Following the Covid-19 pandemic, a new era of hybrid working has developed for many of us, splitting our time between home and the office.
And whilst this presents a range of benefits, staying connected and remaining secure may not always come as standard when it comes to working remotely. This can present companies with an obstacle or two to tackle when it comes to productivity and communication.
When working from home, connectivity – or lack of it – can have a significant impact on our daily working lives. It’s very likely that by now, you’ve found yourself “freezing” on video calls or perhaps you have been endlessly trying to access large files due to problems staying connected? A conference call over WiFi may have even dropped, mid-sentence.
The good news is there are a few simple things that you and your employees can do to strengthen your chances of avoiding such situations when working from home:
- Boosting signals: Adding boosters and extenders can improve WiFi strength by picking up the signal from a router and increasing coverage around the home. Supplying employees with this kit could give their WiFi – and their productivity – a boost that makes it a worthwhile investment.
- Hotspots: A smartphone with a hotspot feature will turn the device’s cellular connection into a miniature WiFi network. This could be an important lifeline for an employee who is struggling to connect. You’ll also need to ensure that their phone is on an appropriate tariff that considers the data that a hotspot connection will use.
- IT support: Make sure employees know how to troubleshoot connectivity issues – and that an IT team is available to assist remotely if that doesn’t solve the problem to avoid long unproductive periods.
- Up to date software: Be sure that the software on employee devices is the latest version. Failing to keep it up to date could lead to a variety of issues – including exposure to security threats.
While connectivity can cause concerns, cyber threats if undetected can result in significant damage to your business. According to the UK government, among the 39 per cent of businesses that identified breaches or attacks in the previous 12 months, one in five end up losing money, data or other assets.
The below steps can go a long way towards keeping your business protected:
- Data security policy: Introduce a policy that clearly states how employees must keep company data secure – and what will happen if they don’t.
- Tools, technology and training: Ensure employees have all the tools they need to get the job done while staying secure. Increase knowledge further with cybersecurity training so that everyone is aware of the risks – and how to prevent them becoming reality.
- Updating your security: From spam filters to firewalls, security tools need to be kept up to date. Out-of-date software may not be able to withstand a sophisticated cyber-attack, so ensure you and your employees are operating from the most-up-to-date systems (or as your IT team recommend.)
- Personal device use: Using personal devices for work purposes may be beneficial in a hybrid working environment. However, you need to know what devices are accessing your company’s systems and data – and where. To lean on the side of caution, it may be better to restrict personal device use to the office where appropriate protection measures can be put in place.
- Secure connections and strong passwords: Be clear that employees must use secure networks, which includes using your company’s VPN (virtual private network), when working remotely. And it’s important that your employees use strong and varied passwords to help avoid security risks using a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
To find out more about how best to stay connected in a hybrid working environment, or if you’re simply looking for guidance as to what solution will suit your business best, please get in touch.