The Health in Health and Safety Teleworking? A solution or Problem

The global economy, every changing commercial environment and increased emphasis on profits have led to employers offering a variety of flexible working practices.

One of these teleworking (TW) is becoming more common as organisations attempt to improve efficiency and profits by reducing overheads on office accommodation for employees. The “nomadic worker travels to where the work is, free from the requirements to be based in a central workplace”.

Teleworking is where people work at home or in a general location away from the workplace using telephones, computers and information technology.

For businesses they may see this as the future, with the perception of deduced over heads, savings in office costs, less absenteeism, attract people who may not be able to work a traditional 9-5 working day or those who could not easily travel i.e. those with certain disabilities. Wearing our environmental head it could mean less congestion and pollution from commuting to and from the office.

However for every positive if not considered carefully teleworking can cause as many problems as solutions.

TW may generate feelings of insecurity and stress as a result of isolation or conflicting demands for employees, the traditional lines between home and work are blurred. A poorly set up work station in a spare bedroom or worse still on the kitchen table may lead to neck and upper limb pains and eye strain.

Much TW is done in a home not designed for TW, work, storage, work stations or lack of equipment can be problems.

Not having others to bounce ideas off can be a problem as the worker if not managed well may feel lacking in support which in turn could effect their effectiveness and health.

If introduced with management commitment and support this can be an effective working method allowing women in particular a better life balance, they may be able to work their day around children and their partner’s work. There is an increased flexibility with less time wasted in travel.

But a note of caution before we all leap in to work at home the individual needs to be self motivated, able to manage themselves and their work. There are some people who personality and characteristics makes them un suitable, some people can work alone and never be lonely but there are some who feel alone even in a crowded room if they are not the centre of attention.

Managers too need to learn new skills to ensure that they support and manager employees effectively even if they can not seen them from their office.

Many teleworking state that they work longer hours when they telework but accept this as the increased flexibility still enables a better work balance.

 

The global economy, every changing commercial environment and increased emphasis on profits have led to employers offering a variety of flexible working practices.

One of these teleworking (TW) is becoming more common as organisations attempt to improve efficiency and profits by reducing overheads on office accommodation for employees. The “nomadic worker travels to where the work is, free from the requirements to be based in a central workplace”.

Teleworking is where people work at home or in a general location away from the workplace using telephones, computers and information technology.

For businesses they may see this as the future, with the perception of deduced over heads, savings in office costs, less absenteeism, attract people who may not be able to work a traditional 9-5 working day or those who could not easily travel i.e. those with certain disabilities. Wearing our environmental head it could mean less congestion and pollution from commuting to and from the office.

However for every positive if not considered carefully teleworking can cause as many problems as solutions.

TW may generate feelings of insecurity and stress as a result of isolation or conflicting demands for employees, the traditional lines between home and work are blurred. A poorly set up work station in a spare bedroom or worse still on the kitchen table may lead to neck and upper limb pains and eye strain.

Much TW is done in a home not designed for TW, work, storage, work stations or lack of equipment can be problems.

Not having others to bounce ideas off can be a problem as the worker if not managed well may feel lacking in support which in turn could effect their effectiveness and health.

If introduced with management commitment and support this can be an effective working method allowing women in particular a better life balance, they may be able to work their day around children and their partner’s work. There is an increased flexibility with less time wasted in travel.

But a note of caution before we all leap in to work at home the individual needs to be self motivated, able to manage themselves and their work. There are some people who personality and characteristics makes them un suitable, some people can work alone and never be lonely but there are some who feel alone even in a crowded room if they are not the centre of attention.

Managers too need to learn new skills to ensure that they support and manager employees effectively even if they can not seen them from their office.

Many teleworking state that they work longer hours when they telework but accept this as the increased flexibility still enables a better work balance.

teleworking