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Working from Home Guide

Updated on February 13, 2012

Working from Home Guide Intro

Working from home can provide an array of benefits to an employee. However there are a few things to know about it before jumping in.

Below, we have listed a few things to look out for with links to relevant information.

Working from Home - Health & Safety

Employee health and safety is just as important whether you work in the office or at home as a home worker. Anybody working from home should carry out a risk assessment which considers the how the health and safety of you the worker and other members of your household may be affected.

Rules on the use of work equipment, computers and furniture along with taking regular breaks must be adhered to, just as if you worked in an office. Regular checks should also be made on any equipment that you use and also the electrics in your house to ensure that they are safe to use.

Most companies who offer home working will ensure that these health and safety issues are dealt with but if they don't, you may need to remind them.

For more information about health and safety for home workers you can download a leaflet produced by the Health & Safety executive.

Work Equipment and Workstation Setup

It's important to make sure that your work equipment is safe and that other members of your household, especially small children, can't be harmed by it.

Electrical safety is extremely important and you should beware of overloading socket points.

The equipment you use must be fit for the job and checked regularly. You also need to protect your work from other occupants of your home.

There are many things to consider when setting up your work area, such as:

  • equipment must meet basic standards and be properly set up
  • chairs should be adjustable to suit any user
  • computer equipment should be safe and not affect the user's health
  • computer screens (VDUs) should be free from glare and reflections
  • workstations must be adjusted to a comfortable position, with the keyboard in the correct position
  • you must take regular breaks from screen work

General Tips for your Home Office

If possible, try to allocate a room for your office. This way you will be able to work away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your house. You can even fit a lock to the door so that when you are not working you can lock away your office.

Always make sure that you plan the layout of your office correctly including measuring and re measuring the room to make sure that the furniture will fit.

Try to use furniture that is fit for purpose and buy this from a reputable supplier, preferably one who will deliver and install the equipment.

If your work involves using a computer, make sure that you have completed a work station risk assessment (see Health & Safety section for details).

You will need to check to see if by using your home as an office you may be liable for business rates. 

Check with your employer as to whether they have insurance cover in place for working at home, you may also need to check with your own insurer to ensure that you have appropriate cover.  


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    • coffeeconnoisseur profile image

      coffeeconnoisseur 9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Great information for those who spend a great deal of time on the computer... even if they aren't working from home!