All employers have a legal duty to take care of their employees during their working hours. While the notion of duty of care is usually directed towards workplaces, the same constraint applies to employers towards their remote workers, who have agreed to a remote workforce management or flexible work arrangement. (see our article on the importance of onboarding for remote workforce to ensure the agreement is structured properly)
Challenges to Delivering Duty of Care to your remote workforce
In a way, a new generation of workers has suddenly been thrust into an unfamiliar situation when working from home that has suddenly become the norm.
This new situation creates many challenges for all prior investments made on building safe and efficient workplaces. Now health and safety suddenly needs to be reviewed and applied to these new environments. Activities considered as a given, such as socialising in the office and face-to-face meetings, have disappeared. Workplace environment has become more difficult to control and manage but the distance has also put more pressure on employees, limiting the number and opportunities of interactions with their direct management, colleagues and HR department. Those creating new challenges for employers.
The challenge for employers to deliver their duty of care to remote workers has definitely increased with distancing. Employees in an office can be physically monitored, but it would be impractical and / or counterproductive for employers to inspect employees’ homes and ensure good operational conditions are maintained. If they could work, initially, the effort involved will make them impractical to continue regularly.
So, how can an employer deliver a suitable duty of care within those new conditions and constraints? and even more importantly now proactively take preventive actions to avoid problems?
What solutions are available to ensure the safety of our remote employees?
Solutions such as human resources software can facilitate the onboarding of social workers but how to ensure the ongoing management of resources past their onboarding.
As for many things in current times, the answer to delivering better care to our valued employees can be found in technology. Using web solutions, the employer is not only able to deliver the same service as he did previously in the office but data analysis and alerts enable him to deliver an even greater attention to his precious human resources.
Technology can easily enable you to check when your employee starts his day by timing in on one of their most used Apps such as Gmail or Outlook or instant messaging … It is also increasingly simple nowadays to geolocate your employees at the beginning and through the day, if your setup requires you to check the location of your staff. Finally, the spread of smartphones which are almost all equipped with digital cameras makes it easy to visualise your staff and confirm the adherence to maintaining a professional appearance, should their position require it.
Social and sociological status are of course a little harder to measure through computers and if the Zooms and their likes makes business meetings possible, they certainly don’t make socialization an online reality. But here again science comes into play. Human resource specialists have developed dozens of different ways to evaluate your staff wellbeing through surveys, evaluations processes etc… I personally like the Pulse surveys which give a real insight on your employee state of mind or sentiment as we like to call them nowadays.
Deploying such a solution will not only solve some of those issues but will also help to gain a further understanding of your workforce by gathering as many data points as possible. Enabling data mining, AI or other modern technologies to help you develop a thriving, healthy and motivated workforce.
HomeSquad.io Can Help Deliver Duty of Care
HomeSquad.io delivers a leading remote workforce management enabling employers to deliver excellence in duty of care by capturing start and end time of employees, taking pictures when they start their day, geolocating their position and geofencing their place of work. Our surveys and pulse surveys are specifically designed to ensure a proactive monitoring of your people. Alerts and reports enable proactive management. Cherry on the cake, our “One man down” option helps you monitor high risk individuals, alerts authorities and management if an emergency or a medical issue arises.