Article Research

Part
01
of fifteen
Part
01

Is remote working here to stay?

Remote work is here to stay. With over 90% of workers stating the desire to work remotely, this trend seems to have staying power. Proponents of remote working cite benefits to not only employees but to the businesses and the environment.

Facts

  • According to a Global Workforce Analytics study, remote work has risen by 115% since 2005.
  • 90% of remote workers state they would rather work remotely for the rest of their careers.
  • 55% of hiring managers state that full-time remote work is becoming more common. They expect it to be 38% of their workforce within the next ten years.
  • Millennials are very interested in remote work possibilities with 68% stating that the option would "greatly increase their interest in a job".
  • Employees that have to option to work from home at least one day per month are 24% more likely to be happy about their work and more productive.
  • 68% of current workers have debated leaving their job because they do not have remote working possibilities.
  • Hiring managers believe being able to hire remote workers lets them find more talented staff. (85%)
  • 79% of workers say the option to work remotely would make them more loyal.
  • Research conducted by CityAM indicated that 24% of workers would change jobs if they had the promise of working remotely.
  • Forbes states that remote working is no longer just a perk, it is a global industry.
  • In the last two years, LinkedIn has seen a 78% increase in jobs that advertise "flexible work arrangements".

Workers see improved work/life balance

  • In the State of Remote Work 2019, 40% said that the flexible schedule was their greatest benefit, followed by working from any location (14%), family time (13%), and working from home (3%)
  • Many people state that being able to block their work in chunks around things such as picking up their kids from school is a huge benefit.
  • You can wear whatever you like and spend less on business attire.
  • Remote working gives you the capability to live anywhere.
  • Remote workers can have more time to travel. 44% of remote workers stated they travel while working between one week to one month out of each year.
  • Employees enjoy little to no transportation expenses involved with work.

Business see benefits to their productivity & bottom line

  • Employees are able to work on days they would not normally work like snow days and having sick children.
  • Employers can downsize office space.
  • Offering employees the choice of where they work leads to higher morale.
  • In LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends Report for 2019, 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility is very important for the future of recruiting.

Environmental benefits

  • By eliminating commutes, carbon emissions are drastically reduced. Not commuting for even half a week each week could reduce greenhouse gasses by 54 million tons every year.
  • Paper, electricity, and heating are reduced within the business.
Part
02
of fifteen
Part
02

Remote Proctoring and Anxiety

There is very little research that has been done on the correlation between remote proctoring and anxiety. However, our research did uncover that there is conflicting data regarding whether the practice increases or decreases anxiety, which seems to indicate it may vary depending on the student. However, technical problems, website connectivity issues, obtaining help when necessary, being watched while taking an exam, and allowing access to their computer are all areas that could potentially cause anxiety for students when utilizing remote proctoring.

Remote Proctoring

  • A study published in 2017 looked at variations in user-friendliness and scores, among other things, when administering online tests with no proctoring versus online proctoring. Although the main report is behind a paywall, the abstract indicated that there was no difference in scores, although there is no available data on the sample size or other details on how the study was organized.
  • Another study published in 2017, found that students who utilized remote proctoring on online exams, scored significantly lower and used significantly less time to take the assessment than students who took exams unproctored.
  • A 2018 interview with Rory McCorkle, the Senior Vice President of Certification and Education Services for PSI Bridge, covered many topics related to remote proctoring, including student anxiety. This expert in the field indicated that there had not been much research done on how remote proctoring affected student anxiety.
  • McCorkle indicated that PSI and other remote monitoring companies have noticed disparate trends in the area of anxiety. "Some students are less anxious due to being in a familiar environment, without the stressors of traveling to an in-person test center or classroom and being in a stressful environment. Others are more stressed due to the unfamiliarity of the remote proctoring environment; however, this tends to decrease after more exposure to the method."

