Date published: 2020-03-30

3 rules for ensuring an effective remote working

Home Office employees graph

The current crisis jumpstarted the increase in ‘remote work’

After the announcement of this unprecedented circumstance and strict quarantine policy procedures, governments encouraged employers to change their employees’ work schedules to remote- if the nature of the job allows it.

The job benefit has become a necessity even though people in Europe have not been using it. According to European Statistics Department, Eurostat, only 5,2 % of European have been using this alternative periodically.

The silver lining in this circumstance could perhaps be the amount of work that can be done remotely. For thousands of people, this could potentially mean the end of unnecessary travel, more flexibility and better work life balance.

Naturally, due to this forced remote working model, most companies are not organised and technically prepared. Also, unfortunately, there will be some who can misuse this and therefore, it is important to ensure safe and reliable company computer network.

These are three fundamental things that are important for a successful remote wor

Rule 1: Create a VPN

Make sure that the employees have an access to a well secured network communication. In practise, this means creating virtual private network (VPN), ideally multi-factor authentication. This is to prevent employees to access the company’s private data internet network.

Thanks to VPN, the computers in different locations are able to communicate in the same way like being in one physical network. Most importantly, it can create something called a ‘tunnel’, a virtual data line between an employee and an employer.

Of course, even VPN could include vulnerabilities, such as the ones uncovered by Cisco, F5, Pulse Secure or Palo Alto during last year 2019. Though, connecting using virtual private network is still much safer than providing your employees access to your data via internet.

Rule 2: Give your employees basic security instructions

The second important step while remote working is to inform your employees about the importance of following basic safety measures.

These include

  • To not connect to Internet or a company network via public wifi, so the hackers will not get the chance to access company’s mailbox including credit card information and company’s login details. It is better to use mobile hotspot with already mentioned VPN together.
  • To avoid clicking on links in email or unknown social networks (although they might look trustworthy) as well as to avoid installing unknown software. It is especially true in the current situation. People are hungry for information and click on all the links promoting jaw dropping information about the new Covid-19 or info graphics demonstrating development of the virus.In reality, most of them serve as a way to spread a malware for accessing the passwords or ransomware which results in encrypting company’s data and asking for ransom.
  • To encourage changing the access passwords more often by using longer and more complicated passwords containing numbers, special characters or even song lyrics.

Rule 3: Control and monitor the activity

It is not about having the control over your employees, although every company or manager needs to find their own way to motivate people to assure their productivity.

From technical and operational point of view, it is important to understand that with the increase number of remote workers, there will be more pressure on certain IT infrastructure as well as increased risk on various functional and security issues.

If the network connection is affected or there is an operational problem with IT services, employees cannot be productive. At the time of “workers from home”, it will be necessary for organisations to gain an overview of what is happening in their network. Only in this way they can answer the question of how their infrastructure is ready for the current changes that are occurring in network traffic, for example, whether it needs to increase the network line capacity or change the company's Internet communications policy to ensure the necessary availability for home office users.