Practical tips to make home-based telework as healthy, safe and effective as possible

Telework can be defined as the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) — such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers — for the purpose of working outside the employer’s premises. This article focuses on regular home-based telework (or working from home using ICT). In recent years, home-based telework has been on the increase. This is certainly due to the advances in ICT that have occurred in recent years and possibly due to some of the advantages associated with teleworking (mentioned below). It can also probably be explained by a reduction in some of the factors impeding the adoption of teleworking schemes in companies, such as managerial resistance and attitudes towards teleworking. The COVID-19 public health emergency prompted many workers to work from home for the first time and many of these to then do so more systematically.

Home-based telework may have an impact on the occupational safety and health (OSH) of teleworkers. For this reason, employers and workers have to be aware of the risks associated with home-based telework and address them by implementing adequate preventive and control measures. This article includes some advice and tips intended to ensure the occupational health and well-being of teleworkers.