Anxiety Correlation

  • In 2019, the University of Amsterdam published a graphic explaining how to mitigate student anxiety regarding remote proctoring. The graphic was based on several studies published between 2009 and 2015. Although these studies are outside the typical two-year window preferred, the value of utilizing scientific data outweighed the sources being older. As mentioned above, an expert in the field indicated there has been little research in the area of anxiety and remote proctoring.
  • The first phase of testing that may cause anxiety for potential test takers is when they go to the website to learn more about the option. If there is limited or confusing information available on how the test process works or what is required for remote proctoring, this can increase anxiety levels.
  • When getting set up to take an exam with remote proctoring, there are many things that could happen to increase student anxiety, including connectivity problems and student error causing them to get stuck with no clear path forward.
  • During the exam itself, students can have anxiety regarding how they will get help if they need it. While students should be focused on the content, running into technical difficulties can mean they have to stop working and get assistance. This can produce anxiety for some students.
  • Once the test has been submitted, students not only have to wait for results on how they performed on the exam itself, but also feedback on whether any of their activities during the exam were flagged as potentially fraudulent.
  • One concern students have regarding remote proctoring that could lead to anxiety is having to allow a stranger access to the camera on their device, and at times allowing strangers to make changes to their computer settings so the proctoring software can function properly.
  • A 2015 article found that for some students, the idea of being recorded while they are testing makes them extremely uncomfortable. It is not a big jump to then assume that the exam results will be affected negatively for students who are uncomfortable.

Other Student Concerns

To provide additional non-scientific insights into how anxiety and remote proctoring may be connected, we examined a long Reddit thread from 2018 that had over 300 comments where people discussed concerns with having to install proctoring software on their devices. Although Reddit would never be considered a reputable source for providing factual data, it can be ideal when you want to find out what people are talking about on a particular topic. Following are a few of the comments that focused on various student concerns.
  • "The more I think about it the more I’m betting theyre trying to track eye movement as well, and perhaps sell a 3d model of your face to governments/other data collection groups."
  • "Broswer sync for accounts and illegally sniffing your network traffic."
  • "As someone who stares off into the distance when I'm thinking or get distracted, this would be really bad for me. If I'm in a classroom, I can always stare at the board or make awkward eye contact with the prof and at least they know I'm not looking at anything."
  • "I'd run it in a VM until they tell me not to. You have valid concerns and a right to protect your privacy."
  • "Yeah, I encountered a system similar to this when I was going to an online high school and it detected VMs. This was a computer that the high school had given me and they owned it. Since I did not own the computer I can see how I had no right to privacy on it. However, it is different to do this in college and force students to install spyware on their own computer. They even make claims that seem to infer that they may be spying on your entire network, that is ridiculous."
  • "There are laws protecting the online privacy of minors, how is this not a violation. Also, this is why it is important to vote in school board elections. Ask your school board member what they are doing to protect the privacy of students."
  • "By the way, Honorlock forces you to scan your room ...Hide anything you want private behind the webcam during room scan. ...Honorlock violates most privacy laws, and the fact that your school is making you install it on your computer is insane."
  • "I do wonder if this is legal. I presume the EULA requires you to consent to being recorded, by both video and audio, but I'm not sure they can compel you to consent to that under penalty of failing the class. If the school itself has a legal aid department, this could be just the kind of thing a couple ambitious future lawyers might want to dig their claws into."

Part
03
of fifteen
Part
03

Ethical Discussion on Remote Proctoring

The ethical discussion around remote proctoring is taking place between two sides: on one side, there are those who believe that remote proctoring is fundamentally unsound and should be discontinued, or at least significantly altered; and on the other there are those who may or may not support the practice in all its forms, but nonetheless believe that at least one form is necessary to ensure the legitimization of remotely-administered exams. Below, we have provided five major insights within this discussion — two from the point of view of remote proctoring critics, two from the point of view of its proponents, and a fifth that may be used by either side to support specific views on remote proctoring in its various forms.

