Telecommuting is definitely taking off as COVID-19 disrupts our traditional ways of doing business. Even the construction industry has been using remote work in various ways to help employees socially distance. Yet allowing employees to do some or all of their work at home can expose a company to new risks. That’s why we wanted to share with you some great ways employers can better manage the liability risks of remote workers:
Create a telecommuting policy. Setting clear work-at-home guidelines and communicating them to employees can help prevent misunderstandings. Make it clear that you have the right to rescind their work-from-home privileges at any time and for any reason. Have all employees review and acknowledge your company’s telecommuting policy.
Re-evaluate your insurance coverage. Make sure your insurance program effectively addresses the unique risks of having some of your employees working remotely.
Make sure employees are using secure wi-fi. All of your employees should be using private and secured Wi-Fi networks while working remotely. Using an unsecured network — public wi-fi — can put your company’s private information at risk. Require anyone who uses public wi-fi to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which keeps their web browsing secure.
Make sure employees are using devices that are secure with up-to-date firewalls and anti-virus software. This applies to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s your responsibility to keep your customer and client information safe.
Make sure you’re classifying workers correctly for workers compensation insurance. When employees switch to working from home, some workers compensation insurers may want to change classification codes. As an employer, it’s important to know that you could be potentially be held liable if an employee is hurt on the job and employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they are hurt while working at home.