The statistics supporting telecommuting or remote employee positions are hard to miss. For example, about 3% of the US workforce spends at least half of their time working from home. And this trend is only moving upward. It is projected that before 2030 nearly 38% of full-time employees will be working remotely.
What is the cause of this remote employee trend? Employers report flexible work options help with overall employee morale. This comes from a proper work-life balance, reduces commuter-related stress, and an increase in overall employee productivity.
Employees find enhanced benefits in telecommuting as there are fewer interruptions or distractions, they are in a more comfortable and quieter environment, and are able to hold meetings that are more efficient.
From this perspective, the benefits to the employee and employer are of no short supply. But how far does the employer’s liability extend in the event the employee is injured while working at home? Non-fatal workplace-related injuries account for 2.8 million of the injuries and illnesses reported by private employers.
According to OSHA, a home office is seen no differently from that of a traditional office building or storefront.
Employers can protect themselves and their work from home employees by:
- Establishing home office guidelines. Create a set of guidelines to set employees up for success in a safe work environment, including how to set-up an ergonomically-correct desk or workspace.
- Ensure adequate coverage. Employers should regularly check with insurance providers to validate their continued coverage for employees who telecommute or work remotely.
- Reinforce data security policies. Telecommuting or work from home employees opens additional risks to the company as network endpoints are added with each connection into your company data. Remote employees, mobile devices, or wireless networks expose the business to potential cyber-attacks. Ensure the business is equipped with a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection to company servers and data.
Maintaining a solid telecommuting or remote employee position can require additional attention from the employer. When it comes to workers’ compensation policies, employee coverage, and updated employee handbooks, Insured Solutions is your partner. Contact us today to ensure your remote employees are covered in case of injury or illness.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2017