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Managing the risks attached to your remote workers

There are many benefits attached to remote working. As examples:

  • Your employees can enjoy a healthier work-life balance, and this should have positive effects on their productivity.
  • You can reduce the expenses attached to your business premises.
  • You will protect the environment, as there will be less need for your workers to travel to and from work.

In some ways then, it makes perfect business sense to allow for remote working within your operations. However, as you can see below, there are risks involved.

Risk #1: Lost or stolen equipment

Many remote workers base themselves at home. For some people, however, this isn’t always practical. Instead, they might work from a local cafe, library, park, or some other venue that is open to the public. There are dangers here, of course, as if the equipment they use for work is lost or stolen, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, the sensitive data your business holds could be compromised. 

To manage this risk, you should ask your workers to avoid certain places where possible, for the safety of your business equipment and information. You should also ask them to ensure sufficient password protection is put in place; as this way, any information your business holds should be secure if your work devices fall into the wrong hands. You might also consider the Mobile Device Management solutions provided by Electric, a company that has developed one of the best MDMs on the market. With data encryption tools and the opportunity to wipe a device’s data if it is lost or stolen, you can mitigate the risks involved. 

Risk #2: Working on an unsecured Wifi Network

Working from home shouldn’t be a problem, as most people work on secured wifi networks. However, the wifi networks in cafes and other public places are often unsecured, and this means the information your company holds could be accessed electronically by anybody with hacking know-how. And why would they do this? Well, in most cases, to gain access to your financial information, as if they can get into your business and customer accounts, they can benefit themselves financially. They can do this by holding your devices to ransom if they can lock your employees out, or by channelling funds directly into their own accounts.

To manage this risk, you should follow the suggestions we made in the last point. You should also install antivirus software on your devices, use a VPN to hide the IP address on your devices, and back up any sensitive data in the event of a ransomware attack by a hacker. 

Risk #3: Unproductive employees

If your employees are working remotely, how will you know if they are actually working? They could be in bed, watching the TV, having a day out with their family, or doing something else that has nothing to do with the work pertaining to your business.

To manage this risk, you can use the MDM software we mentioned earlier or any form of device tracking software. You can also check in regularly, perhaps through Skype or FaceTime to ensure your workers are where they are supposed to be. Setting a deadline each day will also help, as this will ensure your remote employees have a reason to work and not shirk their responsibilities. 

Remote working, as we said, does have its benefits. However, your business will suffer if the risks aren’t addressed, so act upon our suggestions if you do decide to let your employees work remotely.