Posted on: March 25, 2022
3 Ways Businesses can Navigate Remote Work Compliance CorrectlyGet Started
In these changing times, the necessity for remote work has grown quickly. That exigency is unlikely to fade away immediately. Maybe it won’t go away at all for many businesses.
Even before this shift, there was a growing appreciation of the possibilities that remote work solutions presented. Virtual interactions were becoming more seamless because of technological advances. Prospective employers were profiting from the diminished significance of location in talent management.
Now that business owners have restarted their cross-country routines and shifted to hybrid work, employers undoubtedly find that some previous in-office workers have been just as efficient during this at-home period as they were before the virus.
Are remote workers a massive liability or a valuable asset?
Allowing employees to work from home has several advantages for businesses, including cost savings and more flexible work schedules. However, organisations may face numerous compliance difficulties, so it’s critical to weigh the benefits of a remote workforce against the extra security measures that would be required.
Remote working, sometimes known as ‘working from home’, refers to any job done at a location other than the workplace. Business owners must remember that it will be the home for most employees, but it could also be a more public environment, such as a co-working space. Companies must increase their initiatives to ensure compliance risk is adequately minimised whenever work is undertaken off-site.
Remote work compliance challenges
1. Issues with data and security compliance
When it comes to remote work compliance, it’s customary for businesses to concentrate on their HR responsibilities. This includes employee categorisation, home occupation licences, and worker compensation. While all firms should keep these concerns in mind, it’s also critical to stay on top of current data and security issues. When your employees work from home, the danger of these problems increases.
You risk data loss if staff have access to sensitive information. When your employees share personal information, the risks increase. Have a powerful data loss prevention (DLP) plan in place at all times. Remember that discussion and adherence are just as important as the paperwork while developing this plan. You must perform DLP at all times, and your policy must be written in such a way that there is no room for error.
2. Activity monitoring issues
You may monitor employee activity online using a variety of technologies. You can do it via the internet, work chatrooms, workplace collaboration tools, social networking sites, and messages.
What kind of behaviour should you be looking for? You’ll want to monitor chats, inappropriate behaviour, and data loss when using communication methods and enterprise software. You’ll want to check your website for any updates or edits you haven’t made yet. To comply with record-keeping rules, you’ll need to gather this information.
Ways to navigate remote work compliance
1. Categorise your employees properly
Ensure your workers are accurately classified to guarantee that the various criteria for correct adherence can be satisfied in a remote location.
Consider how much access freelancers have to your internal documents and Slack channels, for example, if you’re working with them. Is it necessary for them to have complete access to everything? Make sure non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that cover you are both binding and present, and that their contracts cover secrecy.
If you operate in a highly regulated field, such as financial services, bear in mind that the law requires regulated employees’ communications to be archived. It’s critical to understand which of your employees are subject to regulation and implement a system for compliant record-keeping that works in a remote setting.
All the communications of high-level managers (and workers who handle highly sensitive material) are routinely captured and kept on legal hold within large corporations. Ensure that your setup is ready for remote working once more.
2. Make a work schedule
Every company should have a remote work plan in conjunction with a remote work policy. Identify all employees’ tasks and any potential modifications that remote work may bring, such as tasks you may have to forego.
You can determine the responsibilities of each department if you have a large staff. Consider any potential consequences and solutions. Always have a backup plan for technical help.
Determine the most effective means for employees to work collaboratively. Schedule virtual meetings regularly. Draft means for everyone who has entry to the workplace or worksite to distance themselves and work safely.
Ensure that all training, including training courses and work productivity tools, is completed. Ask your employees if they’ve ever worked remotely before; if not, you may need them to complete additional training, such as privacy and compliance training.
3. Implement a code of conduct
The code of conduct at your organisation outlines how you and other workers should behave on a daily basis. In a remote work setting, the company’s key standards that guide choices and standards of behaviour still apply. Adherence to these rules is ensured by preserving professionalism and managing colleagues, clients, and vendors in the same manner as before remote work.
The value of a company’s compliance programme is not diminished by the shift to remote employment. Consistent compliance messaging is even more important when staff is dispersed. You can implement online compliance training to keep compliance processes up to date, even if your employees are working remotely for a lengthy period of time.
Work from home tips for employees to ensure remote work compliance
Since very few people care to reset their router credentials, cybercriminals target default credentials, leaving Wi-Fi routers vulnerable to breaches. A simple action you can take to secure your Wi-Fi router from malicious attackers who want entry to your devices is to change your router’s passcode from the standard to something unique.
While switching between devices to pay a bill or shop online may seem inconvenient, try your best to maintain your work laptop and personal computer separately. You rarely know if you’ve been hacked. If your personal or work computer has been compromised, this can help contain the quantity of sensitive data revealed.
It’s critical to remember that working from home means working from home; you shouldn’t undertake company business in cafes, internet hotspots, hotels, bookstores, or other public locations.
Other tips include:
- The working location should be ring-fenced from other family and friends when at home, to avoid unintended leakage of personal information.
- Employees should not print documents at home unless their managers and the Compliance and Information Security departments have given their specific permission.
- Handle calls between team members and clients with the same level of secrecy as in the office, and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule should be followed.
- Workers should weigh in with their relevant manager or the Compliance team if they are unsure about anything before taking any action.
Compliance with remote work is a requirement that isn’t going away. Working from home is the (new) standard.
However, videoconferencing programs aren’t enough to ensure remote work compliance. It necessitates a solid grasp of your current workforce and a detailed plan of where and how you intend it to expand in the future. Team productivity tools could be a measure to ensure compliance.
Doing it this way will ensure you can properly monitor and fulfill your compliance responsibilities for employees, regardless of where they lie on the virtual office spectrum.
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