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Living in the World That Works from Home
Whether we like it or not; whether we are ready for it or not, we are now staring straight into the face of a labor revolution.
At this exact moment, two things are happening with your workforce. First, as they struggle with an unreliable Internet connection, uncomfortable furniture, and the lack of human contact, they come to appreciate their office environment. Second, they are growing more confident in performing remotely and accustomed to the new normal, which means they will expect it when things fall back into place. In just a few weeks, we will reach the point of no return: there will be no excuses not to offer the benefit of regular work from home post-pandemic.
We are now seeing how much of a shake-up is necessary to convince us to reevaluate—and change—our work routines. Before the pandemic, the only reason to do so would have been a major financial incentive. And while turnover tends to decrease on average 50% when employees are given an option to work remotely and productivity soars, so far this hadn’t appeared to be enough to convince employers to offer it at scale.
Now, the market will lead the way. And as business owners, it is our job to adapt, anticipate, and prepare. The decisions we make today, scrambling to set up remote offices for our suddenly telecommuting employees, will affect us tomorrow when remote work becomes the new normal. The three major areas of change and decision-making, then, will be the remote office set-up, security, and culture.
Remote Office Set-Up
Even if your employees will continue working from home just once a week or 2-3 times a month, they need a place to do it. The absolute minimum for distraction-free work would be a desk, a chair, and a laptop.
If your office still favors desktops, you may want to reconsider the set-up for those employees who can get the performance they need out of a portable machine. Working on personal computers is a surefire way to compromise your data security and possibly your systems, so do your best to avoid it.
As for the desk and the chair, corporate discounts do wonders.
Work from Home Security
Your employees likely handle a large part of their work by connecting to the company servers, making phone calls on the office lines, and using conference rooms (or classrooms!) to discuss and collaborate. When all these things happen within your office walls, you get an in-built layer of security through verified IP addresses and on-site IT support.
However, when all the standard elements of your office infrastructure are accessed remotely, it is essential to a) verify who is accessing them, and b) make sure they can be accessed securely.
To verify that your employee is actually the one pinging your servers, enable two-factor authentication. This protocol leverages something the person knows (a password) and something this person has (usually a smartphone) to verify identity through pings or keys sent to the device.
Setting up an entire remote office equipped with all necessary security measures is a hassle. Turn-key remote office services like 3seat take care of the safety of your business with managed firewall, router, backups, spam filters for email, and secure remote access for your workers. The only possible gap making your systems less than air-tight is the human factor. According to a recent report by IBM, human error is the main cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. The risks are particularly high among the segment of your staff with less experience working remotely.
Most people make mistakes not out of malicious intent but for the lack of knowledge. Weak passwords, phishing, storing confidential information on local machines, and sending sensitive information to the wrong recipients are some of the most prolific human errors with potentially grave consequences.
This is why we created a FREE Security Awareness Training Webinars and encourage you and all your employees to attend them. The short webinars are open to all levels and don’t require any prior IT knowledge. We made sure to cover all the basics of protecting your company’s data when you browse the web, send emails, work with confidential information remotely, and much more.
Do your employees get to choose a fixed day to work from home once a week or will they get a “budget” of days to use throughout the year in addition to their PTO? How will you ensure your employees stay engaged and productive from the comfort of their homes? How do you need to adjust the communication style within the company to ensure transparency, collaboration, and performance even with some colleagues working remotely?
These are just some of the questions any business owner will need to answer when embarking on a journey through the post-pandemic labor landscape. The answers will require trust in their employees’ ability to take ownership of their work, overcommunicating through the abundance of online channels available today, and lots of flexibility. The proper IT setup will free up your peace of mind to focus on these things. As always, 3nom is here to prepare your business for the world that works from home.
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