Has your business adjusted accordingly to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions? Does this mean more and more of your employees continue to work from home full-time? Even if a majority of your employees were working from home prior to the pandemic, many organizations have had trouble adjusting to the new normal as a result of COVID-19. However, shockingly enough, the frequency of remote work was well on the rise prior to this pandemic. Between 2005 and 2018, the number of remote employees had increased by 175%. While this rate has seemingly increased as a result of the past year and a half, it was more than necessary for organizations to protect their employees. Safety aside, there are some challenges and risks associated with a remote workforce.
With these challenges comes some unique benefits, though. Safety, lower overhead costs and even decreased environmental impact are all some perks of a remote workforce. Trying to leverage these benefits amongst the challenges is a tough ask, however. For example, more and more managers will struggle in finding ways to effectively communicate with their employees while remote. In addition to that, employees will often struggle in finding ways to remain connected to the rest of their teams throughout their time working at home. As a matter of fact, isolation as a result of this extended time at home is common in all levels of an organization.
Worse than any form of isolation, however, is the amount of innate lability that comes from enabling remote employees. For example, how will your organization handle an employee being injured on the job, at home? Or what about if an employee’s network security results in a data breach? Even worse, what happens if an employee’s hardware is stolen? Prior to allowing organizations to transition into remote work, they’ll need to make sure the correct safeguards are put in place to protect their employees and their organization. Insurance policies to cover these damages are widely available. Similarly, organizations will have to honor workers’ compensation benefits that were once only standard for in-office time off. Organizations should make sure to have a list of workers compensation insurance companies on hand.
Of course these risks are freighting, but organizations have something even worse to worry about. As mentioned previously, cyberattacks and data breaches remain one of the most threatening things to businesses with remote employees. Without an encrypted virtual private network, exceptional firewall and antivirus software, any employee is not being adequately protected. If your businesses’ data or even worse, your clients’ data, is somehow exposed, there could be endless trouble. When necessary, businesses should look to utilize some form of cyber liability insurance to protect themselves. First-party liability insurance will protect your businesses’ data while third-party liability insurance will protect your clients’ data.
While continuing to enable remote work, always be mindful of ways you can improve the employee experience while simultaneously strengthening your organization’s security. For more information on how to do so, be sure to check out the infographic featured alongside this post. Courtesy of B2Z Insurance