It has now been over a month since our world changed. The Quebec economy was suspended, employers stuck together; and with good reason. Despite their necessity, the measures adopted to combat the health crisis have disrupted the daily operations of all businesses.
In cases of force majeure, many companies have had to introduce teleworking to survive. Some of them would usually never have accepted so much flexibility.
Employers immediately wondered how to ensure their employees’ attendance and productivity, but one essential and urgent question eluded them:How to ensure the health and safety of teleworking employees?
La Law on industrial accidents and occupational diseases(LATMP) applies just as much to teleworkers: their situation does not legally differ from other employees.
The employer therefore has an obligation to ensure the health and safety of its employees, even at home. Of course, the urgency of the situation has pushed all companies to quickly improvise for the collective good. But as the crisis comes to an end, you must meet these legal obligations quickly.
Home workers can suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, social isolation, and even burnout. In fact, it is difficult to get off screens and bad postures are common at home!
Here are 8 tips to ensure the health and safety of your employees at home:
1. Create a telecommuting policyincluding a mention of health and safety, the right to disconnect and good practices (do not work on the couch, etc.)
2. Ask your employees to send you a photo of the workspaceincluding chair, desk and tools to assess the level of ergonomics
3. Send reminders on good practicesergonomics at work for your team (the CNESST provides one for free on its site)
4. Suggest your employees take breaks5 minutes or change postures every 30 minutes to replace natural breaks at the office (discussions with colleagues, short walk to the printer, etc.)
5. Stay in regular contact with your employees, survey employees on their well-being and organize weekly virtual meetings to break isolation
6. Create a virtual groupon Facebook or a Messenger conversation to revive the social aspect of work
7. Ask your employees THEIR OPINIONSabout teleworking andTHEIR SOLUTIONSpossible to the problems they face.
8. Ask for adviceto an ergonomist or an approved human resources advisor; You can also offer training with an ergonomist via video conference to your employees!
When the health crisis ends, some employees will certainly want to work from home, especially with the return of traffic! Pandora’s box is now open and we cannot go back. Indeed, our world has changed.