Remote Work is Here to Stay: Is Your Company Prepared?

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Working from home
Working from Home Trends

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to office from home on a temporary basis, the trend of working from home had been steadily increasing.  In fact, between 2005 and 2018, the US experienced a work at home increase of 173%. (Source)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.4% of the US workforce or 4.7 million people were working remotely prior to the outbreak of the Corona-virus.  Global Workplace Analytics predicts that by the end of 2021, 25%-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week due to the following factors:

  1. Increase in demand by employees

Prior to the pandemic, research showed that 80% of employees desire working from home at least some of the time.  The demand for flexibility and the technology that can accommodate it have both increased in the past decades. As the pandemic spread in early 2020, 88% of businesses worldwide mandated or encouraged employees to work from home (Source).  Now that many have experienced the benefits of telecommuting, they want to continue doing so.

  1. Reduced concerns by managers and senior executives

One of the biggest objections to working from home is trust.  Owners/managers have previously felt the need to “see” employees to ensure they are working; however, once managers embrace managing by results and realize that they, themselves, are more productive when working remotely, they are likely to endorse remote work for their employees.

  1. Employers recognize benefits of having remote staff

In addition to reduced business travel, increasing employee retention, improved productivity and being prepared for future disasters, there is a real cost-savings initiative to having employees that work remotely.  In fact, a company will save $11,000 for each employee that works remotely half-time.  (Source)

  1. Better for the Environment

If reduced costs, higher employee retention and improved productivity aren’t enough to entice you to consider a remote work force, perhaps saving the planet will encourage you to make the move! You can reduce your organization’s carbon footprint by reducing commuter travel. It’s a win for both your company and the environment!

What’s the Catch? 

While remote work is beneficial to both employers and employees alike, there is a significant increased risk of security breaches.  Although 92% of IT Professionals believe the benefits of remote work outweigh the risks, 90% believe remote workers pose a security risk and 73% of executives believe remote employees pose a greater risk than on-site workers.  (Source)

Mitigating Risk

While there are several actionable steps to reduce the risk remote workers bring, there are two MUST DOs:

  1. Implement a Remote Work Security Policy

It is critical to develop and implement policies that outline what technology is allowed and what is prohibited.  Other elements to consider are VPNs, two-factor authentication, prohibiting use of personal devices and encrypted data protocols.

  1. Required Security Awareness & Training

Ninety percent of security breaches are inadvertent, unintentional and caused by human error which is why it is so critical to make employees aware of security protocols, provide on-going training, monitor their actions and report vulnerabilities.  60% of all small/medium businesses will go out of business within 6 months of a cyber incident.  Implement security awareness and training to reduce your company’s risk.

Trust the Experts

Take the time to implement a remote work security plan that includes security awareness and training at your organization.  SOL-I.S. Technology Solutions is here to help your company reduce costs, improve productivity all without sacrificing security!  Reach out to us at 952.279.2424 or online to see how we can help!

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