As we all have experienced over the past 18 months, the global COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged people to reduce social contact and, in many cases, work from home if it is possible. In some instances, there have been positives to working from home, such as reduced hours commuting for employees and financial gain for organisations. However, there are negatives that can come from this, for example some employees enjoy working within an office or workspace. Or for some, and for various reasons, this can be an escape from their home environments.
Individuals may have varying situations at home; some may have a specific workspace set up which enables them to operate efficiently and walk away from that space at the end of the day. Others may live in smaller environments and have no option but to work from the sofa or kitchen table. Some people may enjoy leaving their home and travelling to work each day, to ensure they have a clear separation from their home and work life. Unfortunately, there are many situations where employees experience domestic abuse at home and their safe space is at work. The increase of those working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenging situation for victims of domestic abuse. Many individuals in this situation are unable to leave home, meaning it can be increasingly difficult to find the opportunity to speak to others who can help, such as family, friends, or a helpline. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees work in a safe space, however, with employees operating from home this brings new challenges for organisations.
Employers need to increase their awareness and understanding of the signs to look out for, this could be through training sessions. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have many resources available on personal safety for organisations. Employers should also understand how to approach employees who may be at risk and provide resources that could help. Here is a useful toolkit for an employers’ initiative on domestic abuse: Toolkit for Employers — Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (eida.org.uk)
Communication with employees is key, organisations should have a platform or system in place to ensure employees can raise any concerns if they wish to. Organisations can also actively ask employees how they are feeling and check-in with them. Vismo provides a wellbeing feature, where employees are prompted and asked how they are feeling, they can then state how they are feeling on the Vismo App. If an employee is not feeling great, organisations can input options for support, such as a follow-up, details of a helpline or the employee can choose to remain anonymous. The data from the Vismo App is fed back into the Vismo Secure Portal, providing managers with information and reports on their workforce wellbeing. The data can also be fully integrated into Employee Assistance Programmes. This regular communication and check-in could help an employer identify if an employee is experiencing difficulties at home. For employees, this could be a discreet way to raise an alert and start a conversation with the employer.
To find out how Vismo can help, contact us:
Arrange a demonstation: https://vismo.com/arrange-demo/
Call us: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)