The global pandemic has seen many of us adapt to the ‘new normal’ by incorporating new ways of working. Socially distancing, video calls, deep cleaning and the one that suits some more than others, working from home, have become common place. For some, working from home has been successful, and the benefits such as time saved on the daily commute, can improve productivity. But for so many others, it has been a challenge. Not having the right infrastructure in place as well as multiple distractions, can all contribute towards an ineffective working environment.
Trying to stay focused is a huge problem for many, with too many distractions around the home from children to house chores to pets. Your usual routine is no longer there, making distractions that you’ve never dealt with whilst working your usual hours, a tough one to manage.
Not everyone has a dedicated work space in their home with many turning their kitchens, dining rooms or living rooms into offices. Not having an allocated work space in your home makes it extremely difficult to get into the right frame of mind, plus not having the right equipment and even chair can make working for long periods of time uncomfortable.
There are lots of problems surrounding home broadband, it generally has a higher contention ratio (number of businesses or households sharing the connection) often 2.5x more than business broadband, meaning home internet is typically slower.
Some home broadbands use traffic shaping, this is where they will prioritise web browsing traffic, but often will slow down the VPN and file sharing services so they don’t impact their networks too much, effecting your workforce’s productivity.
One of the biggest issues involved with home working is security. Remote IT workers are vulnerable against phishing and social engineering scams. Scammers are currently using sophisticated phishing emails to gain access to IT systems or extort companies for financial gain. Throughout the period of lockdown many businesses were targeted including Action Fraud Estimates, who were conned out of £3.5m during the first two months of lockdown.
Worryingly, a third of SME workers have fallen victim to phishing emails during lockdown, linked to the high number of phishing attack victims and rising fraud. There are various attacks out there that are extremely sophisticated, one being a BEC attack which is when a hacker impersonates an employee or contractor, often asking for information or payments. Staff are less likely to raise questions or be suspicious when they aren’t in the office and this type of attack is soaring.
How can you reduce the risks?
Remote workers should use company controlled and monitored devices, as well as a VPN which should be used across all online activity. If employees are working from home, a separate Wi-Fi should be setup just for work, with the correct antivirus and protection in place. Strong passwords and two-factor authentication on all business accounts are a must.
If you’re not sure if your business is operating securely? We can help, get in touch today for a free audit by calling
0333 323 7757.