The risks and challenges of working from home
30 October 2023
Working from home has become increasingly common in recent years, with many employees enjoying the flexibility and convenience it offers. However, remote work also comes with challenges. Understanding and addressing these is crucial to a successful remote work experience.
How can I prepare my home office space to minimise risk?
Setting up a home office space prioritises productivity and safety for remote workers. By creating an ergonomic work environment, individuals can reduce the risk of work-related injuries and promote overall well-being.
Preparing an ergonomic work environment
When setting up your home office, consider the following:
- Invest in a comfortable chair that supports proper posture and provides adequate back and lumbar support.
- Ensure your desk or workspace is at an appropriate height, allowing for a neutral position for your wrists, arms, and neck.
- Position your computer monitor at eye level to reduce strain on your neck and eyes.
- Incorporate proper lighting to minimise eye fatigue and strain.
These simple ergonomic principles can enhance comfort and reduce the risk of physical ailments associated with prolonged desk work.
What are the other potential risks for people who work from home?
Working from home exposes some people to certain risks, including cybersecurity risks. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities, and remote work environments can present a target. That’s why it's important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your sensitive information.
Cyber security risks
Remote work often involves using personal devices and connecting to home networks, which may not have the same level of security as office environments. This increases the risk of cyberattacks, such as phishing attempts, malware infections, and data breaches. Here are some tips that can help mitigate these risks:
- Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Regularly update your devices and software to ensure they have the latest security patches.
- Utilise virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data.
- Be cautious of suspicious emails, links, and attachments, and verify the authenticity of requests for sensitive information.
Following these best practices can significantly reduce your susceptibility to cyber threats while working from home.
Challenges of working remotely
Maintaining work-life balance
The boundaries between work and personal life can blur when the office is just a few steps away. Establishing a routine and setting clear boundaries can help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Collaboration and communication
Remote work can hinder spontaneous communication and collaboration. Using digital tools and maintaining regular check-ins with colleagues can help solve these challenges.
Distractions and isolation
Home environments can be filled with distractions that impact productivity, while the absence of social interaction may lead to feelings of isolation. Creating a dedicated workspace and actively seeking social connections can alleviate these issues.
Don’t forget about Home and Contents Insurance
Anyone who has invested in home office equipment – like an ergonomic chair – knows these items can come with a hefty price tag. If they need to be replaced, it can be expensive. Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance may provide you with coverage if your insured items experience loss or damage due to an insured event*. This does come with limitations and exclusions – it is insurance after all. Explore our policies to find one that meets your needs!
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* Subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before considering this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. Subject to any rights you may have under any law (including the Australian Consumer Law), we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.