1. Transmitting and recording video of students presents serious potential for abuse.

  • This is a primary consideration in the discussion of remote proctoring ethics — as the nonprofit Educause describes, "A wide range of ethical considerations accompany software that takes video of students, records information on their IDs, and may capture video of their living quarters."
  • Not every remote proctoring technique captures video of students, their IDs, or their living quarters in this manner. A basic type of remote proctoring involves " the use of code or programs within the testing platform itself that prohibit the test taker from stopping and restarting the test, opening other programs, using communication technology such as email or instant messaging programs and performing common tasks such as copying, saving and printing."
  • Still, most remote proctoring involves the use of software that accesses students' cameras, uses them to confirm their identities, and monitors them throughout the course of the test.
  • This may also include a "Record and Review" technique, wherein the test session is recorded via the students' cameras and may be reviewed at a later time, if necessary.
  • Allowing such access to video transmission and recording of students presents serious ethical concerns. Jill Leafstedt, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Innovations and Senior Academic Technology Officer at California State University, Channel Islands, describes it as "creepy and anxiety producing...it goes against much of what we teach students about online privacy. When would we encourage students to give a stranger access to their webcam?"

2. There are non-video-related remote proctoring options available.

  • Fundamentally, video-related remote proctoring is "intrusive, excessive and a violation of civil liberties," according to its critics. However, even remote proctoring proponents, such as PSI senior vice president of certification and education services Rory McCorkle, say that these practices should be eschewed, instead promoting "noninvasive [solutions that] protect the student’s privacy."
  • As mentioned above, not all remote proctoring practices are equal. Using the so-called "computer/browser lockdown" software that prevent test-takers from pausing the allotted test time, saving the test, or accessing resources by which they could cheat is one method that largely preserves students' privacy, though it leaves openings to cheat in other ways (e.g. looking up answers in a book or on a separate device).
  • G.R. Cluskey, Jr. et al. produced a list of eight "Online Exam Control Procedures" that can be employed in lieu of invasive remote proctoring practices. These are as follows:
1. The exam should only be offered at one time, to prevent "a team of conspiring test takers" from taking the test one at a time, sequentially, and sharing answers.
2. Test-takers should only be allowed to start the exam within a brief window, again seeking to prevent (to the greatest degree possible) one or more students from finishing the test before others and providing answers or other assistance.
3. The exam's questions should be randomly sequenced, making it more challenging for students to share answers mid-test.
4. Exam questions should only appear one at a time, without the option to return to previous questions after one is completed, again making collusive cheating more challenging.
5. The exam should be sufficiently challenging, and the time allotment sufficiently small, that students who earn an A or a B "complete the exam with only a few minutes to spare," and students earning lower grades may not even complete it within the allotted time.
6. Test-takers should only be able to access the exam once.
7. Test-takers should be required to use a lockdown software described above (the authors recommend Blackboard's Respondus Lockdown Browser).
8. Instructors administering the exam should change one-third of exam questions, at minimum, every semester (or every time the exam is offered).
  • The authors of this paper assert that while these practices "will not entirely eliminate exam cheating...a good plan will provide reasonable assurance that academic integrity has been achieved at a satisfactory level." Thus, it is possible to circumvent the primary ethical pitfall of online proctoring and still enforce academic integrity to a substantial degree.

3. Remote-Proctored exams fail to demonstrate student topic mastery.

  • This insight is not so much about the grade results of remotely-proctored exams. As John A. Weiner and Gregory M. Hurtz detailed in a 2017 study, quantitative differences between online, remotely-proctored exams and in-person, onsite-proctored exams is minimal, with remote vs. onsite test-taking and proctoring having "virtually no relation to test performance."
  • Rather, this critique of remote proctoring gets to the heart of educational theory. As Leafstedt argues, exams — both onsite and remote — fail at "demonstrating student learning or mastery of a topic."
  • Traditional exams are good at two things, according to their critics: "managing faculty workload and assessing low level skill and content knowledge." This is in contrast to most course learning objectives, which "are often written around one’s ability to create, evaluate and analyze course material." Put in more technical terms, traditional exams measure the lowest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, whereas better-designed assessments provide more holistic pictures of a student's learning.
  • Thus, some remote proctoring critics like Leafstedt argue that another ethical layer to be considered in this space is that remote-proctored exams fail to meaningfully measure the test-takers' knowledge, and, by extension, may fail to adequately provide the education promised in the given course.
  • This problem — along with the need for remote proctoring — can be circumvented by employing alternate assessment methods. These include fairly standard ones like essays and collaborative assignments, as well as case study analyses or debates. Each of these allows instructors to assess students at higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy while simultaneously avoiding the potential or actual ethical pitfalls of remote proctoring.

4. