As COVID-19 sweeps around the world, many people have now settled into the new norm of working from home. However, there are many security concerns to think about that may impact your business. Take a look at these 9 essential security tips to keep your company information safe for work-from-home professionals.
Establish boundaries: when, where, and how you work.
Working from home lends for more flexibility between your professional and personal life, but also leaves workers overwhelmed. Be sure to set working hours and keep your tail in your seat to get your work done. Set up a stable work place away from your busy family so you know exactly where you’re working each day. Schedule yourself time for your regular tasks. How you work is just as important as when and where. These 9 tips will help get the ball rolling.
1. Set and maintain regular work hours.
Set a regular schedule to help you balance your day and give you set break times to exercise as well as address other personal tasks throughout the day. The easiest way we’ve found to balance time is to calendar your breaks and lunch time so your coworkers and family can count on time when you are in and out of the office.
2. Physical location for your work-at-home office.
Where you work is essential to keep you focused on your tasks too. Select a workspace away from running appliances, electronic media devices, and if at all possible stay away from doors with frequent traffic (your front door, refrigerator, or kitchen cabinets). This will cut down on distractions in your visual view. In addition, use a headset with your preferred white noise or work music to reduce distractions from your household.
3. Create a system for sharing information.
Working at home doesn’t mean you have to e-mail everything. There are many solutions to share information and even collaborate with others live within documents. If you are struggling e-mailing things back and forth just to get through the day, give us a call. We offer a handful of services to give you more flexible access to your company data when you need it.
4. Pay attention to ergonomics.
Many work-at-home professionals find it easier to stay in their chairs when they don’t have coworkers asking questions or walking by their desk. Working at home inspires many of us to log more hours. However, longer hours in a chair may also mean more issues for your back. Use the most comfortable chair you have and, if necessary, invest in a seat and/or back support cushion to ensure your body stays aligned properly. Also, pop in your earbuds for longer calls or invest in a hands free headset for regular communication. Sitting on a wooden kitchen chair balancing your cell phone between your chin and shoulder is not a long term solution.
While working remotely offers a slew of flexibility. You’re not top of mind for coworkers anymore. They don’t see you daily, therefore communication is key. If you’re not sure your colleague received something or knows what they need to know, check in with them. Send a follow-up e-mail or message them so you know the details have made it to the right person.
6. Create clear expectations for your team.
Talk with your team about your expectations each week. What are the priorities? What does success look like? What hours are team members available for work? We suggest a set weekly meeting to check-in with everyone and make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction, projects are reaching their respective milestones, and the entire team is engaged.
7. Get dressed!
This one may seem simple but you’d be surprised how important it is. Your morning routine can help put you in a healthy mindset for the day. You will find that you’re more productive when you’ve showered, dressed, and brushed your teeth. Working from home is still working.
8. Use video whenever possible.
Even if it seems unnecessary or uncomfortable, video conferencing helps people stay more connected. Human interaction can make a substantial difference in productivity and emotional wellbeing. Focus on your camera and stay engaged with your team.
9. Limit your e-mail chains.
E-mails back and forth can get confusing especially when there are 3-5 recipients. If your e-mail thread has more than 5 messages in it, it’s time to schedule a video call. Reach out to the recipients and create time for a meeting to discuss the topic. Long e-mail threads leave too much room for confusion and misinterpretation; not to mention unintentional emotional developments.
Missing a few components?
Working from home comes with great benefits and a ton of responsibilities. Discipline yourself. Give yourself structure so you know when, where, and how you plan to work through the day, week, or
even month. If you would like to explore more collaboration tools, a better document solution, or even if you just need to get your computer upgraded… give us a call. We can perform a FREE Network Security Audit to ensure you have the proper security and tools in place to handle your staff working at home.