Whether your organization has always had the option to work from home or you recently transitioned to remote work to support your business continuity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a smart idea to have an official work from home policy.
And right now, in particular, it’s critical as your business continuity depends on it.
Working from home sometimes bends boundaries that can leave employees and managers confused and employers frustrated. A work from home policy helps everyone understand and set clear expectations to stay on the same page.
Your work from home policy should cover many aspects of work, but one of the most vital is the use of devices and technology. Using devices and enterprise applications while working at home presents new challenges and risks. Your policy can address the rules and guidelines that will help your employees know how to use their work devices properly to stay productive and mitigate any risks.
Ideas to Consider for Your Work From Home Policy
Looking to create a new work from home policy or revamp an existing one? Here are a few ideas for what to include to help your employees make the most of their technology and protect your enterprise from cyberthreats.
#1 Equipment Requirements
Perhaps the first tech-related policy to make for working from home concerns who provides the equipment. Ideally, your company will do this just like you would at the office. Issuing work devices to employees keeps things simple and offers several benefits for convenience and better cybersecurity. One of the main benefits is that you have more control over how they will use the devices per your work from home policy.
A few rules and guidelines you can make about company-issued equipment include:
- Employees may not disable or uninstall security software.
- Work devices must be reserved for work-only activities to reduce the threat of security breaches.
- Work devices must be password protected.
- Non-employees may not use work devices.
- No non-work software, programs, or files may be installed or stored on work devices.
- The company may monitor employee activities.
- Devices that break or are lost due to personal use will be the employee’s responsibility to replace.
If your enterprise chooses to require or allow employees to use their own devices, you will need to provide guidelines and rules concerning their use because this route creates more complications. Some you might consider are:
- The device must meet certain standards for security, such as having adequate antivirus software or apps installed.
- The business must be authorized to access personal devices for record retention in the event of an investigation and litigation. Also to investigate a data breach or other types of cyberattacks.
- The device is subject to being wiped if the employee leaves the enterprise.
- Using the device for work while driving is prohibited.
#2 Internet Connection Rules
Few things get done without the internet these days. It’s one of the most essential tools for remote workers. However, it’s also the source of most security threats.
If you have employee team members working from home, what internet networks will you allow them to use when accessing secure work applications and systems? Unsecured networks put your enterprise at risk of being targeted by hackers. Many work from home policies prohibit the use of public Wi-Fi connections for this reason.
Depending on the sensitivity of the information employees may need access to, you may consider allowing employees to log online through a secured home internet network or require them to access only your enterprise’s system through a VPN for the ultimate privacy.
#3 Cloud Storage
With employees spread out in different locations, your enterprise may want a policy addressing efficient and secure storage of work-related content. You may choose to write and adopt a policy requiring that content storage must be hosted in the Cloud or web-based storage software. This way every employee who needs access to that information has it and nothing will be lost if an employee’s hard drive fails or is lost.
#4 Tech Support
Your remote employees still will need tech support. Your work from home policy should outline the extent of support they can expect to receive and how to request help.
If you allow personal devices for work, you may need to set parameters on what kinds of support your IT team can and cannot provide. For instance, they can help recover a password for a work application but cannot assist with a weak home internet connection.
If you’re working with a managed service provider (MSP) for remote tech support, make sure employees know how to reach them and what information they should provide as your employee.
With their comprehensive technical services, an MSP can help your organization navigate all the changes you might need to make working from home feasible. While you create your work from home policy, they can suggest and implement solutions that will keep your employees productive and your enterprise secure.
Let ATSG help with all your remote and business continuity efforts. Learn more.
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