Working from home – changing the way we think about where we live

One effect of the pandemic has been the requirement for many people to find ways of working from home, aided by technology. Figures1 from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at the end of May, show that 41% were working from home, for at least part of the week. The extent to which an employee can work from home obviously depends on a number of factors, such as whether a specific physical environment, tools, or proximity to other people are required for the role. 

New horizons

It appears likely that a significant number of these workers may continue to be wholly or partially home-based after lockdown measures ease and this could give them greater choice about where they choose to live. 

If a daily commute to a place of work isn’t required, other priorities such as schools, local facilities, value for money and a better quality of life may come to the fore.

Insurance – need-to-knows

The Association of British Insurers (ABI)2 has issued reassurance that, if you are an office-based worker, now working from home because of government advice or because you are self-isolating, your home insurance cover will not be affected. The ABI has stated: ‘You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.’

It is worth checking your policy document, but company property such as a mobile phone or laptop is not usually covered by a standard household insurance policy. Your employer should be able to confirm that the correct insurance is in place to cover these items outside of the usual place of work. 

What if I have an accident whilst working from home?

As you are in control your own home environment, you are responsible for your own safety. Therefore, if you were to suffer an accident whilst working at home, your employer would generally only be responsible if it was due to their negligence, meaning that they had failed to take reasonable care for your safety and the accident was due to that negligence.

If you have a protection policy such as Accident and Sickness or Income Protection, and you have an accident or suffer an illness that prevents you from working, you may be able to make a claim.

Do you have the right cover in place?

If you are unsure whether you have the right insurance cover in place, contact us for advice on your own individual circumstances.

1 ONS,2020

2 ABI, 2020