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Telework Involves More Than Just Technology

Lockton report offers risk management guidance on work-from-home arrangements

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Teleworking—allowing employees to work from home—can be a simple solution to many employee needs, including long commutes, caring for a sick family member, or providing a quiet space to concentrate on a special project without distraction. Improvements in technology make it easier than ever to get certain essential job functions done from the comfort of one's home.

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Whether a teleworking arrangement is permanent, recurring, or temporary, it is important to have buy-in from all stakeholders as well as a formal teleworking policy or plan in place for your organization, according to a new report from insurance broker Lockton.

In their recent white paper, Creating a Telework Plan that Benefits Employers and Employees, Lockton's Kim Brown and Karen Thurlow share important considerations for an employer when developing a teleworking policy.

"A company might think it's as simple as providing the technology for employees to work from home," said Brown. "But there are a host of things to consider – everything from who might be eligible for the arrangement to the safety and ergonomics of their home office."

Brown and Thurlow recommend proactively creating a comprehensive telework policy and considering a trial period.

Considerations outlined in the paper include:

  • Establishing clear expectations. It's important both parties have an understanding of how much a teleworker can get done, when and how they are expected to be available, and what other activities can be performed at home while working.
  • Securing organizational support. The organization should establish a culture that respects telework. While some may view it as easier to work from home in sweatpants and slippers, teleworkers often find it difficult to separate work from home. It's important they are treated with the same respect as on-site workers.
  • Safety concerns. The employee's home becomes the workplace in the event of a workers' compensation claim; a company should consider conducting an inspection of the home to ensure a safe and secure environment. An ergonomics assessment or training can ensure a proper work set up and prevent injury.

While these considerations are not exhaustive, they do provide an employer a jumping off point for determining an appropriate approach for a telework policy. The Lockton Claims Department can provide further insight and guidance. Contact your Lockton representative for more information.

About Lockton
More than 4,950 professionals at Lockton provide 35,000 clients around the world with risk management, insurance, and employee benefits consulting services that improve their businesses. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, Lockton has attracted entrepreneurial professionals who have driven its growth to become the largest privately held insurance broker in the world and 9th largest overall. Independent researcher Greenwich Associates has awarded Lockton its Service Excellence Award for risk management for large companies. For five consecutive years, Business Insurance has recognized Lockton as a "Best Place to Work in Insurance." To see the latest insights from Lockton's experts, check Lockton Market Update.

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SOURCE Lockton

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