In March 2020, office workers around the world packed up their desks and set up offices at home, expecting it to be a temporary arrangement. Nearly a year later, as the pandemic continues and firms are seeing the benefits of a permanent work from home arrangement, it looks like remote working is here to stay.
Is your firm ready for work from home 2.0?
Work from home 2.0: how to make it a success
A survey of just under 1,000 firms by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working.
We provide the latest advice on how to make remote working sustainable, productive and secure for your company and employees in 2021 and beyond.
Make remote working sustainable
Working from home can help companies and employees meet their sustainability goals.
Remote workers have a smaller carbon footprint because they don’t have to commute to and from the office. You can also encourage people to use eco-friendly office supplies and paperless notebooks.
Make home working more sustainable for the future by removing duplicates of electronics and equipment, which are an environmental concern. Use the equipment in your office to give to your home workers instead of keeping two sets of everything.
Issue clear waste management policies to your home workers to ensure they are disposing of confidential waste securely and sustainably. Remote workers tend to print less at home, producing far less waste.
Online security tips: working from home securely
Last year, almost half of the businesses (46%) reported cybersecurity breaches or attacks.
With the number of cybercrimes continuing to increase, cybersecurity is more important than ever to keep your employees and data secure.
- Use antivirus software
Using firewalls and antivirus software will protect your computers from viruses and malware. Antivirus software detects real-time threats to help keep your data safe and a firewall creates a barrier between your information and unwanted eyes.
- Keep your systems up to date
Updating your programs and systems regularly will improve their security. Out of date software is more prone to cyber-attacks, putting your sensitive data at risk.
- Secure your connection with a VPN
VPNs provide businesses with an extra layer of security and creates a secure connection to another network, such as an employee’s Wi-Fi connection. A VPN will allow your workforce to safely connect to a business network from home.
- Make employees aware of COVID-19 scams
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of people’s uncertainty about the pandemic and creating Covid-19 scams. Employees should be made aware of what these scams look like and know what to do if they become a victim of one.
- Coronavirus-related scams include:
- Criminals claiming to offer you a Covid vaccine
- The sale of fake masks and PPE
- Criminals pretending to work for a charity to raise money for the NHS
- Avoid oversharing during conference calls
Limiting your file-sharing during a video conference will reduce the risk of unknown attendees accessing your data and private documents.
Boost work from home productivity
Working from home poses greater distractions than those in an office environment. However, most people are more productive from home due to the flexible schedule that it provides, reducing absenteeism.
There are a number of ways you can improve your employees’ productivity during work from home periods to ensure a healthy work-life balance.
Encourage employees to keep to a schedule: discuss with your team what works best for them and encourage them to adopt a morning and afternoon routine like they would in the office. A schedule will help people get into the right mindset for work.
Let remote workers take responsibility for their workload: many employees find a to-do list helpful to break down their tasks and ensure they don’t run into unwind time.
Ensure they take breaks and get some exercise: it’s easy to sit at your desk all day when there’s nobody to remind you to take a break. Encourage your employees to take regular breaks and to do exercise wherever possible. Taking some time away from your desk has been proven to boost productivity and motivation.
Provide them with the right tools and equipment: whether it’s a new office chair or a bigger screen to help them with their work, it’s important to make sure all staff have access to the tools they need to do their job well.
Keeping your firm and workforce safe and secure
Our IT support services will keep your business secure and help you support your staff while they work from home. Get in touch to arrange your free IT consultation.