Staff Productivity, Strategy

Empowering Remote Workers

How technology improves the work life balance for remote workers

As communication infrastructure has improved (with the amount of homes with superfast broadband connections topping 10.8 million last year.

2017 is likely to be something of a tipping point when it comes to remote working, with more than half of businesses in the UK now offering remote working policies according to the Work Foundation at Lancaster University. It can also reduce the need for bricks and mortar expenditure considerably, as less office space is required. In fact, financial behemoth American Express told Forbes that it has enjoyed annual savings of $10 to $15 million thanks to allowing its staff to work remotely. Workers are also able to save money by reducing their commute, and are able to work in a comfortable environment that promotes family unity and a better work/life balance. 

Working seamlessly together

However, you need to proceed with caution. It’s not simply a case of allowing any employee with a laptop, internet connection and desire to work in their pyjamas the option to work from home. Before you offer them the ability to work from home there needs to be a certain amount of technology investment undertaken to ensure that you mitigate the threat of new and emerging cyber-attacks.

In order to do so, businesses must ensure there is a range of technologies working seamlessly together to provide secure access while not impacting the end-user experience. Security is the key as you don’t want your remote users to become the weak link in your cyber defences. It is important to use authentication techniques such as two-factor. The technology ensures that access is only provided when a user meets two separate authentication criteria, often a password and a unique, temporary code provided to their mobile handset via SMS. The good news is that your users are now used to two-factor authentication from when they bank online.

The data between your employee’s device (which could be anything from a traditional PC to a tablet or mobile phone) and your organisation’s servers must be encrypted whenever they log in. As older cryptography techniques have become easier to hack, connections should now be secured using IPSEC with DES or 3DES. This means that even if a hacker was able to intercept your data, it would be unintelligible.

While simple passwords to crack – such as 123456 or password1 – are never recommended, the advice around passwords has somewhat evolved. The National Institute of Standards and Technology now recommends https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/facts 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/connect/small-business/scaling-up/staples/working-from-home/ 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2013/04/01/flexible-workspaces-another-workplace-perk-or-a-must-have-to-attract-top-talent/ 

https://pages.nist.gov/800-63-3/ 

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