Supporting paper by Linda Ait Ameur, Belgium, on providing employees with setting up a work from home office, presented at the SIGMA webinar on "Are human resource management practices resilient and agile enough to address the next COVID-like crisis?", held on 15 December 2020.
- Employees need their own high-speed internet at home, and this is something the employer
should provide. This helps also keep data secure when transmitted to and from the employee’s
- When it comes to working digitally, online tools are needed as they combine efficiency and
effectiveness to encourage productivity.
- There are other small items that can help employees to be more productive at home because they
will help stimulate an office environment (e.g. desk organisation items).
- Offering ergonomic recommendations to employees is very useful to help them set up a home
office that allows them to remain productive. Further, a proper setup is crucial to help overcome
different health problems.
The results of the staff survey highlighted the following:
The results showed that the specific context of generalised remote working required additional measures
to make this new way of working more efficient and ergonomic (most frequent requests concerned a
second screen, an ergonomic chair, a mouse and a keyboard, and advice on the workstation). The results
also showed that 76% of the employees wanted to work remotely more often after the crisis.
What? Description of a tool/solution
Employees already had a high-performance laptop, collaborative remote working systems, a headset, a
mobile phone with telephone and data subscription, the employer’s participation in the costs of high-
speed Internet connection and the various costs of working from home (notebooks, paper, pens). In
addition to this, a budget has been made available on the basis of operational savings linked to the crisis.
Employees could benefit from financial intervention to equip themselves properly at home. The employer
participated in the cost of purchase of an ergonomic chair (according to NBN EN 1335 standard), a monitor
(24” to 27’’), a keyboard and a mouse.
Employees also benefit from collective and individual advice to organise their home office (promotion of
awareness and compliance). Apart from this, the following actions were undertaken to prevent potential
- provision of information and training on health and safety issues relevant for employees working
from home (e.g. ergonomics, working in isolation, general fire and electrical safety issues);
- provision of relevant information about employees’ general obligations with regards to safety and
health including taking care of their own health and safety;
- on-going evaluation of home office and guidance on ergonomic conditions;
- ergonomics and safety resources to change work habits and improve the physical home office;
- provision of detailed advice and checklists on the ergonomics of individual workstations (desk
height, screen position, use of mouse and keyboard, lighting, etc.);
- intervention of the internal and external prevention advisors for the evaluation of home office
What results: what were the benefits of the solution, how does it work in practice, lessons learnt
129 employees benefited from financial intervention to equip themselves properly at home. They also
applied the ergonomic recommendations so that they could work more efficiently. This, properly planned,
setup helped bring normalcy, wellbeing and productivity: the rate of achievement of operational
objectives is in line with the operational plan; the number of inspections and authorisations has remained
stable; radiological monitoring of the territory is carried out remotely; etc. The missions of the FANC are
carried out by staff who have been able to reproduce an efficient working environment at home.