Do you currently have employees working remotely? It doesn’t matter if your business is small or large; the COVID-19 pandemic has likely increased the number of your employees working remotely. Before the pandemic response, the average number of remote employees was also steadily increasing. Between 2005 and 2018, the number of remote workers increased by just shy of 175%. As a result of the lockdown restrictions around the United States, allowing employees to work remotely has become necessary for employers. Many employers have actually found that there are many benefits to allowing employees to transition to remote work. A decrease in overhead and operating costs, in addition to a decreased environmental footprint, to name a few. However, there is some inherent risk as well.
One of the drawbacks that come from a remote staff is the challenge in managing these employees. The lack of in-person communication makes it harder to remain on the same page as your employees. It’s common for staff members to find it more difficult to collaborate with other team members and remain connected with their peers. This lack of interaction can also cause a sense of isolation in these employees. These are only a few of the administrational problems that can arise due to these remote conditions.
There is also the liability that comes from remote employees that business owners must consider. Hypothetically, how do you handle one of your employees being injured during their remote stint? Or maybe one of your remote employees has the laptop they needed to work remotely stolen? Worse than both of these situations, what happens if your company’s network is breached due to a lack of network security for all of your remote employees? Ensuring you have the correct insurance policy for these sorts of issues is imperative when considering the challenges of enabling remote work.
To be sure your business is properly secured, be sure to incorporate an encrypted virtual private network or VPN and up-to-date firewall and antivirus software on any business hardware before providing it to employees who are transitioning to remote work. These tools will help prevent any form of network-based attack and provide valuable data security. Employees should also be sure to regularly update their hardware when available and change their passwords regularly.
If you’re still worried about a possible breach, business owners can also elect to go the cyber liability insurance route. First-party cyber liability insurance provides coverage over the damages that result from a breach on your company’s networks and systems. At the same time, third-party liability insurance will protect you if a breach puts your client’s systems or data in jeopardy. Both are effective policies to consider when making the transition to remote work.
For more information about the risks associated with remote workers, check out the accompanying resource below – Courtesy of B2Z Insurance.