The broad corporate deployment of remote work, while affording entities and employees flexibilities that were unthinkable pre-COVID, has led to a host of new organizational challenges and risks that must be mitigated with carefully deployed controls and business practices, if such work arrangements are to continue into the long-term.
The traditional office environment, with all of its associated physical and operational controls, has long offered a reasonable level of assurance regarding the protection of data and corporate assets, along with onsite workflow management, workplace features and office ergonomics, oversight, and reporting mechanisms that are designed to optimize corporate data security and employee productivity.
When deploying a long-term remote work program, employee productivity concerns should be carefully measured, and not merely given lip service. While workers often prefer to have the flexibility to work remotely, employers must consider:
- Does each employee have a true home office?
- Are employees’ home offices optimally configured for a full day’s work?
- Are there distractions from children, pets, roommates, and other individuals that would not be present in an office context?
- Is there sufficient interaction among co-workers that are physically separated to enhance brainstorming, problem solving, and other collaborative activities?
- Is the casualness of the home environment possibly reducing the seriousness of the projects and responsibilities assigned to each employee?
All of these are considerations that are often not properly addressed in the new work paradigm.
Furthermore, with COVID lockdown protocols leading the majority of public and private entities to quickly deploy remote work/access programs in 2020, many of the traditional office controls were replaced by less formal and less scrutinized telework norms, utilizing a range of web-enabled, often third-party-deployed, cloud-based communication, collaboration, and management tools to facilitate disparate operations. This led to previously unprecedented risks to organizational data, assets, and challenges to personnel productivity. These risks are further exacerbated by the significant increase in sophisticated hacking schemes that specifically target the remote worker in recent years.
To address these vulnerabilities, entities that are committed to maintaining broadly deployed remote programs must now further codify, monitor, and manage remote work arrangements, or face grave risks to organizational data, assets, and productivity. Areas of key concern include:
- Home-office configurations to ensure adequate data privacy and security.
- Data exposures, based on when, where, and how employees access corporate data.
- Productivity and performance management, to provide adequate worker oversight.
BDA Global has deployed our Remote Work Accountability Solutions services specifically to help enterprises close related risks, develop robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and implement accountability measures to protect organizational data, assets, as well as to optimize remote worker productivity.
BDA Global’s solutions include:
- Remote work program codification, including remote work Standard Operating Procedures and technical solutions
- Remote office configurations and guidance
- Remote work audits
- Remote worker performance management and oversight guidance and training
- Remote worker spot checks
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.