Courtesy of iii.org
Work from home required by the coronavirus pandemic is predicted to become permanent for some employees as companies such as Google consider "hybrid models" with more flexible work options.  And although teleworking is nothing new, an increase in the number of people working from home in the coming post-pandemic years will certainly lead to some thorny compensation issues.
In a recent report called "Digital Business Accelerated," which examines the digital transformation trends of SMEs, Chubb pointed out that makeshift home offices that do not really address ergonomic best practices can lead to an increase in long-term damage. [1
An injury or illness that occurs when an employee working at home will be considered work-related if it occurs while the worker is performing work for pay or compensation at home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of the work rather than to the general home environment or environment, according to OSHA.
For example, OSHA to say, if an employee drops a box of working documents and injures the foot, the case is considered work-related. If an employee is injured because he or she travels on the family dog while rushing to answer a telephone call at work, the case is not considered work-related. If an employee working at home is electrically due to incorrect wiring, the injury is not considered work-related.
There is a lot of ambiguity about such claims.
"It is much more difficult to prove that an injury was work-related because there is usually less evidence in these home office scenarios," says Gary L. Wickert, an insurance law attorney, in an article in the Claims Journal. “An accident at a company or workplace can have witnesses or be caught on safety material. Work at home workers are often alone while working, so there is often no one present to confirm a sudden injury or accident or to determine the exact conditions of the injury.
Holding a third party responsible (subrogation) for an accident also becomes more complicated in the event of personal injury.
"When the worker is injured in their home, subrogation targets tend to shrink and blow away," Wickert says. "If an employee is injured at home or when he takes children to kindergarten before, during or after the working day … A subrogated carrier cannot sue the employee in the employee's name – neither can the employee," he said.  Employers and workers must also be aware of mental health problems that can develop. While many people appreciate the psychological benefits of working remotely, others find that teleworking leads to anxiety, depression and burnout. The Center for Workplace Mental Health has suggestions for workers that include exercise and a regular schedule, as well as for employers, which include staying in touch and acknowledging the effects of isolation.
To reduce changes in home injuries, of which poisonings and cases are the most common, check out the CDC's Home and Leisure Security page. For tips on setting up an ergonomically correct workstation, read this Mayo Clinic article.