Over the years, experts have highlighted the many benefits that can be had from working from home including an improved work/life balance; greater productivity, more flexible work times, lower business costs, no time wasted commuting to and from work, and therefore reduced traffic congestion.
The social distancing measures & restrictions we have been experiencing as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic have meant that some chiropractors have started providing some of their services remotely. If you are one of these chiropractors, there are a few things you may want to consider to ensure you and your business are well prepared for the additional complexities remote working can bring.
You still have a duty of care for health & safety
If you have employees and you have asked them to work from home you still have a duty of care that is as reasonably practical as possible to ensure their health and safety while working from home, the same as you would if they were in their usual work environment. It is therefore, your duty of care to ensure that their work environment is safe with an ergonomically set up workstation with adequate lighting and has the IT technology and access to allow them to work efficiently as they normally would when not at home. You also need to ensure that your staff are not working for overly long periods without taking appropriate breaks. It is also recommended to that you maintain regular contact with your staff to monitor their wellbeing and mental health. Further information on mental health support can be found here: www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-illness.
Public Liability is still a risk
When the words public liability are mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is tripping and falling, which might not sound relevant to you if you don’t have an office where you host dents. However, some chiropractors may still be performing some services in person and this carries liability risks. For this reason. Public Liability should still be a key part of your coverage to help cover any potential out of pocket costs you could incur from a small oversight. While you home and/or contents insurance may also include a level of public liability cover if you have a home office, incidents which occur as part of your work or business may be excluded under personal insurance policies.
You may have greater susceptibility to cyber risk
Cyber risks apply to any business that uses the Internet to perform any part of its work or stores any data – regardless of where you work. For example, if you work from home and have younger children (or even teens), all it would take is one of them accessing your laptop and unintentionally downloading malware to send your entire IT system into meltdown. Even if you don’t have children, you’re not immune to these threats as cyber criminals have become highly sophisticated with phishing emails nearly impossible to distinguish from genuine communications. Cyber Insurance has been designed to help protect your business against financial losses arising from cyber-attacks and crime and, in our opinion, should be seriously considered when deciding which insurances to take out.
Your business equipment might need to be insured separately
Waking from home usually involves a laptop, and while the cost of a single laptop might not be a burdensome expense, if you run a practice where you have multiple staff working from home, and an event leads to their laptops being damaged of lost, the cost to replace multiple laptops would be significant. When insuring your portable electronic devices and other equipment, it’s important to clarify with your broker whether they are covered for loss of damage while they are outside your office or at an employee’s home – if this isn’t standard coverage under your policy, then you may be able to select it as an optional extra. Even if you have them listed under your Home & Contents insurance, personal insurance products often exclude damage which occurs to products while in use for business purposes.
You still need a Business Interruption Plan
Remote working is often a contingency when an event such as COVD-19 leads to business premises being inaccessible or locked down. However, it’s also a good idea to have a back-up plan if for any reason your remote work plans fails. For example, if you own your own home or your employees’ home is damaged due to a weather event, or you have a crucial meeting which needs to be held in person, you might want to have a back-up plan, a teleconferencing system to ensure you can keep your business running smoothly.