Has the pandemic forced your employees to primary work from home? Regardless of the scope of your business, it’s likely that there are at least a good majority of your employees working remotely. As a result of COVID-19, a number of organizations have opted into working remotely full time. But, believe it or not, full-time remote work was on the rise even prior to the pandemic. Research done by Global Workplace Analytics indicates that between 2005 and 2018, the number of remote employees had increased by nearly 175%. Rather than the pandemic forcing managers’ and business owners’ hands, what was truly driving this increase were the benefits associated with full-time remote employees. Now while there are a great number of positive effects that come as a result of remote work, there is also inherent risk that must be considered when allowing employees to transition to remote work.
As previously mentioned, there are a great deal of positives that come from a remote workforce. However, what most managers and business owners fail to consider are some of the drawbacks. One of the primary concerns related to remote work is the inability to manage your remote staff. A number of managers will have trouble properly enabling their staff compared to working in the office. There will often times be delays in communication between not only manager and employee, but employees from separate departments. This can create a bottleneck when collaborative work is necessary and can potentially negatively affect any team involved. In addition to communication lapses, there’s a chance that certain employees prefer to work in the office rather than from home as they’re able to remain more focused and put out better work. This creates a challenge for managers to ensure their employees are being held accountable as they work remotely.
If these challenges weren’t enough, there is also an increased share of liability that organizations must consider as a result of remote work. For example, as employees transition to remote work, organizations must provide these individuals with all of the necessary hardware they’d need to work efficiently. But what happens if that hardware is damaged beyond repair? Or, even worse, stolen? Sure, it might hurt your pockets a bit in order to replace the hardware. But what if the stolen hardware is breached and classified company information is shared? This reason in particular is why it’s important for companies to consider additional insurance for their remote employees.
A common policy that organizations look to in these cases is known as first-party cyber liability insurance. This policy covers damages that stem from data breaches. Regardless if the hardware is stolen or one of your employees falls for a phishing scam, the policy will cover you. Regardless of this, it is important that organizations and managers in particular encourage their employees to tread as carefully as they can when working remotely. Another way that companies can mitigate the risk of remote employees is through the use of a VPN and updated to date firewalls and antivirus software on every administered piece of hardware. All of these tools are instrumental in protecting a company’s data.
While there are a number of inherent risks, organizations should make the call on remote work based on what is effective for them. More often than not, employees will feel as if they have additional freedom and free time as a result of remote work. This can have a sizable impact on the mental health of these employees, in addition to their performance. For additional information on how companies can balance the risks of remote employees, check out the featured infographic below. Courtesy of B2Z Insurance.