Trending Issues in Worker Risks Associated with Increased Telecommuting

Trending Issues in Worker Risks Associated with Increased Telecommuting


Many employers have quickly responded to the calls of social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by allowing or even requiring employees to work from home. In some cases, companies are contemplating the impact of working from home for the first time. For others, an increase in telecommuting workers is an extension of an existing flexible workplace model.

With unprecedented numbers of telecommuting workers, companies should evaluate the potential for new risks to worker safety. Employers should also implement procedures to ensure that their employees have a safe working environment at home.

Office Ergonomics

Moving from a traditional, ergonomically designed office space to a home environment can be challenging. Finding a suitable work area may be difficult, particularly where employees balance having many, if not all their family members, home during this time. Employees who work from areas like couches, kitchen counters and beds could increase their ergonomic risk. If they are able, employees should instead choose a dedicated workspace where they can work comfortably with good ergonomics in mind.

Other factors to consider include workstation setup, well-defined working hours, the ability to focus in the environment, and the use of breaks to move and stretch.

All these considerations are key to helping employees work safely, comfortably and productively in a home-based environment.

How to Set Up Your Home Office

Office Stretches

Slip, Trip and Fall

As in any work environment, employees should review their walking surfaces and ensure that they are clear from slip, trip and fall hazards. They should look for cables, cords and other items, and reduce the risk of injury by tucking them away or taping them down.

Slip, Trip and Fall Risk Management

Supporting Your Employees

Employers should think about how they can continue to support their employees to prevent injuries in their home-based work area. Consider work-related resources that an employee may need when transitioning to working from home. Recognize that in addition to the day-to-day work activities, working from home can require additional support not contemplated. Follow up with employees once they have started working at home.

How Travelers Can Help

Travelers has a variety of resources on our customer website, which can be accessed by logging in to or registering at Travelers.com. Additionally, Travelers Risk Control can support our customers remotely through our virtual consulting services, available for many work-related risks. If you have questions, please contact your agent or Travelers Risk Control (ask-risk-control@travelers.com).




The information provided in this document is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice. Travelers does not warrant that adherence to, or compliance with, any recommendations, best practices, checklists, or guidelines will result in a particular outcome. In no event will Travelers, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, be liable in tort or in contract to anyone who has access to or uses this information for any purpose. Travelers does not warrant that the information in this document constitutes a complete and finite list of each and every item or procedure related to the topics or issues referenced herein. Furthermore, federal, state, provincial, municipal or local laws, regulations, standards or codes, as is applicable, may change from time to time and the user should always refer to the most current requirements. This material does not amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by Travelers, nor is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy or bond. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy or bond provisions, and any applicable law.

The information provided in this document is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice. Travelers does not warrant that adherence to, or compliance with, any recommendations, best practices, checklists, or guidelines will result in a particular outcome. In no event will Travelers, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, be liable in tort or in contract to anyone who has access to or uses this information for any purpose. Travelers does not warrant that the information in this document constitutes a complete and finite list of each and every item or procedure related to the topics or issues referenced herein. Furthermore, federal, state, provincial, municipal or local laws, regulations, standards or codes, as is applicable, may change from time to time and the user should always refer to the most current requirements. This material does not amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by Travelers, nor is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy or bond. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy or bond provisions, and any applicable law. (A0817)