Working From Home Checklist

Empower work-from-home employees to be safe and efficient using digital checklists and templates

employee working from home

What is a Working From Home Checklist?

A working from home checklist is a tool primarily used by employers to assess the safety of a home office, and determine the suitability for employees to work from home. Work-from-home, or WFH employees use a working from home checklist to personally evaluate their work environment, identify areas of improvement, and implement efficient work practices.

Work from Home Advantages and Disadvantages

The benefits of working from home come with some drawbacks, and understanding both of the advantages and disadvantages can help people to decide if working from home is the right work style for them.

Time

Advantages

Disadvantages

Set your own work hours Tendency to overwork
More time for yourself and your family More prone to procrastination
No need to commute Difficulty sticking to a routine

Income

Advantages

Disadvantages

Same or more pay than an in-office counterpart Potential ebb and flow nature of income
No planned or unexpected eat-out expenses, commute fares, and parking fees Increased groceries, food deliveries, and home utility bills
Tax breaks for freelancers and self-employed Miss out on corporate office perks e.g. company-issued car or phone

Workspace

Advantages

Disadvantages

Freedom to work in any location Struggle to set home-work boundaries
Environment-friendly, personalized workstations Inadequate or unreliable office equipment and data security issues
More comfortable working conditions, including attire Personal privacy and ergonomic problems

Workflow

Advantages

Disadvantages

Fewer interruptions from colleagues Distractions from family, pets, and chores
Working independently and under minimal supervision Risk of unrecognized efforts and mediocre performance or poor quality of work
Less frequent and more efficient meetings Delayed access to or approval for tools, documents, and other requests

Relationships

Advantages

Disadvantages

Working while taking care of parents, children, or pets Challenging to collaborate with and get feedback from peers
Minimal office politics and drama Higher likelihood for miscommunication and misunderstanding
Remotely maintain built relationships within the company or among clients Prone to boredom, lack of motivation, and feelings of isolation or loneliness

Common Working From Home Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Here are common safety and health risks when working from home, so once they are identified, action can be taken to minimize them:

Common Working From Home Risks

  • Workstation and Work EquipmentTypical work-from-home equipment such as printers and shredding machines should be used correctly and the display screens of desktop computers or laptops, keyboards, and mouses should be in good condition to avoid unnecessary work-related accidents.
  • Fire and Electrical SafetyThe most common fire hazards at home offices include electrical equipment, faulty wiring, and flammable materials. Regularly disposing of waste, including papers, and switching off equipment when not in use can help prevent the risk of fires. Additional security measures, such as working in a lockable room can be implemented to reduce safety risks to other people at home, especially young children.
  • Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards – Carpets or throw rugs, clutter, and uneven flooring or stair steps are common causes of slips, trips, and falls when working from home. Secure floor coverings, keep essential items within easy reach, and clear walkways and corridors by upholding standards of good housekeeping even at home offices.
  • Manual Handling and ErgonomicsRepetitive movements and sustained awkward posture and body positioning can result in fatigue and lead to back, neck, and shoulder injuries. Home office desks and chairs should be ergonomically designed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems and potentially restrict employees’ ability to undertake a wide range of work activities.
  • Work-related StressSince work-from-home employees are likely to work longer hours because they have no set schedule, sticking to a daily routine that includes short breaks and clearly defined lunch and end-of-shift times can help reduce work-related stress.
  • Mental HealthFeelings of isolation can negatively impact the performance of employees who are working from home. Research has shown that social isolation is associated with depression and sleeping problems and with an increased risk for early mortality. Practicing appropriate self-care, connecting with colleagues via virtual meetings, and talking about non-work-related matters using other online communication platforms are essential when working from home.

How to Work from Home

After remote teams assess and control safety and health risks in their respective home offices, here is how they can function more effectively when working from home:

How Employees Can Work from Home Effectively

  • Build self-discipline – Setting a dedicated workspace can help you avoid distractions such as social media, TV, or chores, and sticking to your routine as if you still went to an office building like getting up early, taking a shower, and changing your clothes, can help establish boundaries between your place and time for work and for yourself.
  • Be proactive – Planning allows you to foresee any changes or unnecessary downtime so you can respond accordingly, making the most out of your time.
  • Boost communication –Clarifying work-related tasks lets you set your and your manager’s expectations about what should be done during this period of working from home. Collaborate more often with your teammates to prevent misunderstandings and stay connected with actual human beings other than your family.

How Managers Can Work from Home Effectively

  • Managing a Team Member: structured daily check-ins and focus on goals, not activity. Think, “How are you doing?” instead of, “What are you doing?”.
  • Managing a Team: over-communicate and practice rules of engagement e.g. expected frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication.
  • Facilitating Virtual Meetings: keep the dialogue flowing and make decisions together; a meeting is not a monologue nor a presentation you can simply send via email.
  • Facilitating Ad-hoc Communication: offer emotional support and opportunities for social interaction e.g. Friday happy hour, online board games, and virtual workouts.
Jona Tarlengco
Article by
Jona Tarlengco
SafetyCulture Content Specialist
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her years of experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.

Explore more templates

Working From Home Health and Safety Checklist
A working from home health and safety checklist is a digital tool used to make sure that work-from-home employees have a safe home office that promotes their general well-being.
Working From Home Safety Checklist
Use this working from home checklist to do the following: Inspect environmental conditions of a home worksite such as lighting, paths, and general environment Assess current security, first aid, and emergency procedures Check if ergonomics and other work apparatus are according to standards Ensure that the best work practices are implemented Specify other work considerations and special requirements
Telecommuting Safety Checklist
A telecommuting safety checklist is used by teleworkers, or employees who work from an alternative worksite and use telecommunication equipment such as telephones or fax machines, to assess the overall safety of their work environment and maintain safe working conditions.

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