As remote work and flexible work arrangements skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest risk alert from CUNA Mutual Group warns that there is the potential for remote work to create an environment that is not suitable for getting the job done without posing any undue risks. If an employee gets hurt on the job — even if they aren’t at a credit union location — the credit union could still face legal consequences, according to the alert.
Although remote work and flexible work arrangements have potential advantages, such as the time and stress saved by not commuting, a better work-life balance, higher productivity and better concentration, it is also associated with an increase in prolonged sitting and time pressure, longer working hours and social isolation. These ramifications can have a negative impact on an employee’s health and contribute to the development or exacerbation of musculoskeletal disorders, according to the alert.
It is common that remote workers do not always have the same resources at home as they do in the office, for example:
- ergonomic office chair;
- office desk;
- mouse and keyboard;
- proper lighting; and
- work area free of hazards.
The risk alert states that ergonomics is all about finding the right (comfortable) match between an individual and their work environment, and by helping remote employees create an ergonomically friendly workplace and a well-arranged workstation, employers can enhance an employee’s productivity and comfort. In addition, it can also minimize some of the same hazards as on-site staff members while helping to eliminate discomfort.
Further, workstations should accommodate the materials and equipment employees need, and they should be encouraged to experiment with the placement of their keyboard, screen and other items to find the arrangement that works best for them.
CUNA Mutual Group’s risk alerts, in addition to additional risk-prevention resources, may be accessed in their Protection Resource Center. Log-in is required.