The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is posing unique business continuity and human resources management challenges to organisations.

Many organisations are moving rapidly to transition their workforce out of centralised offices and into home-based work.

However, it is important for all employers to understand that their WHS obligations to employees apply equally in the home-based workspace.

Some of these obligations are self-evident – such as ensuring that the worker has appropriate equipment and an ergonomically acceptable workstation setup. This can be achieved by conducting a risk assessment of the home workspace.

Other obligations may be less obvious, such as supporting the mental health of workers in isolation from their usual practices, colleagues and networks.

It is important to ensure regular communication is maintained with employees working remotely. This should include virtual team meetings as well as ad hoc contact to ensure employees are coping and check if any additional support is needed.

QRMC can assist employers to manage the mass transition of workers from office-based to home-based work arrangements by conducting virtual home office inspections and risk assessments, and developing work-from-home procedures and checklists. Some more detail is available here.

Please contact QRMC for more information.