At a glance
- An increasing number of people are choosing to work from home
- While this has many advantages, there are also risk and insurance implications
- We take a look at what customers should consider when working from home, including implications for their home insurance
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More than a third of full-time workers in the UK are currently looking for a flexible job that enables them to balance home and work commitments.
This desire for greater flexibility in the workplace has seen a corresponding 74% jump in the number of people working from home between 2008 and 2018.
In fact, an analysis of Government figures by the TUC shows the number of people regularly working from home is now approximately 4.2 million – 13.7% of the UK workforce.
Many people feel that working from home allows them to get more done. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) found a third of home workers felt more productive at home than in an office.
But what are the safety and insurance implications of working from home? And is standard home insurance enough? We look at some important considerations for those exploring home working.
Employers’ duty of care
All employers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect employees from foreseeable risks of harm. This duty is not limited to their regular place of work – it also extends to other work environments, including home working.
Anybody who wants to work from home should ensure they are getting appropriate support from their employer to do so safely. This could include help setting up their workstation, and ensuring it is adjustable to meet their needs. Those regularly working from home may need a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) workstation assessment.
Security risks of home working
Data security is another issue that needs to be carefully considered. Employees should ensure they have seen and understood their organisation’s policies on the acceptable use of devices for work purposes, including security procedures (e.g. strong passwords).
Insurance implications of working from home
Some home insurance policies can restrict or exclude cover if the home is being used for business purposes. Portable electronic equipment can also be subject to inner limits. This may require adjustments to accommodate larger amounts, or usage at multiple locations.
Car insurance should also be checked if a vehicle is being used for business travel, to make sure there is cover for uses beyond social, domestic and pleasure.
7 things to consider when working from home
- Does your home insurance policy provide cover for ‘administration duties’ or items used for ‘business or professional purposes’?
- Does your contents policy cover accidental damage to mobile phones, laptops or any portable computer equipment outside the home, e.g. if you are working in a café, on a train etc?
- Does your employer provide adequate insurance for the equipment it provides for you to work from home?
- Are product samples used for work covered by either your own or your employer’s contents insurance?
- What about hazardous materials? Are they being stored safely?
- Do you have clients or colleagues meeting in your home? If so, does your home insurance policy include public liability cover?
- Does your car insurance include cover for business use?
For more information on the issues discussed in this article, please get in touch with your local Zurich contact.