The Impact of Remote Work on Office Insurance

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The rise of remote and hybrid working has transformed how businesses operate. As organisations embrace flexible work models, how has this affected office dynamics and insurance? In this blog post we look at insights into how remote and hybrid working has influenced office insurance policies and premiums, as well as some tips for businesses on how to adapt accordingly.

What is Remote & Hybrid Working?

Remote working refers to the practice of employees carrying out their tasks and responsibilities from a location outside of the traditional office setting, such as from home, co-working spaces, or any other location with internet access. This model provides employees with greater flexibility, allowing them to better balance work and personal life, plus, lower commuting time and expenses. Remote workers can benefit employers with the opportunity to tap into a broader talent pool, as proximity to a physical location is no longer a requirement.

Hybrid working combines elements of both in-office and remote work. In a hybrid model, employees split their work time between the traditional office environment and remote locations. This approach allows for increased flexibility, as employees may work from home on certain days and attend the office on others. The hybrid model acknowledges the benefits of face-to-face collaboration and team interaction while embracing the advantages of remote work, such as improved work-life balance and reduced commuting stress.

Changes in Office Dynamics

Before the 2020 Pandemic, most businesses required their employees to attend the office in-person every working day. However, the pandemic prompted a widespread adaptation to remote work as a necessary response to health and safety concerns.

Many business owners discovered that they thrived just as well working remotely as they did with office working, and they recognized the value of flexibility and the benefits that remote and hybrid models bring, fostering a more inclusive and adaptable work environment.

When pandemic restrictions were lifted, the majority of businesses continued forward with a remote or hybrid working structure, and this has generally become the ‘new norm’

As a result, some businesses closed their offices completely, having made the switch to fully remote and benefiting from cost savings of not renting or maintaining a physical office space. Others have reduced their office space or decreased the amount of offices they have, opting for more dynamic working arrangements such as ‘hot-desking’.

Implications for Office Insurance

Reduced Office Footprint:

With a significant portion of the workforce operating remotely, companies are re-evaluating their physical office space needs. This downsizing trend can impact property insurance costs, potentially reducing office insurance premiums due to the smaller space. However, it is crucial for businesses to consider other factors that may influence premiums, such as the value of equipment used remotely and the need for cybersecurity coverage.

Employee Well-being and Liability:

Hybrid work models blur the lines between traditional office spaces and remote environments. Employers must consider the impact of remote work on employee well-being and its potential implications for liability. Insurance policies may need adjustments to cover injuries or accidents that occur in home offices or other remote work settings, affecting policy risks and considerations.

Equipment and Ergonomics:

Employees working remotely often use their personal equipment, raising questions about coverage for damaged or stolen devices used for work purposes. It is important to clarify whether office insurance extends to cover equipment at home. Additionally, ergonomic issues in remote work setups could contribute to health problems, prompting the need for insurance policies that address potential employers liability claims.

Office Equipment Coverage at Home:

Clarifying whether office insurance covers equipment at home is essential. Businesses should assess their policies to determine the extent of coverage for employees’ personal devices and work-related equipment used in remote settings.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

The fluid nature of hybrid work requires insurance policies that are flexible and adaptable. Businesses should look for policies that can be easily adjusted to accommodate changes in the work environment, ensuring continuous coverage regardless of the evolving work arrangements. This adaptability is important for addressing potential changes in policy risks and needs.

Employee Engagement and Mental Health:

As remote and hybrid work models become more prevalent, addressing the mental health and well-being of employees becomes a priority. Insurance policies may need to include provisions for employee assistance programs or mental health coverage, recognising the impact of work-related stress and isolation, and potential changes in policy risks.

Burglary & Vandalism Risks for Empty Offices:

The increased prevalence of remote work has inadvertently heightened the risk of burglary and vandalism for empty offices. With a significant portion of the workforce operating remotely and often security measures reduced in accordance, physical office spaces are often left unattended for extended periods, making them more susceptible to break-ins and theft. Office Insurance policies and premiums may need to be adjusted to provide comprehensive protection for unoccupied offices.

Public Liability for Employees Away from the Office:

Understanding whether public liability insurance covers employees away from the office is crucial. Businesses should review their policies to ensure that liability coverage extends to employees working remotely or in various locations, addressing potential legal and compliance issues related to employee activities outside the traditional office space.

Cyber Security Concerns

Many remote employees aren’t aware of the cyber security risks that they are faced with when working from home or on a public internet connection. This means there has been an increase in cyber attacks since remote working has become more popular. Using public WIFI is something employees should avoid as it presents a risk to their private information and security.

Increasing cyber security for remote workers will decrease the risk of cyber attacks, protect the business’s sensitive data, and employees will be able to work remotely with confidence. Office insurance policies may need to be updated to include comprehensive cybersecurity coverage, addressing potential liabilities stemming from remote work-related security incidents, which may impact policy risks and considerations.

Tips for Businesses

If you’re a business that’s remote or hybrid working, these tips will help you adapt your office insurance policy. 

Review your existing policy 

As the office dynamic is changing, so should your office insurance policy. Fewer employees in the office at any given time means less risk of injury, damage to property or theft. The cost of your office insurance premium should decrease.

Analyse potential risks with remote working 

Analyse the potential risks that come with remote working such as increased cybersecurity threats, data privacy concerns, employee injuries and property damage. These risks may pose more of a threat to remote working, compared to working in the office. 

Educate employees 

Most employees aren’t aware of the increased risk of cybersecurity attacks or sensitive data with remote working. Ensuring employees are educated and aware of these issues will decrease the likelihood of the business becoming a victim of cyber attacks. Providing safety training for remote employees is a good idea. 

Consult with insurance brokers or providers

Discussing the new business changes with insurance brokers or providers. They will be able to advise on any changes to office insurance policies. 


If you have any questions regarding a new or existing office insurance policy, our friendly experts at Heath Crawford can answer any questions you may have for your business and help get the most out of your office insurance coverage.