Do you have employees who work from home? Whether that be due to the pandemic or if remote work was common prior, your business likely has some number of purely remote workers. Between 2005 and 2018, the number of employees who work remotely jumped by 173%. Now, due to the pandemic, employees working from home has become more than an option, but oftentimes a necessity for employers. Though remote employees can save your company money, paying lower overhead costs, and operating with a smaller footprint, there is still an inherent risk that must be managed.
With that being said, managing remote employees can have some drawbacks. For example, managing remote staff can become more challenging without being able to interact face-to-face and properly communicate between team leads and team members. Employees might find it more difficult to collaborate effectively with their other team members or begin to feel isolated as they continue to work from home without much interaction.
The liability that comes from remote employees is also something to consider. For example, perhaps an employee gets injured while working on a project from home, how does a company approach the situation? Or what if an employee happens to have their work-owned technology like a laptop stolen? What about a more internally threatening liability such as a data breach? Anything is possible, which is why it is important for businesses to have an insurance policy in place to cover these kinds of issues.
Most states require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees — whether they work remotely or not. Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and lost wages for employees who get sick or injured at work. If you have an employee who becomes injured doing work and during work hours, your workers’ compensation policy should continue to cover him or her, even if the employee works remotely.
Revisiting potential risks of remote work and remote employees, a cyberattack cannot be understated. Incorporating an encrypted virtual private network, or VPN, and up-to-date firewall and antivirus software can help prevent any form of attack and maintain data security. Additionally, employees should have strong passwords and change them regularly.
While these steps could help reduce the risk of a data breach, the possibility remains. That’s why it’s critical to have cyber liability insurance. First-party cyber liability insurance covers the damages that result from a data breach on your company’s systems. Third-party cyber liability insurance protects you if a data breach compromises your clients’ information or systems.
There are many benefits to having employees work remotely. Professionals have more freedom, and many prefer the option to be able to work from home. Yet the potential drawbacks and liability should be considered when having remote personnel.
The accompanying resource, courtesy of B2Z Insurance shares some recent statistics about remote employees and the types of liability from which businesses should protect themselves.
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