Are You Working From Home, The Office – Or Both?

We are two years on from Covid (well the worst of it at least) so let’s take a look at how the “New Normal” of remote workplaces (Working from Home) is going and how it might be affecting things like Workers Comp Insurance.

The questions that are starting to gain some traction are:

  1. Should Australian Business owners encourage their employees to return to the workplace or continue with remote working setups? and,
  2. Is there potentially a hybrid system that can balance the benefits of both scenarios?

So let’s dive in.

Should Australian Business owners encourage their employees to return to the workplace?

Australian businesses could definitely look into the possibility of bringing workers back to the workplace in 2023. Many firms and workers had a change of perspective, showing a more positive attitude towards working from home as they were forced to adapt to the “Covid-inspired’ model.

However this situation may not be perfect for either the business owner or the employee. It has been noted that some workers find it extremely difficult to work from home and would prefer the workplace environment, where others enjoy the freedom provided by the remote location.

So, what are the pros and cons of reducing the number of remote workers against having them back at the workplace?

Pros of Reducing the Number of Remote Workers:

  1. Increased oversight – Managers can have a better oversight on the employees, possibly preventing slack off which is often feared in remote settings.
  2. Building Team Cohesion – Having workers in a centralized location can foster a better team environment, allowing for spontaneous interactions and stronger team bonding.

Cons of Reducing the Number of Remote Workers:

  1. Decreased Work-Life Balance – Bringing workers back into the office might disrupt the work-life balance that many have found while working remotely.
  2. Potential Increase in Absenteeism – Remote working has shown to reduce absenteeism. Reverting this might see an increase in absentee rates.

Pros of Having Workers in a Remote Location:

  1. Better Work-Life Balance – Workers often experience a better work-life balance when working remotely.
  2. Reduced Turnover – Remote work environments have been linked with decreased staff turnover, indicating higher job satisfaction thus reducing costs through lower staff replacement.

Cons of Having Workers in a Remote Location:

  1. Potential Pay Variance – Depending on where an employee resides, there may be variations in pay, potentially leading to disparities and dissatisfaction.
  2. Challenges in Team Building – Remote settings can pose challenges in fostering a cohesive team environment due to the lack of spontaneous interactions and bonding opportunities.

Both scenarios come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach might be a balanced one that caters to the unique needs and preferences of the workforce and the organizational goals, also known as a ‘Hybrid’ model.

Is the best balance a Hybrid Model?

This is certainly the most balanced approach, integrating the benefits of both remote and in-office work environments.

This system should provide structured check-ins and multiple communication options to support remote workers effectively, while for in-office workers, considerations should include creating a supportive and flexible environment that caters to employees’ needs.

The discussion, therefore, revolves around understanding and analyzing these various aspects to create an environment where employees can be both happy and productive, whether they are working remotely or in the office.

Achieving this balance means integrating the benefits of both remote and in-office work environments. The main areas to keep in mind would appear to be structured re-integration programs for the office environment on the one hand, and creating open channels of communication where employees can voice their concerns and preferences on the other.

When considering the shift towards a hybrid work model or a complete return to the workplace, business insurance policies become a focal point of attention.

It is vital for companies to continually re-evaluate their existing insurance policies to ensure they are aligned with this evolving work environment. Businesses may need to scrutinize their workers’ compensation insurance to determine its adequacy in covering employees in both office and remote locations.

Furthermore, attention should be given to potential liabilities to third parties for personal injury or property damage, especially in a hybrid work setup where the lines between work and personal spaces may blur.

Navigating through the choices and management of business insurance policies becomes an essential step in risk management as businesses transition to these new work models.

Being informed and prepared to make a claim or dispute a decision is essential in safeguarding the business interests, and this is where your insurance broker can be essential.

This additional layer of preparation not only ensures legal compliance but also fosters a safe and secure work environment, regardless of the location.

 

Talk to Roger Hosie from #RSMTasmania today.
Call Now! (03) 6244 7854, or email roger@rsmtasmania.com.au 

Read More

Related Posts