Five years ago, setting up an employee to work remotely was a huge task. Five years from now it will simply be business as usual. Today, with the right technology, it can be seamless. Some studies show that doing so may even increase productivity by about 13%. When the pandemic forced employers like you to provide options for employees to work remote, you may have had had to cobble together some solution or rely on employees personal equipment just to get things going. Now that long-term (or permanent) remote work is the reality, it’s time to consider best practices for the mobile-driven workforce, particularly how to make your virtual workforce secure. Here are the top five best practices to secure and mobilize your workforce:
Create standardized, seamless access for remote work
With many applications available in the cloud, employees can easily access the software they need to get their jobs done, even in a remote environment. However, if your staff has to repeatedly log in to multiple applications when attempting to work, they’ll quickly be frustrated. Then, their productivity will diminish. Instead, create a standardized path to access, ideally with single-sign-on to the systems they utilize the most. You can do this using a virtual office system, as well as a VPN (if you address some security concerns).
Utilize two-factor authentication
We get it. Using two-factor authentication is a pain. You have to make sure you have your phone or secondary device on hand just to get into a site to do your job. However, it is one of the safest ways to keep your company and personal information safe. This prevents downtime and financial loss in the long run.
Write strong employee policies
Virtual work cannot degrade into a free-for-all of multitasking, podcast watching, and doing the minimal amount of work to convince people you’re busy. This starts by creating clear virtual work policies. These should address work hour expectations, time entry rules, meeting guidelines, dress codes, and web-surfing policies. Using the right technology, you can effectively track and enforce these policies, even in difficult remote work environments.
Implement a multi-level security strategy
You can’t rely on a single firewall or residential grade connections to keep your employees safe, particularly in a virtual environment. You need to protect your network, home networks, and anything that touches your system in multiple ways. That’s why we recommend a virtual office/hosted desktop solution. You maintain the maximum control and protection over all of your technology and data with many layers of security.
Continually educate your employees
Employee mistakes cause 90% of breaches. We recommend quarterly training for all employees. You should cover expectations, the latest security threats, and any new policies to keep themselves and the company safe. We highly recommend continuing education even while people are remote, as hackers are typically targeting less secure home networks.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve seen a lot of changes when it comes to technology. You’ve had to learn and grow along with these changes, otherwise, you’d be left behind. The latest change is moving toward a remote workforce.
Many businesses already have a partial staff who works remotely. In the coming years, many businesses will use a 100% remote staff, for many reasons. Instead of employees working part-time in the office and part-time elsewhere, they will be remote all the time.
Working with an untethered workforce leaves all parties free to focus on their daily tasks. Allowing employees to work remotely empowers them to do their best work. In order to be successful though, you need to take into account these five ways to make your virtual workforce secure. Contact us to help.