The a 2016 research carried out in the

The growing number of workers and companies embracing the
flexible work pattern is an indication that it offers a desirable work-life
balance not experienced in the past. While efforts to keep the traditional
workplace free of hazards must remain unrelenting, it is, however, worthwhile
to examine this new area of interest in order to ensure the health and safety
of partakers.

Flexible work is the ability to work from anywhere, at any
time and under conditions that suit the worker. It includes working remotely,
commuting between home and office and working fulltime from home. Under UK
“parents with children under 6, or those with disabled children under 18, have
legal right to request flexible work arrangements.”

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According to a 2016 research carried out in the UK-,
a combined 974,000 people between the ages of 40-59, engage in some sort of
flex work, with 48% of the entire population falling within this age bracket.

Interestingly, “freelancers aged 60 years and older comprise 20 percent of UK
freelancers. Their economic contribution is approximated at 119 billion pounds
sterling annually.

Considering the similarities in workstations shared by
traditional workplaces and home locations, it may be safe to assume they also
share the same types of hazards, although the risk might be higher, given the
often secluded nature of flexible jobs.

Some of the hazards might arise from poor work ergonomics
usually associated with desk jobs. Risk of injuries can also result from the
absence of information or in the temptation to skip or wrongly implement
available safety measures. This is especially true for small business owners
such as freelancers who lack access to professional health and safety expertise
and advice.

In light of the autonomy and independence that goes with
freelancing, it is important to devise and arm engaged workers with safety
knowledge and preventive measures to ensure their own safety. Relevant steps
should include:

Risk assessment to identify existing and new

A safe ergonomic guide for desk jobs

A safe work procedure for remote or isolated

Additional steps are:

Good housekeeping

Emotional health which is vital to mental


Balanced workload

Safe environment which includes good air and
lighting quality

Safe workload


Because home-based work is still new, more research is
required to recommend suitable safety controls.


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