4 Steps for Protecting Remote Employees and Your Business
With the rise of the digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to offer remote working capabilities to their employees. From co-working spaces to coffee shops with free WiFi, the accessibility and convenience of remote work is appealing to many working-class individuals, especially millennials. However, allowing your employees to work remotely comes with its own set of unique liabilities and risks. To see if your company is remote ready, take this Remote Work Readiness Assessment. And to continue to ensure that you’re protecting both your remote employees and your business, be sure to follow these steps in securing a safe environment regardless of their location.
4 steps for protecting your remote employees
Just about every state (with the exception of Texas) requires employers to have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. This, under most circumstances, translates over to remote employees as well. Getting into the weeds of what constitutes as a work-related injury at their remote place of work is where it gets a little bit tricky, but preventing these from occurring doesn’t have to be.
1. Make sure their work environment is safe for business.
Before you give your employees the green light to work remotely, ask them where they plan on spending most of their working hours. If it’s at a local coffee shop or co-working space, you’re usually in the clear from abnormal, claim-worthy hazard. But if they’re going to be spending a majority of their time working from home, it’s important to ensure that their home complies with the health and safety policies of your business. You can either have your employees fill out a working-from-home safety survey, or do an inspection yourself. If you choose the latter, be sure to check for ergonomically sound furnishing, sufficient lighting and ventilation, and proper fire safety protocols such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
2. Emphasize the importance of cybersecurity.
Cyberattacks can happen to anyone at any time, especially those who connect to public WiFi sources. Working from a coffee shop or local park may seem fine, but those WiFi sources usually aren’t secured, and if your employee has a lot of classified information like passwords and bank information stored on their computers, they’re at risk of falling victim to a cyber attack. If your employee is going to work from home, have an IT professional set up a secure connection from their home to the company network. If they won’t be working from home but at a different location, make sure they’re following best practices such as creating secure passwords and locking their laptop when they’re not using it.
3. Stay in contact.
Because remote employees have less face-to-face contact with their coworkers and managers, communication is of the utmost importance. Frequently checking in with your remote workers via text, email, or phone not only ensures they’re being productive, but it also helps you gauge their stress levels. A stressed worker is more prone to accidents, and with remote environments already being susceptible to various risks and threats, stress and lack of communication is something your business cannot afford.
4. Review your insurance policies.
Whether you’ve been offering remote working capabilities for a while, or you’re new to the game, it’s always a good idea to review your current insurance policies to make sure you’re properly covered for any and all liabilities and risks that come with remote work. At Snellings Walters, we care about the wants, needs, and overall success of both your business and its employees. We’ll work with you to help you get the proper policies and coverage put in place so you can sleep soundly at night knowing your business is in good hands. Just reach out to us here or call us at 770-637-1726 to chat with one of our agents.