As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, EHS professionals are being forced to build the plane as they fly it.
They’re trying to put together all the pieces of masking, social distancing, and vaccine requirements, as well as keeping up with the day-to-day responsibilities of their role — all while adjusting to the new normal of working from home or overseeing employees who do so.
If you’re finding this difficult, you’re not alone. Here are four ongoing challenges of working from home that we’re hearing from EHS professionals:
One of the most obvious challenges of working from home is communication. Sharing documents, status updates, and keeping track of what everyone on your team is working on is a lot harder when you can’t just walk across the hall to their office. Not only that, but collaborating with your business partners in Operations, HR, and other departments is more difficult as a distributed team. And, as more of our interactions happen digitally, there are more opportunities for misunderstandings.
2. Maintaining OSHA compliance
Ensuring your organization maintains OSHA compliance is another big challenge for EHS. When employees aren’t within eyesight of their managers — whether they’re working from home, or you are — it can be difficult to determine whether all compliance requirements are being met. For example, companies are still required to maintain injury and illness records, regardless of whether the injuries occur at the factory, in a home office, or somewhere else, as long as they’re work-related.
3. Lack of face-to-face interactions
Working from home comes with a lot of perks, including no commute, a flexible schedule, and even the ability to take a midday walk. One major downside as an EHS professional, though, is that you miss out on one of the most rewarding aspects of your job: the face-to-face interactions with workers. A group meeting over Zoom just isn't the same as being able to walk the factory floor and provide safety feedback, hands-on training, and build relationships with individual employees. Without daily safety huddles or toolbox talks, you may find it hard to train people up and provide the support some employees need.
4. Company culture
Culture is incredibly important for motivating people to participate in your safety and sustainability efforts. However, building and maintaining a positive culture is challenging even under the best circumstances. It’s even more formidable when you find yourself unable to interact with workers in person. And with many employees working from home permanently, making sure your culture stays strong is going to be an ongoing challenge.
How Perillon helps solve work from home challenges for EHS
With the rise of remote work, EHS professionals have found themselves in uncharted territory. There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the best way to ensure compliance, maintain a positive culture, and keep the lines of communication open.
One thing that is certain, though, is that the way we work has permanently changed. The shift to remote or hybrid work environments is happening across every industry and job description — and EHS is no exception. This means EHS professionals will have to find ways to adapt to the challenges of working from home (or supervising employees who do so).
The good news is that Perillon provides a comprehensive EHS software platform that supports remote work and collaboration, with centralized task and document management, notifications and escalations, and mobile solutions for both EHS and frontline workers. See for yourself in this short video demo, and check out our other articles on EHS & remote work:
- 8 Fun Ways to Stay Connected When Working Remotely
- Work-From-Home Tips From Remote Perillon Employees
- How EHS Software Supports Remote Work & Collaboration