By Maria A. Vasilas,
In an era when the spread of the COVID-19 disease continues to take up enormous efforts and forces governments to implement measures of social distancing, the work from home concept is becoming increasingly well-known. A vast majority of companies have obliged and/or have given the right to their employees to work from home, in order to reduce the contamination risk in the workplace. Remote office practices are most attractive in the areas of IT, customer service, telecommunications and marketing as most tasks can be performed by a computer and they add up to less costs, in comparison, for the employer.
Despite the above-mentioned positive aspects, remote working brings about new risks for the employee and his personal data, as well as for the company itself and all IT systems. The negligence and lack of training of employees, the inadequacy of ΙΤ security systems and the cyber attacks cannot only financially destroy a company, but will also irreparably damage its trust and reputation. Taking this into consideration, companies should create an effective and detailed policy including best techniques and guidance for all employees who are permitted or requested to work from home.
- Home is considered a public place. Although it is largely restricted to just the family, it is a place where people are unrestricted. When working from home, the office environment and network should be secure and the laptop as well as the organisation’s information should be protected at all times.
- Regarding the physical security of the computer, the important documents and any other devices must be in a secure place e.g. in a locked cabinet. If possible, a dedicated locked workstation can fulfill the IT security requirements.
- When it comes to personal security, the employees should make sure that they are the only ones that have access to the computer and the working papers. Outsiders should be excluded from the use of relevant data and applications.
- Respect and compliance to the copyright and data protection laws should be considered the cornerstone of a sustainable remote office mentality.
- The personal use of an unreasonable amount of an organisations’s network and other technology resources can cause many problems considering IT Security and Data Protection. Personal and professional use should be separated and strictly scheduled, in order for misunderstandings and errors to be avoided.
Digitisation is rapidly changing what we are already familiar with in terms of labouring practices. This new challenge seems attractive and very promising, but at the same time it can be fatal for anyone who can not adapt to its rules.
- ADM, Was ist Home office? – Definition, Voraussetzungen, Regelungen. Available here.
- INNOQ, Effectively Working from Home: best practices from two years in home office. Available here.
- Ingenieur.de, Home-Office: Die 5 Wichtigsten Vor- und Nachteile. Available here.