Although remote work is now widely seen as a temporary measure in response to COVID-19, it’s safe to assume it will become the norm very soon. Before the pandemic, remote work was already on the rise, increasing by 159 percent between 2005 and 2017. It’s a highly desirable perk, especially among millennials, and 85 percent of businesses report remote work can help increase productivity.
To enjoy the full benefits of remote work, however, organizations must establish clear, comprehensive remote work policies. That way, they can avoid the common pitfalls that often prevent businesses from reaping the rewards of telecommuting.
In particular, remote work policies should account for the following three factors:
1. Technical Support
Technical difficulties are bound to happen every once in a while, and they have a bad habit of cropping up at the most inconvenient times. When an in-house worker runs into a frozen computer or speakers that no longer work, the IT team can step in to assist. Even in the absence of an in-house IT team, a worker in an office can always move to a spare computer and get right back to work.
In a remote environment, solving technical issues isn’t as easy. IT is no longer down the hall — they might be halfway across the country. And few employees keep extra computers sitting around at home.
Remote work became a necessity practically overnight, which meant organizations had to scramble to adjust. Without any time to prepare or establish new processes, IT teams are now responsible for managing employees’ technological woes on a much larger scale.
It’s not too late to remedy that situation: Your remote work policy should clearly specify the procedures for addressing technological issues in a remote environment. Outline the level of support your IT team will offer to remote workers, and include information about the best people to contact whenever issues arise. It’s also a good idea to compile a technology FAQ to help employees address common technical issues on their own.
2. Security Threats
Security threats are another major pitfall organizations often face when shifting to a remote environment. Even before the pandemic, businesses were major targets for cybercriminals. With the majority of employees now working from home, much of your business is being conducted through unmanaged routers, faulty firewalls, and unsecured networks. It should come as no surprise, then, that cyberattacks have risen right alongside remote work…