Navigating the Work-from-Home Challenges of Our Changing World

person using computer

It’s only been a few weeks since organizations began transitioning their employees to remote work as a way of protecting them against coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The reality of working in this new normal has proven to be cyclical in nature. Some days, you get lots of work done and feel productive. Other days, you really miss that social interaction.

In some cases, maintaining focus can also be a challenge. In these uncertain times, many people have children running around as they’re trying to accomplish their jobs from home. They’re also no doubt feeling the same cabin fever with which all the rest of us are struggling.

You need to acknowledge these individual differences among your employees if you are to adequately support them while they work from home. Part of this task involves making sure your remote team members know that you have their back as the world struggles to find its new normal. The other part boils down to using security controls and solutions to steer your employees away from today’s evolving digital threats. Let’s explore these objectives in more detail below.

How to Navigate Having a Fully Remote Team

You cannot support a fully remote team with just one step. In a recent webinar, Zix|AppRiver CIO Sheila Carpenter noted that organizations need to do several things to fully and successfully support a remote workforce. These include the following:

  • Be transparent: Your policies might be changing daily if not hourly as your work to keep up with your evolving business needs. In such a dynamic environment, it’s important that your employees know about these changes when they affect your business goals and/or when they modify business processes that concern employees’ duties.
  • Be accessible and responsive: If you are to be transparent, you need to have direct lines of communication open with you work remote force. These channels should extend beyond just email to include videoconferencing, phone and other means of communication. Don’t let your workers flounder out there alone by themselves.
  • Assess progress: You cannot trust that your employees will necessarily take the initiative to tell you that something isn’t working. You might need to find this out yourself by asking proactive questions of your employees. Incorporate proactive questions into your correspondence to make sure you know where they are and if there’s any additional steps you can take to support them in these extraordinary times.
  • Listen: Don’t project any assumptions onto what your employees tell you in response to your proactive questions. Recognize the problem they’re presenting and give them the knowledge and resources they need to succeed

Securing Your Remote Team Members

You need to make sure that your employees are safe and secure while they work from home. Carpenter feels that this task begins with preventative measures. As quoted in the webinar:

As much as we have solutions, ultimately employees are the weakest link in terms of clicking spear-phishing threats and falling for other email-based attacks. Organizations therefore need to educate and make sure that their employees know that they’re the first and best defense. They can do this by making sure their environments are secure. They can work with their employees to make sure that they’re using a password to protect their Wi-Fi networks, that they’re not using weak credentials, that they’re letting their kids play on a business PC and that you have solutions in place to defend them against spear-phishing threats that are coming across email.

To do this, you need peace of mind. You need software with productivity and security that’s built in, that uses threat intelligence and machine learning to make sure their end users are protected. This is what Zix|AppRiver provides: security by design for the modern (remote) workforce. It’s a suite of productivity tools with security in a box for companies of all sizes. There’s no need to do any of the heavy lifting by yourself. Zix|AppRiver creates the framework that you’re going to need for your compliance efforts, all while supporting you from the cloud.

Learn how Zix|AppRiver can support your remote workforce needs in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.