During the pandemic, many businesses transitioned to either hybrid working or operating fully remotely. This might seem counterintuitive to ISO 9001 (governing quality management systems). This requires that your business takes steps to guarantee meeting, communication, and appropriate infrastructure for their employees. This week, we want to talk about how the requirements of ISO 9001 can be met despite your staff working from home.
Infrastructure (Clause 7.1.3)
Even when your staff are working remotely, they still require equipment, space to work, and the technology or tools that allow them to do their job. You should still be vigilant about your cyber security, particularly when employees are working in a relaxed and familiar environment rather than a professional setting. It is your duty, when ensuring quality management, to ensure that your workforce has access to a secure internet connection, teleconferencing software, a VPN, and information sharing via cloud services.
Working Environment (7.1.4)
ISO 9001 also mandates the work environment— whether working from home or in a central building. Remote workers should be coached in how to set up an ergonomically safe workplace. Furthermore, working from home can make it harder to switch off at the end of a work day, and the boundaries between the residential and the professional can blur. You should be considering the reduction of employee stress, the support of their mental well-being, and the prevention of burnout.
Working from home can severely impact communication, making it harder to do business and more likely for your employees to feel isolated. Under ISO 9001, you are required to provide resources for information sharing and remote meetings. Keeping in touch with co-workers and management is key; remote workers should feel supported, included, and well-instructed.
For more information on ISO 9001 and remote working, you can contact our team here.