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Setting up working from home

Setting up working from home

Will I need to arrange insurance cover for my work laptop? Should I look for a new home insurance policy? How do I make my home office a comfortable environment? We’ve got the answers you need if you’re working from home for the first time.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 13 MAY 2020

Starting to work from home

Although home working is the norm for lots of people, many of us are doing it for the first time because of the coronavirus outbreak. Here are some tips on making working from home, work for you.

Should I work from home because of the coronavirus outbreak?

If you can, you should. The Government has directed people to work at home wherever possible. It’s one of a range of social distancing measures designed to delay the spread of coronavirus.

What broadband speed will I need to work from home?

It depends on what you’re doing. The minimum speed for web browsing is generally considered to be between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps. If you’re using Skype, you’ll need a minimum download speed of 1.2 Mbps for video calls.

If several people are working from home in your household, you might find your broadband connection struggles. In that case, you may want to upgrade your package or, if your contract is coming to an end, switch broadband provider.

How should I set up my workspace?

If you’re fortunate, you’ll have a separate space where you can work without being disturbed. Even if you’re working from your bedroom, try to make sure you have a desk and chair setup that supports good posture, and suitable lighting to reduce headaches and eyestrain. Natural light can positively impact your mood and wellbeing, so if you can, choose a spot for your home workspace that has some.

Who’s responsible for providing my equipment?

Your employer isn’t under a legal obligation to provide your equipment. But given the Government’s advice for people to work at home, they may well do so. You may need to claim for phone bills and other expenses, so keep receipts to help you get reimbursed.

Am I insured while working from home?

Your employer probably has employers’ liability insurance to cover staff working remotely if they do so regularly. If not, they’ll need to make amendments to their policy. See more on business insurance for working from home.

Are business visitors insured in my home?

Even though some lockdown rules were eased in England on 13 May 2020, with more outdoor time permitted, government advice is for people to continue to work from home, where possible. And social distancing rules remain in place, so you shouldn’t have business visitors to your home.

Does my home insurance cover my work equipment?

Typically, home insurance only covers items deemed to be your legal responsibility. In other words, items that you own. But it depends on who owns the equipment and the terms and limits set out in your policy.

If you're a contractor, you're likely to own the laptop you use for work. In this case, you need to check that your home insurance covers items used for business, and that the value of your equipment is covered under the amount your policy will pay out for a single item. If it isn’t, you may need to increase your single item limit.

If the company you work for owns your equipment, they’ll have to check with their insurance provider that the equipment they’re legally responsible for is covered in your home. That’s because your company would be liable for any damage.

Do I need to tell my home insurance provider if I’m working from home?

Yes, usually you’d need to as it could have an impact on your premium or cover. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it doesn’t anticipate that insurance claims will be rejected due to a change in someone’s circumstances forced on them by coronavirus social distancing measures. See what the FCA says.

How do I make the most of working from home?

It helps if you treat it like working from your office. It’s best to get properly dressed, keep regular hours, allow yourself breaks, and exercise outside. Remember to stay two metres apart from others, too. See Government advice on social distancing.

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