Twelve months ago, some of us thought remote and hybrid working would be short-lived and we’d all be back in the office relatively quickly. That’s not the case.
New numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found two in five people with a job were working from home at least one day a week during February 2021.1 That 41% compared with 24% in March 2020, before COVID lockdowns sent people home.
Remote working is here to stay, and accountants need to be aware that this can impact their risk exposure.
An Australian government report, Locked Out: Tackling Australia’s ransomware threat, found one in three Australian adults were affected by cybercrime in 2019, and that the annual cost of cyber attacks to the Australian economy was A$29 billion. It also found 62% of small and medium sized businesses have experienced a cybersecurity incident.2
Are we ready for this new normal?
A report from software company Karbon3, based on a survey of 906 accounting professionals across 20 countries in June 2020, found that 61% were happier working from home, and 67% expect to work remotely more often.
There are good reasons for this. Working from home means a better work-life balance. We’re not spending time commuting, and we can do things such as drop off the kids at school, or care for elderly or unwell family members, with less of an impact to our workday.
People also feel they’re more productive at home, but remote work comes with its own set of challenges, which is why insurance is even more important than it was in the past.
Aon’s message is “Don’t just insure, be sure,” and it’s critical in a world where businesses of all sizes, and particularly small and medium sized enterprises, can come under attack from cyber criminals.
The downsides of working from home
Having the appropriate insurance covers in place is critical because although many people enjoy working from home, the Karbon3 report identified some challenges. For example, respondents said there were more emails to get through (47%) and more meetings (35%), but also more client communication blind spots (22%), something that may lead to inadvertent oversights.
There’s also less inter-team communication. The office is great for spontaneous meetings and overhearing things that affect our work. About 19% of people in the Karbon survey said they didn’t know what their team was working on, which could lead to more errors and mistakes.
“About 19% of people in the Karbon survey said they didn’t know what their team was working on, which could lead to more errors and mistakes.”
The shift to remote work has also seen digital tools and storage replace many manual and paper processes. Having everything online speeds workflows, but how would you survive if your business were to be hit by a ransomware attack? Do you have cyber insurance to help you get back on your feet again?
By being covered through Aon for professional indemnity and cyber risk, you can take comfort knowing that when the inevitable strikes, Aon has your back.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey”, conducted from 12- 21 February 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/year-covid-19-and-australians-work-home-more
2. Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee, Locked Out: Tackling Australia’s ransomware threat, March 2021, https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/cyber-security-subsite/files/tackling-ransomware-threat.pdf
3. Karbon, “How accounting firms around the world have adapted to COVID-19”, karbonhq.com/covid-19
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Don’t just insure, be sure that you are covered for professional indemnity and cyber risk. Call Aon on 1300 836 028 or go to aon.com.au/ca