In these unprecedented times, more and more of us are working from home. Whether your colleagues are practiced homeworkers, or new to it, the same practicalities apply to keep them and your business safe.
When it comes to insurance, some home insurance polices can restrict or exclude cover if your home or personal equipment is being used for business purposes. Likewise, some business policies may not cover work away from the business. All these need to be checked, reviewed and addressed to make sure you have the right cover should the worst happen; if you don’t then you could void your insurance and any claim would be rejected.
Then there’s safety to bear in mind. Employees might not be working in a ‘traditional’ office, but still they need to make sure their workstation is adjustable to prevent eye/back/wrist strain. If using computers, consider carrying out and recording a ‘display screen assessment’.
Safety also encompasses that of your data; ensuring your business and client information is kept secure is essential – it is the lifeblood of your business after all. Making sure you have good security in place is incredibly important and doesn’t have to cost the earth. The National Cyber Security Centre has some useful, free, guidance; it’s not just about strong passwords.
Duncan Sutcliffe, Director of Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers, added, “Working from home might seem straightforward but a bit of planning and consideration can save you from unexpected problems.”
Here are some top tips for working from home in the current climate:
- Check home & business insurance to ensure your liabilities, stock and equipment are correctly covered.
- If employees are driving their own cars for business use check that they have the correct insurance
- Have a sanity check of all electronic devices before giving the final go-ahead for your staff to work from home. Check that their firewalls are enabled, their anti-malware is active and up-to-date, and ensure that they have limited, but not restrictive permissions.
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if your business has one available – this encrypts your traffic, which is essential to protect data when it is transmitted
- Be cyber-aware: hackers are using the Coronavirus to get people to click on links, which can give them access to your systems; similarly if you are sending payments, then check bank details via phone (not using the number on an email) as these types of emails are easily cloned.
- Ensure the home workstation is set up to ensure good posture & visibility
- The home becomes an extension of the workplace so risk assessments and normal business polices should be in place.