Coronavirus and the Future of Work

Coronavirus and the Future of Work

It’s evident that the novel coronavirus has changed how we work. Largely, many of us continue business operations by working from home. While remote working has increased because of state-mandated stay-at-home orders, will these changes continue after the crisis ends? If not, what will the future of work look like? In this article, we have compiled what habits and expectations are likely to continue.

 

How COVID-19 Is Accelerating Changes In How We Work

With an increasingly multi-generational workforce, remote work was already predicted to be the norm by 2028. The coronavirus pandemic only accelerated the adoption of remote work and digital communication. Companies like Webex, Zoom, Microsoft, and Google have responded to the increased digital demand for their video conferencing and other digital communication applications, as well as project management tools.

 

But Is The Influx Sustainable?

The increase itself is not sustainable, but the way we work will not go back to how things were a few months ago. Instead, as Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro says, we will be entering a “new normal” once the crisis ends. We will take our recent adaptions to the work-from-home lifestyle and update corporate policies to be more flexible.

With the exploding opportunity to work from home, more employees are likely to expect the option in the “new normal” and with future employers.

 

Enterprises that don’t continue flexible, remote options after the crisis will likely lose employees, especially millennials and Gen-Zers, which can harm a business’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

 

The Future Of Streamlined Operations And Expenses

Companies are also realizing how cost-effective and efficient distributed teams are. By removing much of the in-office chatter and distractions, personnel may be able to dedicate more focused time to their work, if their lifestyle allows for it and they are not worried about the pandemic.

 

According to this Forbes article, “Layers of management will disappear along with very expensive physical plants, while investments in office perks can be reallocated to salaries or (more likely) the bottom line.”

 

Even more, the implementation of a full-time remote team could mean that enterprises could hire highly skilled workers from across the globe. This could further benefit companies that have diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as companies that struggle to find unique talent in their area (or who are willing to relocate to their area).

 

Remote work could also save employees time and money by removing their daily commute, which averages 26.1 minutes one way. Remote work would remove over 4 hours per week and 200 hours per year in a vehicle, lowering the total cost employees spend on gas and car maintenance for work-related travel.

 

The Future Of Collaboration

As enterprises implement and expand their work-from-home initiatives, they will also need to utilize cloud-based services, including cloud-based collaborative efforts. While we have taken this time of state-mandated work-from-home situations to just get through, we need to be looking at the long-term effects of what this pandemic has started.

 

As stated above, many companies will be adjusting their current policies to be more flexible. With this becoming part of the expectation and new norm, companies must also look at what tools and resources will these employees need to not “just get through” in their remote locations but what will they need to succeed and excel!

 

Collaboration tools and virtual meetings, as we’ve seen in the news and our most recent post, need a higher level of understanding for security on a company and a personal level. This understanding comes from knowing the programs functionalities and capabilities.

 

So How Do You Gain This Knowledge?

We at Meet Me In The Cloud offer a variety of solutions that support the usage of workplace technology tools in a remote work setting from customized training plans utilizing out 6 step methodology to our partnering with CyberFort to maintain a high standard of security.

 

Meet Me In The Cloud is here to help you establish your new normal within your company. Reach out to us to discuss the solutions that are best for you and your team as we move past COVID-19 and into the future of work.

Are You Sure You’re Secure? 7 Tips to Check Your Work-From-Home Cyber Security

Are You Sure You’re Secure? 7 Tips to Check Your Work-From-Home Cyber Security

In this “Flatten The Curve” blog series, we’ve told you about our 8 Tips for Working From Home and in our latest blog, we discussed preparing your work-from-home workspace with 5 easy tips. One of the tips on that blog was a suggestion to keep your network clean, and we want to make sure you know more of the top 7 aspects of making sure you are continuing to do business securely!

 

1. Ensure Your WiFi Connection Is Secure

Most Wi-Fi is secure by default, but if you have an older system, then it might not be, which means anyone in your neighborhood or apartment complex can see what you’re up to! Make sure your connection is secure before doing business. And by all means, avoid public Wi-Fi. If you have to work away from your home network, use a personal hotspot or some other method to encrypt your web connection.

 

2. Check That Security Software Is Up To Date

Take a look at your anti-virus and check: Is it even installed? Is it actively functioning? Is it fully updated? In addition, take a look at your browsers and make sure that privacy tools and add-ons are working properly as well.

 

3. Have A Backup Strategy And Plan

Backup all your important files and customer data systematically. If your company were to be the victims of a cyber attack, all data could be lost without a backup. Because of this, you need to create a plan to backup – don’t just assume that you’ll remember to backup those files: schedule the backup on your calendar so you won’t forget!

 

4. Secure Your Device

Even if it’s just your kids running around your house, lock your screen if you work in a space where others can access your device. Set an automatic timeout in case you are called away from your desk and don’t have a chance to lock your screen.

 

5. Create a Robust Passphrase

A strong password can be one of your best allies in work-from-home cyber security. Using a robust password makes it much more difficult for a hacker to get into your company’s system. They must be over eight characters long and use both upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. The longer… the better. Best practice is to make passwords up to 64 characters.

 

6. Utilize Two-Factor Authentication

Most companies have already implemented two-factor authentication (i.e. when users must confirm their identity with a code sent to their mobile device after having used their username and password), but if your company doesn’t already, now is the time to get on board! Two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication makes it extra difficult for an attacker to access company data.

 

7. Update Employee Information Security Policies

Since many of your employees are now using personal devices to communicate and work, updating your information security policies can help protect you against their violations. Help employees be aware that they cannot use their personal email for company purposes, sync client information to a personal cloud account, use social media to discuss the company’s business, etc.

 

And there you have it! 7 quick fixes to your work-from-home cyber security that could save your team a lot of heartache in the long run! Please feel free to reach out to us and we can help you and your team create a more secure work-from-home experience!

 

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