The Hybrid Workforce and Security: How Safe Is Your Home Office?
From the onset of COVID-19, it was obvious that companies and businesses had to rethink their business models in order to keep employees working while fulfilling business needs.
The hybrid workforce is not a new concept but it has recently become a popular one.
A hybrid workforce is a blended workforce that involves employees who work remotely and employees who work from a central location such as an office, warehouse, or retail location.
Hybrid workforces are not entirely remote but those who do remotely often work from home.
While this is an ideal situation for many individuals, there are special considerations that need to be taken when working from home, including whether or not your home office is safe.
Here are some safety concerns of the hybrid workforce and how you can address them in order to protect your home and your equipment:
Safety Concerns of a Hybrid Workforce
You don’t need to lock up your home office like Fort Knox to ensure its safety and security but you do need to take precautions to ensure that your work and livelihood are protected.
The two biggest concerns are cybersecurity and home security. Here is how you can address each:
The number one concern you should have when working from home in a hybrid workforce model is protecting the data on your devices. In the United States, the FBI has reported a 400% increase in cybersecurity complaints since the start of the pandemic.
Cybersecurity issues can include exposure to unencrypted wifi networks and data theft as well as breach of privacy and confidentiality agreements.
To protect your work information in a hybrid workforce, get in touch with your company’s IT department to check to see if your current security protocols are adequate.
You can also use a business VPN to encrypt your internet connection and mask your IP address, locations, and online activity.
Be sure to also password-protect your computers when working from home – and designate your work computers for work only. Don’t allow family members to use your business equipment.
When you’re working remotely from your home office, you are likely going to have valuable and expensive business equipment at your disposal. This may include multiple computers, network equipment, etc.
You may also have paperwork containing sensitive and private client/business information.
You can keep your home office, and your home, safe by ensuring the doors are locked when you are not home. Installing a lock on your office door can further protect your company’s property.
Consider also installing a smart camera in and around your home. Many modern models allow you securely view video of your premises locally or remotely right on your phone. They also have intelligent alerts that notify you of any concerning activity.
The Future of the Hybrid Workforce
There are many benefits to managing a hybrid workforce so it seems that companies and businesses are not likely to turn away from this model any time soon.
Being able to work remotely, especially from home, has been shown to increase productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and, perhaps most importantly, reduce business costs.
There’s no denying that a hybrid workforce is an ideal work situation for many individuals but, as wonderful as it may seem, there are security and safety issues that need to be considered.
So if you are working from your home office and intend on doing so into the future, take the time to protect your data, your equipment, and your home. This way, you can continue to enjoy your work-at-home experience safely and securely!
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