Update

This blog was written at the beginning of lockdown when people had just started working from home. Since then, there has been and increase in phishing emails (Spotting Phishing Emails video) and ransomware attacks (ransomware video) many of which have been COVID-19 related.

There is also a move for more people to continue working from home, perhaps permanently. While this may suit some, it’s becoming more and more apparent that organisations will need to rethink many of their information security and health and safety policies to accommodate this.

Much of the focus around working remotely at the moment, is about communication, practices, leadership and so on.

But there are a few other areas I think we should also look at.

One is Information Security

We know cyber criminals will take advantage of more people working from home, and there’s a good chance that our IT security isn’t as good as at home as the one provided at work .

So this could be a good time to:

  • Update passwords and make them strong and unique – perhaps consider using a password manager
  • Make backups regularly in case of a ransomware attack or computer failure
  • Think about how personal data is handled
  • Be especially vigilant for phishing emails, and  so on.

Look on our Showreel page or watch our YouTube playlist to see our Information Security and Data Protection videos. Use the menu in  the top right corner of the video to look at all the titles in the playlist.

Health and safety

This is from the ACAS website:

“Employers have a duty of care for all their employees, and the requirements of the health and safety legislation apply to homeworkers. The employer is responsible for carrying out a risk assessment to check whether the proposed home workplace’s ventilation, temperature, lighting, space, chair, desk and computer, or any kind of workstation, and floor are suitable for the tasks the homeworker will be carrying out.”

Source: https://archive.acas.org.uk/homeworking

Of course, many people will be fine, but others are likely to be more susceptible to things like working on a computer which may not be set up correctly for long hours of work.

These things don’t have to be drastic – just a few extra precautions.

It might also be worth having a look at our Wellness video as working from home can present new challenges if you’re not used to it.

Look on our Showreel page or watch our Health and Safety video below.

Meetings

There’s a lot of emphasis around meetings and especially online ones. Of course there are some technical differences, and engagement can be a little bit harder, but many of the fundamentals are the same. For example, making sure you only attend meetings where you’re needed, your role as a team player in meetings, and so on.

Look on our Showreel page or below to see our Effective Meetings series (Use the menu in  the top right corner of the video to look at all the titles in the playlist), and also visit our resources page for some useful downloads.

Social Media

The stats are showing a shift in how many views social media sites are getting and also an increase in other websites – let’s just say ones which are normally banned from the workplace.

Of course, bullying exists online as well as at work, so now might be a good time to remind people of your Social Media and Bullying and Harassment policies.

We’ve got videos on this on our Showreel or view them below.