Keeping Remote Workers Safe and Happy
Working remotely used to be an exception, but it’s fast becoming the new normal in today’s digital economy. As technology advances, workplace preferences evolve and with the advent of the coronavirus, firms are embracing the virtual worker model. Recent research shows remote labor can translate to added benefits for both employers and employees, such as increased morale and productivity and decreased business expenses.
A 2019 International Workplace Group study of more than 15,000 businesses across 100 countries found that 85 percent of respondents confirmed an increase in productivity after adding workplace flexibility for employees. In addition, 80 percent of respondents said they would choose an employer that offers workspace flexibility compared to those that don’t.
These results shouldn’t be surprising. Afterall, traditional office environments can present an overwhelming amount of distractions. When managers request impromptu meetings, co-workers spark non-work related conversations and employees can lose focus.
Another major benefit for employees who work remotely is the removal of a daily commute. This can translate to reduced weather or traffic-related tardiness and commuter frustration, which often set the tone for an employee’s entire day.
According to TalaTek CEO and founder Baan Alsinawi, “At TalaTek, we embrace a virtual workforce that ultimately benefits our clients. By being a distributed workforce, I am able to hire the best of the best regardless of where they live, and provide them autonomy to do their jobs, which I have found produces a higher level of performance, commitment and diligence.”
Companies with a remote workforce also should implement strong anti-hacking policies, such as multi-factor authentication and virtual private networks for employees logging into the corporate network.
It’s also crucial to provide regular employee cybersecurity training to ward against phishing email attacks and other social engineering incidents. When employees are spread out across the country or around the world, they do not have as much personal contact with one another and may be more vulnerable to fraudulent emails purporting to come from a company’s accounting or IT department. If only one employee clicks on a link and provides credentials or downloads an attachment, a bad actor can attack a corporate network, installing ransom ware or creating a costly data breach.
Alsinawi advises all companies to follow industry best practices to keep their networks safe, and to require their employees, both remote and on-site, to engage in regular cybersecurity training.