The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued advice on homeworking for employers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Millions of workers packed up their desks earlier this week after prime minister Boris Johnson urged people to work from home where possible as part of a range of stringent new measures in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
The regulator is reminding employers of their responsibilities, even if someone is working from home temporarily.
It is encouraging organisations to keep in touch with lone workers and ensure regular contact to make sure they are healthy and safe. 'If contact is poor, workers may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can affect stress levels and mental health,' the advice warned.
'Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support, so put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise signs of stress as early as possible.
'It is also important to have an emergency point of contact and to share this so people know how to get help if they need it.'
The advice also said that although employers do not need to do home workstation assessments, organisations could provide workers with advice on completing their own basic assessment at home.
IOSH has also updated its guidance for homeworkers – it's available here.