Whether your customers have always worked from home or this is something that has resulted from the pandemic, there are some key factors they need to consider to keep connected and comfortable.
WHERE TO WORK
Working from home sounds easy and the idea of gaining so much time by not having to commute is a bonus, but there are a number of essentials to consider. The first is where in the property your customers are going to set up their workstation.
Ideally this would be a room where they can shut the door. A spare bedroom or one that has enough space for a desk and chair, would be most beneficial. A popular option has been to covert an external space such as a shed or summerhouse into an office, there are many benefits to this option as it offers far fewer distractions, however, it’s important your customers check their existing policy to see if there are any restrictions on outbuildings. Working from the kitchen table, whilst possible, means that interruptions are more likely, with other people needing to use the same space. When deciding on a workspace, it’s a good idea for your customers to think about where they can make and receive calls whilst keeping keep background noise at a minimum.
Desk and comfortable office chair – If your customers are working from home for any extended period, it’s important they invest in a chair that supports their needs, and the amount of time they will be sitting down. Neck and back issues may arise unless they have the right equipment. it is also important for them to make sure that their computer is set up correctly, where the monitor is eye level to protect their neck from long term strain.
Broadband access – It’s essential that your customers have a reliable service. It can depend where they live, but also where their router is placed in the home. Before they decide where to work, it makes sense to ensure they have the strongest service or be in close proximity to the router.
Mobile phone signal or landline access - As above. They may also want to consider changing their mobile service as coverage varies between providers. Alternatively, while it might be considered old technology, a dedicated landline won’t let them down.
Computer, printer and peripheral devices – Assuming a post COVID lockdown scenario, where your customers may travel to meet clients, a laptop might be better option than a desktop, which is tied to their home office. Buying a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse, which they can attach a laptop when they’re are back at their desk is worth considering as a more versatile package.
Insurance - Whether your customers are self-employed or working from home as an employee they MUST review the terms of their home insurance.
Working from home could invalidate their existing cover and their insurer might deny a potential claim, if their policy doesn’t reflect their home working status.
QUESTIONS YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL NEED TO ASK THEMSELVES:
Do they know if their existing policy allows them to work from home?
Some don’t on standard home insurance.
Does their existing policy cover business equipment or business stock?
Several don’t on standard home insurance.
Does their business function on client visitors to their home?
A lot of standard home insurance policies do not allow any client visitors if they run their own business from home.
Standard home insurance will usually only protect their belongings financially from loss, damage or theft, if they have been used for general home use rather than business use.
Let your customers know that they can come to you for advice on what they should consider for their circumstance.
To check the cover available from our panel of insurers for business use, business stock, business visitors and business equipment, click here.