As more businesses are forced to have their employees work from home or other remote locations, employers are struggling to find ways to monitor their work-based activities. Once a trend, remote work for employees has become a necessity for modern businesses. As an employer, how do you stay on top of the trend and better facilitate a good working environment for your employees at home?
Finding a solution that makes remote work monitoring possible has been the struggle of many companies. Whether its productivity issues, security threats, or income loss, remote work comes with its downsides. Luckily, IT specialists have been working to provide a lasting solution for businesses looking for a remote work fix. We’ve compiled a list of tips and software you can utilize to make working from home more effective.
Tips to Create A Secure Connection
Security is one of your biggest concerns when dealing with remote work. Typically, your employees will be operating on their home network – but not all the time. Productivity can lag when you’re in a comfortable and familiar environment like the house, so some employees will head to a cafe or coffee shop. They’ll be on public Wi-Fi where hacking is much more of a threat. By requiring a VPN to access the company data, you’re both enabling employees to work in a productive environment and saving yourself from external attacks.
By boosting the number of steps in your authentication process, you’re better securing your network and adding a layer that prevents more external attacks. Many employers have turned to create a remote access policy which is a document that outlines acceptable methods of connecting to the company’s network.
While it may seem strict to some, these methods can be necessary to protect the private information of both the business and the employees themselves. It’s better to prevent an attack than to deal with one.
Benefits of Remote Work
None of this is mentioned to dissuade employers from allowing remote work. It may seem scary to allow remote connections, but the benefits everyone experiences far outweigh the drawbacks. While productivity for some may decrease, you’ll find that many others will be boosted by working in a familiar environment. Annually, a business that allows for remote work will save up to $2,000 a year.
The savings will be experienced by the workers as well. An employee who works remotely will save nearly $7,000 a year because of the lack of commuting. The tools required to actively monitor your employees and their products cost significantly less than the cost to rent an office space.
The Importance of Monitoring Remote Work
Having explained the various benefits of remote employee monitoring in the previous articles, let’s delve deeper into how to incorporate the process into the company’s policy. When implementing remote employee-monitoring for your establishment, there are some basic steps to follow:
- First, identify the reason why you want to implement this policy. Is it to monitor productivity, review billing rates, or to keep an eye on the number of hours your employees actually work.
- After identifying the reason, engage the help of an IT specialist to help with the search for a software that has the features which will help achieve your desired goal.
- After finding the right fit, make a formal introduction of the policy to your staff and show how the introduction is a step forward for the company. Also, explain how it can help identify the more efficient workers and increase transparency and accountability among staff.
- Check back with them at regular frequencies(weeks or months) to get their feedback on how using the policy has impacted on their work experience.
- An additional tip is to share your own timesheet and activity report to serve as motivation for them to show accountability in all the day-to-day activities on the job.
Typical Problems Remote Employees Face
Let’s then make some illustrations of problems remote employees face/create and how monitoring helps to solve them
Some remote employees might want to use their personal devices to work at home. And unlike the machines at work which have firewall software and installed antivirus.
Their personal devices are more susceptible to scammers and hackers gaining access to essential company data. And even their own credentials could cause impersonation, thereby implicating them at work.
There should be a well documented remote access policy. Its contents should include:
- The list of security-providing software that must be installed on their personal device if they are to use it for official work.
- The complete procedure in how the employees can access the network securely.How to protect sensitive credentials used.
You should also be able to answer any question they ask about the remote access policy.
When employees work from home, they tend to use public Wi-Fi networks to access the company’s network. These Wi-Fi networks are unsecured. And any data they share using this network can be easily accessed by other people connected to the grid. This could cause leakage of corporate information into the wrong hands.
Remote employees should use a common VPN. This will help provide a secure connection between the employee’s computer and the corporate network hence, preventing strangers from accessing the company’s data.
Due to the new liberty, these employees enjoy, some might misuse or steal the company’s data or, even worse, use it to defraud the company.
The monitoring software should record various activities performed by the employee. Such as the files or commands they input while logged in to the network, their on-screen action, the files or folders opened, their keystrokes, etc.
With these tips, you should now know how to monitor remote workers and even get them to be just as efficient as the on-site workers.
A Software to Help Remote Work
Many companies have turned their sights towards software like the Ekran system. Having a dedicated program by your side that enables you to better monitor employee activity, receive alerts of suspicious activity, and create a secure VPN makes remote work possible. Don’t be afraid of the threat of security breaches and lagging productivity, combat them, and start saving your business in these remote times.