Are You and Your Team Ready to Work from Home?March 17, 2020
In light of recent events, it has become increasingly important for employers to dust off their work from home policies and ensure that work is getting done in a safe and effective manner.
Recent events have accelerated work from home trends…are you equipped to work remotely in a safe and effective manner? Here are some tips to help you transition to a comfortable work from home routine.
Tips for employees
- Invest in antivirus software- This is the first step, but by no means the only step to secure a home office. Companies often have preferred software for a company-issued device, but if you use your personal laptop for work, it’s important to still adhere to company policies. Many internet providers offer free antivirus software, too.
- Keep your physical workspace secure- Physical security is essential for a secure home office, too. Whatever elements of traditional physical security you can add, the better. There are a number of DIY home security systems (iSmartAlarm, the SimpliSafe Home Security System, and the SkylinkNet Alarm System) which are affordable for homeowners on a budget).
- Don’t allow family members to use your work devices- A work computer should not be a “family computer”. Employers recommend that you treat work-issued mobile devices, computers, and sensitive data as if you were sitting in your physical office.
- Follow company policies rigidly- Company policies should always be diligently followed, especially when you’re working outside the office. Conduct regular scans, report any suspicious behavior to your IT team, and update antivirus and malware software whenever you can.
- Maintain your regular routine. It’s important to maintain your regular schedule. Set a schedule, and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance.
Tips for employers
So, how exactly do employers manage remote employees?
- Develop and implement a comprehensive remote access policy and require employees to attest to its adherence annually in writing;
- Utilize VPN or other secured services for remote employee access;
- Require that employees use a non-stored password to connect during each session, especially for Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) access;
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (“MFA”) for remote access;
- If possible, restrict the employee’s ability to save or upload files by limiting their ability to utilize external devices (CD’s, USB sticks, etc.) and;
- Limit employee access to programs and files. Only allow an employee access to the files that he/she absolutely needs and reserve the right to terminate an individual’s access to a program or file.
- For sensitive programs or applications, it’s best to enforce reasonable session time-outs.
- Provide services for remote file storage and other tasks.