Home office

As part of the Fresh Business Thinking home working campaign in association with Lloyds Bank Business Insurance Services, we held a Twitter chat with Damien McGarrigle, head of business insurance at Lloyds Bank Insurance.

Can a home-based business employ people?

Darren McGarrigle: Yes, the same employment rules apply as premise based businesses. As with any business that employs people. Consider health and safety risks and remember that it's a legal requirement to have Employers’ Liability Insurance.

Do you believe there are still barriers to overcome before everyone is offered home working equally?

DG: Larger corporates are getting to grips slowly. There’s still a perception barrier. Some people think home working isn't really working.

Is management ready for next level home working by trusting all staff to homework?

DG: They can and should! It's best to pilot home working to see if it works for the business and staff. Making sure staff have the same infrastructure is an important part of the trust and productivity.

What are your top tips for workers to ensure they make the most of their work day at home?

DG: Everybody's different. Keep it simple. Keep it structured. Make sure you have clear hours and a clear working space.

Can a business element be added to home insurance when home working?

DG: Inform your home insurer and if they can't provide suitable cover, there are specific home business packages available. But home insurers aren't always qualified to advise on business insurance, so best to speak to a specialist.

Responding a comment on close-mindedness of chief executives and managing directors despite flexible working laws...

DG: The flexible working law is a big step forward and makes it easier to run a business from home.

What are your top tips for ensuring that working from home doesn’t affect family/personal life?

By creating dedicated space it's easier for family to know when you're working and leave work at the end of the day.

Do I still need insurance when running a business on my own from home?

Yes! Type depends on what you do. If you have clients to your home (or visit), we recommend public liability insurance. If you give advice, we'd recommend professional indemnity insurance. Business equipment and stock also needs cover.

Home is certainly a great to get started! Strange that when it grows, people get some offices! Will that change?

It depends on culture and receptivity of business to agile working and work-life balance.

Will I need additional security?

Some insurers require specific security. We'd recommend speaking to a specialist about your individual requirements.

How can you facilitate your workers to be productive from anywhere?

Make sure they have the right equipment and infrastructure. But important to make sure trust and ongoing support is there.

Responding to 'The reality of overworking in home working is in sharp contrast with management thinking staff will slack!'...

DG: Very true! Relates back to perception gap we mentioned earlier. Work needs still needs to be done to close it. A cultural shift will take place where more businesses trust their staff to work from home with good results.