|You may provide workstations (ie: desk, chair, computer) for your remote employees, but usually you do not have to do so.
There are certain states (such as California), where an employer is required to provide employees with all the tools necessary to complete the job or to reimburse those employees for such expenses. Workstation equipment like desks and chairs are usually not included in this category, however.
One advantage of providing this type of equipment is that these employees may be happier with their work situation and possibly use this company equipment in a safer manner than they would if it was their own equipment. The downside is shipping costs and the potential for waste. Some employees may not want this kind of equipment in their homes if they already have their own preferred workstation.
Employees can often work wherever they like: their home office, kitchen, a local coffee shop, etc. It is up to the employee where they can most effectively do their work.
OSHA has stated that they have no intention of inspecting employee’s homes for workplace safety. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure their home workstation is safe.
However, there is one exception. An employee with a disability may request a device or specific type of furniture to accommodate them so they can perform the essential tasks of their job. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) you must adhere to these types of requests just as you would any other ADA request. Providing these employees with a back support cushion or a computer stand, for example, would not be an unreasonable request and should be something you, the company should provide.
Any additional questions regarding this type of situation, please contact us here at CyQuest!