November 12, 2020

Tips for Working Remotely: Be Productive and Secure

The Covid-19 global pandemic changed business operations, halting production lines, closing offices and leading many employees to work from home.

Companies must adapt quickly to equip employees for remote work, avoid security damage and ensure maximum productivity.

Failure to do so can compromise the motivation of your staff and the security of your personal data. Our tips and best practices for working remotely will supply your business with the essential tools to not only survive but thrive while navigating new ways of working.

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Attitudes to remote working have increasingly shifted even before it became a necessity. More businesses are embracing the work from home revolution thanks to benefits like a better work-life balance, increased productivity and time and money savings.

Recent studies found 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive and two-thirds of employers report increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers [1].

Further, workers are saving an average £44.78 a week by cutting commuting and lunches out. Combined, this means the 23.9 million people working from home are saving £1.1 billion each week. Thanks to these benefits, 26% of working Brits intend to permanently or occasionally work from home after lockdown. [1].

However, the same study revealed challenges to remote working, suggesting 30.9% of remote workers struggle with loneliness. Additionally, 22% of telecommuters say switching off after work is their biggest challenge [1].

Here's how remote workers can adapt to new challenges while also maximising productivity

Tips for Working Remotely

1. Focus - Set up a designated workspace where you can avoid distractions.
2. Tools - Make sure you have all the technology and IT support you need.
3. Routine - Get dressed. Changing into working clothes will help you switch to productive work mode.
4. To-Do Lists - Set out a list of realistic, achievable tasks to keep you focused.
5. Take a Break - Be clear about when your working day begins and ends and take breaks to refresh.
6. Stay in Conversation - Contribute regularly to team chats and group emails so you don't feel isolated.
7. A Personal Approach - Use audio and video where possible to foster relationships and enhance communication.
8. Don’t Do it Alone - Speak out when you need assistance, further training or support.
9. Own Remote Working - Change where you sit, put on music, do whatever helps you work and enjoy the perks!

Secure Remote Working

Supporting employees also means providing the right education and resources to help them work securely. Since the start of the global pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in Covid-19-related phishing and fraud scams. Our guide to remote working scams will help your business identify threats, prioritise data security and ensure remote employees are following best practices.

Working from home also presents many physical threats, which, if not addressed, can increase the risk of a data breach. Failing to comply with the GDPR can result in compromising the sensitive information of your customers, clients, and employees, in addition to fines and reputational damage.

Get peace of mind, protection and a more productive workforce with these simple steps:

  1. Prepare Guidelines - Introduce a set of guidelines for remote working and the secure destruction of confidential data.
  2. Train Employees - Educate staff on the best practices for secure information management and destruction.
  3. Limit Access to Sensitive Data - Check employees have the right access to the right files on a need-to-know basis.
  4. Secure Digital Devices - Ensure all files, devices and connections are password-protected with security settings and firewalls.
  5. Secure Remote Working - Provide staff with a lockable storage box to keep important and confidential documents safe.
  6. Secure Paper Documents - When possible, ensure employees return paper documents to the office, for secure storage or destruction.
  7. Employ a Shred-it All Policy - Ensure all confidential documents are securely destroyed to prevent the risk of a data breach.

Stay Protected with Shred-it

In addition to following the steps highlighted above, Shred-it can protect your remote workforce with secure, purpose-built sacks to store all confidential documents when they are no longer needed. Staff simply seal these sacks and return them when they’re next in the office.

You can call to arrange collection to securely destroy any confidential data, following our strict Covid-19 Service Process, to give your business peace of mind and help reduce the risk of a data breach and the subsequent fines and reputational damage that can follow.

Shred-it protects what matters and what matters to us is the security of your business. By following these remote working best practices, combined with our specialty shredding services, you can give your company every chance to prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
[1] – Finder.Com – Working From Home Statistics