Outdated risk-management policies threaten telework

As teleworking becomes more acceptable, it could create new risks for employers, including one of the largest employers of telecommuters, the U.S. government.

While the benefits of telework stack up, Business Insurance magazine reports that risk-management practices have not kept up with changing workplace trends. The telework policies provided by the Telework Enhancement Act, or similarly proactive efforts, are needed to prevent potential liabilities, the magazine reports.

Risk management typically assumes that workers are in offices or perhaps out in the field. It doesn't account well for people working from  home offices, where hazards exist that may not mirror the office environment. For example, a recent case granted workers’ compensation survivor benefits to the family of a company teleworker who died of a blood clot while sitting at her work computer for an extended period of time, the article states.

Some suggestions by the magazine include hiring a workforce consultant to set up or check out an employee’s home office to make sure it is ergonomically correct and uncluttered, even photographing the space to have it on record according to, the article states.

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Reader comments

Fri, Oct 21, 2011

No way do I want my home to be part of the office and in any way monitored or - oh no way - to photos or inspections. I won't telecommute unless they inspect my work not my work site. The telework legislation and agreements should hold the employer harmless if someone chooses to work from home - If folks are making deductions on their taxes for the 'home office' then the privilage of working from home should be relected in reduced compensation. Get you lazy bumms to work!!

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