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In the workplace, many companies have workwear policies, but should these be enforced when working from home, now that people are being advised to avoid the workplace where possible?

There are reasons why home workers should look presentable. There may be no physical team meetings, but video calls are replacing face-to-face meetings. When a team meets online, if they are all dressed smartly, it creates a sense that the team is still fully operational and working for the same team goals.

Client contact can also be done by video call, and remote workers need to create a good impression. A worker talking on video in their pyjamas could adversely affect the client relationship as they can give the impression that the employee is not serious about their work when working from home.

There needs to be some flexibility in the approach to homeworkers. It may not be necessary for staff at home to wear suits and ties, or the company workwear uniform, but they should generally look smart. If they are in home isolation with young children, children playing in the background of video calls should be tolerated.

When working from home, employees generally do not need PPE (personal protection equipment). If they are in a household with someone suffering from COVID-19, they may benefit from wearing a facemask and gloves near areas where there are sufferers.

Employers should advise remote workers on using ergonomic chairs and worktops that are at the right height to avoid muscle strain.

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