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Helping Your Employees Work From Home Safely

Who could have predicted the changes 2020 has brought? Remote working, or working from home, was rising in popularity prior to this year. Even still, no one expected the swift and dramatic rise of remote work at the level we’re currently experiencing.

Because this change has happened so suddenly, many businesses found themselves somewhat unprepared for the transition. Institute these safe practices, and pass them along to your employees to help things run more smoothly.

Ensure that each device is protected. Employees should use a device dedicated to work; sharing with family members should be strongly discouraged. Remind them to install security updates when prompted, and to protect devices with passwords.

Use safe WiFi connections. Working from home sometimes also means working from hotels, cafes, other locations. Remind your employees that public WiFi connections are not secure, and can put your data and business operations at risk. As for home WiFi, make sure everyone is using a strong password and secure firewall.

Adopt a VPN. Institute a Virtual Private Network for company use, and make sure to update settings and limitations regularly.

Consider two-factor authentication. Your cloud system and any other processes should be protected with two-factor authentication, for optimal protection against data theft or loss.

Create a protocol guide. Update your old security protocol, or adopt a new guide, to clearly communicate your expectations to employees. Focus on the expected response in the event of device loss or theft, and for suspected or known security breaches. Each employee should know how to immediately proceed if one of these events occurs.

The above procedures can help protect your business from unwanted virtual viruses and more… But what about real-world viruses and other health risks? Check with your healthcare plan administrator about telemedicine (virtual healthcare appointments). This type of healthcare is not only time-saving; receiving healthcare from home can shelter us all from the inherent risks of waiting rooms.

If these benefits are available under your plan, communicate that information directly to employees. Review sick leave procedures and determine how you will handle telemedicine appointments as time away from “the office”. Working from home is still work, and together we can adopt procedures to keep each other safer at this time.

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