A responsible home office for employees

We are now working from home as much as possible in the Netherlands. Whereas everyone started at the kitchen table back in March, the workplace at home needs to develop from an ergonomic point of view to more professional forms. Leferink advises companies on facilitating an ergonomically responsible workplace at home.

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In short

  • Many Dutch people are working at home as much as possible nowadays. Ergonomically, it is necessary to make the home office professional.
  • According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer must ensure a safe workplace, even when working from home.
Appearance of the home office

A home office comprises three distinct elements: a desk, a good office chair and various accessories, such as a laptop support, document holder, monitors and a mouse. As an organisation, it is nice to offer a basic range to the employees, but also to offer different choices. At Leferink, they mainly see that the employees want to have a choice in appearance and different dimensions. Because it often has to fit the interior and every workspace is different. Both in terms of space, size and appearance.

 

Ergonomically responsible work

A home office comprises several elements. It is important that these are ergonomic. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer must ensure a safe workplace, even when working from home.


 
As an example, we take an office chair, which must meet various standards. Including the European standard (NEN-EN 1335) and the advice is to make the office chair comply with the Dutch practice guideline (NPR 1813 standard). The last standard means that office chairs are suitable for the body length of the Dutch employee. The Dutch are taller than the average European employee. Therefore, working requires additional functions to meet ergonomic requirements, for example, a higher seat height, wider armrests and a back height of at least 37 cm.


 
Besides, it is essential to provide the employees with brief seating instructions. So they know how to sit ergonomically responsible at their desk.

 

Related article

Tax aspect of the home office
Employers can give compensation to the employees or, for example, to make an office chair available for working from home. This is subject to tax possibilities, which are regulated in the Working Expenses Scheme (the WKR).
 
 
It specifically excludes occupational health and safety services. For example, think of an office chair, desk and desk lamp. These materials must only meet the so-called necessity criterion. This applies where:
  • The provision in the employer's opinion is necessary for the fulfilment of the employment.
  • An employer pays the provision and does not pass on the costs to the employee.
  • Workers must return the provision or pay the residual value of the provision if they no longer need it for employment.
  • These occupational health and safety services are linked to your obligations under the Working Conditions Act (Occupational Health and Safety Act)
 
A design of the home office meets the Working Conditions Verdict:
  • The workspace at the home of an employee works ergonomically responsibly.
  • The worker has an efficient seating and an efficient worktop or work table at his disposal.
  • In the workspace, the facilities for efficient artificial lighting are available.
 
Tip: Temporarily because of the corona pandemic, the Minister of Finance has increased the free space over the first 400,000 euros of the wage bill from 1.7% to 3%.
Leferink

Leferink ensures employees work responsibly, and nowadays, even at home. With the mentioned steps, you are better prepared to set out the policy within the organisation.

Date: 23 November 2020

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