We’ve been watching the work-from-home landscape carefully this year and observing the impact of operational shifts on businesses and workers alike. Three colleagues recently shared updates about the future of work-from-home at their companies. Some of them were advised by their employers that remote work, where possible, will continue until the middle of 2021. For some members of the workforce this was welcome news whereas for others it caused some dismay. The very disparity of employees’ reactions underscores a need to look deeper at risk. Our employee travel security experts take a look.
Working from Home has Positives and Risks for Employees
This recent article shares some work-from-home experiences from the perspective of employees who appreciate their employers’ efforts to offer them flexibility. It offers insight into the difference between “balance” and “integration” of work in the context of employees’ lives.
What has become clear this year as employers and employees juggle needs is that remote work is not a perfect solution for everyone. A recent survey of IT professionals and C-level executives demonstrated that more than half of the respondent base experienced IT concerns during the company’s shift to remote work and almost a third have continued to experience technical challenges. From internet speed to network security- particularly where remote work includes access to or handling of sensitive information- an extended shift to remote work may raise risks to both productivity and compliance.
Looking beyond the technical impact of extended work-from-home policies, there is a very human side of remote work that businesses should consider. Some employees embrace the flexibility that working from home can offer, including the end of long commute times, more time with family and an enhanced ability to manage some household responsibilities, as examples. For others, though, the increased use of screens and devices may be causing more digital fatigue. Having spouses and/or children at home during the workday can pose additional challenges. The switch to remote work and decrease in face-to-face contact has proven isolating for employees who thrive on the interpersonal interactions that they get working in communal physical workspace. Employers concerned about productivity and the mental health of their employees should consider the impact that employees may experience from increased family caregiving responsibilities and isolation.
The employee travel security landscape has definitely changed this year. As work-from-home dates continue to be pushed back into 2021, it might serve businesses well to continue routine check-ins with their employees. Some companies have offered stipends to help employees meet certain work-from-home needs, including better quality (more expensive) internet service, office equipment and technology. Businesses should remain sensitive to the fact that working from home may offer a peek into the homes and lives of employees, one that might not be welcomed by all. Employees should be reminded that Zoom, Teams and other video chat services support virtual backgrounds, and headsets can be huge stress-relievers. Widespread use lessens worries about peers seeing a cramped or messy home workspace or hearing background noises that can distract from the focus of a meeting.
Work-from-home models may continue well into 2021, and employers who wish to mitigate risks should be constantly re-assessing needs. Check-ins related to both the technical and human elements of remote work can prove valuable to maintaining a safe, compliant and productive operation.
IMG GlobalSecur Employee Travel Security Experts
IMG GlobalSecur has decades of experience in the security industry, including executive travel security expertise and more. Our team of safety experts stand ready to help you think through possible risks as your employees work from home. Additionally, we can assist by alleviating business travel fears with our employee travel security services. Our FoneTrac safety app is an incredible on-the-go iPhone / Android app that gives your business tools such as employee itinerary monitoring, panic alert, employee check-in etc. Contact us today!