Will your business continue with homeworking?

If you had heard words like lockdown, pandemic, social distancing and self isolating 6 months ago you would have been forgiven for thinking you were listening to a trailer for the latest Netflix release. Now they are as commonplace as homeworking.

Because we are in touch with many businesses, we've seen first-hand how the coronavirus has triggered this forced experiment in remote working. The strain it has put on technology resources and physical and mental wellbeing of businesses staff. Some have thrived, some have found it harder. Certainly, it has got peoples creative juices working in finding ingenious solutions when overcoming the difficulties of doing business remotely.

The Insurance Implications 

Most insurers have been very proactive over the need to keep clients covered during the lockdown. They have waived unoccupied cover restrictions and extended cover on equipment, usually at the work address to cover items at employee homes.

The important things employers need to do is ensure they can effectively manage their responsibilities to staff and ensure they have a safe working environment. For the employee, they need to ensure that their home insurers are happy with them working at home, although one might think it is common knowledge. 

Does homeworking have a place after Lockdown?

In our experience communication seems to have been the toughest part. Who would have thought that with all the tech availalbe to us? For some though it's been non-stop video or zoom calls and constant emails. The worry of who do I include on the call? Do I reply to the email at 8pm at night, what happens if I don't? Will the battery on my mobile last the day?

In the past you would have had a quick chat in the office or walked over to your colleague's desk to discuss an issue. Now managers are worrying about whether their teams are doing their jobs, or just sunbathing. Employees are worrying about keeping their jobs and being out of the loop. If they are out of sight, are they out of mind?

The crisis has however proved that some homeworking can have a place in the business environment, certainly when it comes to flexible working. There is also the reduction in business overheads, commuter time, saving money on travel and food, managing work more efficiently, seeing children more often. Some even claim that they are more productive. 

After the pandemic passes and we see businesses open, it is expected there will be a cultural shift towards working from home as a norm and many employees will want to do this, at the very least for a part of the week. Is it then possible to have the best of both worlds? It will depend on your type of business. 

How are we coping at J Bennett & Son? 

From the outside it is very much business as usual. Our culture though is based around people and teams, keeping an ear out to what is going on both in the office and with our clients. We have an open plan environment which allows us to share information, news and of course a little banter openly with everyone. We regularly throw problems around the office and use it as a means to educate each other whilst hopefully offering a solution.

Our business is built on relationships with our clients. Meeting them in person, building trust and understanding their day to day problems. No piece of software is going to be able to replace that and neither is electronic trading going to help those businesss like pubs, restaurants, gyms and shops who are in a very difficult situation.

We will always do what we can to help and if you would like a friendly, personal, self-distancing chat you can call us on 01494 450 450 or email us at insure@jbennett.co.uk We'd love to hear from you.