March 2021:

Preparing for the Transition from Temporary to Permanent WFH

Millions of Canadians transitioned to work from home (WFH) arrangements with the onset of COVID-19 and most of them have worked from home for close to a year, at least part-time.The real question is whether WFH is here to stay and what does this mean for the future of office-based work in Canada?

In RBC's 2021 outlook, the types of work environments employees were looking for was evaluated and the messaging was clear: most Canadians want to work from home, at least part-time, while only 20% preferred to work entirely at the workplace. Although workplaces reported different levels of openness to WFH, RBC believes the shift will happen anyways and that WFH is here to stay.

From a health & safety and ergonomic perspective, the shift to permanent WFH arrangements "changes the game" for employers. No longer is non-adjustable equipment acceptable as a means of supporting workers at home; it doesn't meet ergonomic standards (CSA Z412-17) and will likely cause a spike in injury claims/cases due to increased exposure to MSD hazards: static and/or awkward postures while working at a computer for long periods of time.

Where to Begin

Every good system begins with a well-defined program and policy that defines the "workplace" at home, maps out expectations for hours, communication, etc. and provides input on set-up, minimum equipment standards and more.

As you work through the administrative elements, careful consideration needs to be given to the equipment component. Workplaces should be answering questions such as:

  • What equipment must an employee have to be able to work from home with low risk of injury?
  • Who is responsible for providing the equipment at home offices?The organization?The employee?
  • If not the organization, how will we ensure that the WFH station meets minimum equipment standards?
  • How do we ensure the equipment provided is being set-up and used correctly?

Is your workplace struggling with these questions? There is not a "one size fits all" answer to these questions and this month's webinar is designed to start the conversation and guide employers through some of the thought processes necessary to successfully navigate equipment strategies for home offices - we hope you join us!

What's Next from PRO to support WFH?

We're one step closer to launching a brand new training and education program for workplaces to purchase and use as part of their support for workers at home. Check out below for a little sneak peek as to what's coming SOON!

PROfessional, PROactive and PROductive solutions to all your WFH needs!

We can't wait for this to launch! Click here to get an exclusive preview of the first module in our brand new PROergonomics Online Learning Series: Home Office Ergonomics!

Sarah, Jen, Alex & Laura

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