom to fit work around our personal lives and is key to its popularity.
DSE For Hybrid Workers
Investing in their workspaces is key to ensuring your employees are safe, comfortable, happy and productive at home. This is crucial for your business to operate efficiently and stay within the legal requirements for DSE regulations.
Employer Duty Of Care To a Hybrid Workforce
When people are working from home, as an employer, you are not exempt from a duty of care to ensure their health and wellbeing. Although it is a bit of a grey area, there is a legal and a moral obligation on employers to ensure the working environment is both safe and secure.
To do this effectively will most likely require a combination of providing equipment and training, risk assessment and risk management.
DSE Equipment For Hybrid Working
So far, many employees have tolerated uncomfortable or unsuitable working conditions as a temporary measure in a pandemic. Looking forward, to enable hybrid working employees to succeed, it’s paramount to ensure you provide them with items such as ergonomic furniture and suitable technology.
But we know this can take so much time, figuring out which equipment to buy, which items are necessary and which are an indulgent overspend. We can help here and, as we promise we are always impartial, we never recommend any equipment unless it is for your benefit. Find out more about our advice on setting up a home workstation here: Home Working Risk Assessment
DSE Training For Hybrid Workers
Because there are limited opportunities to oversee homeworking arrangements and control a homeworking environment, it is a good idea to empower staff to set up and assess their own workstations in line with UK DSE guidance.
Any instruction given should equip a DSE user with a basic understanding of how to adapt and assess their own workstation including:
- Setting up their DSE (desktop computers and monitors, keyboards, laptops, and mobile devices) correctly.
- How to reduce risks by postural awareness training and scheduling regular breaks.
DSE training is also useful for anyone who ‘hot-desks’. Training will give them the skills to adapt the different workstations to create a comfortable and safe place to work wherever they are. You can find out more information in our blog, workstation set-up and self assessment for hybrid workers.