All business owners and managers have had to navigate through some of the toughest times in their organizations’ history as a result of the pandemic. One of the keyways in which many operations have changed is through enabling remote work full-time. However, if you could believe it, the pandemic had only further accelerated the transition for many employees. In fact, in the years leading up to the pandemic, between 2005 and 2018, the number of full-time remote employees had increased by 173%. Of course, over the last two years, the number of employees who went remote likely surpassed this value. Allowing employees to go full-time remote actually has some benefits for organizations though, such as reduced overhead costs and a less impactful environmental footprint.
With the good always comes some form of bad and this is particularly true with remote employees. Anything is going to have its challenges, though, so no need to think of remote employees as the downfall of your organization. Most challenges will come in the form of communication barriers. For example, some managers may struggle with the inability to communicate with their staff face-to-face. In the case of employees, it can be difficult to establish the same effort and willingness to work compared to their time in the office. Collaboration issues organization-wide have also been indicated from organizations with remote employees. Isolation has also impacted organizations in this same way.
Organizational challenges aside, another aspect of remote employees that businesses have to consider comes in the form of liability. Certain incidents can occur with remote employees the same way they could with in-office employees. Physical injury at home while on the clock will still have to be addressed. There are digital threats to consider as well. For example, what if an employee puts company data at risk and is later faced with a cyberattack? Prior to transitioning their employees to remote work, organizations should look into insurance policies that will continue to cover their employees.
Revisiting the threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, organizations will have to come prepared before sending their employees to home for work. A virtual private network, or VPN, and the latest antivirus software and firewall security are just a few of the tools organizations should have at their disposal. These tools are capable of protecting employees and organizations while they work remotely full-time. Of course some attacks will still slip through and when they do, organizations should again have some sort of insurance coverage for these attacks. First-party and third-party cyber liability policies are meant to cover any damages as a result of these attacks, both for your organization’s data and your clients’ data respectively.
When executed correctly, remote work does allow employees to become more enabled and established a much healthier work-life balance through professional freedom. Organizations should continue to support their remote employees in any way they can especially navigating through the troubles and liability that they may become exposed to. For additional information on how to maintain your employees’ security, check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of B2Z Insurance.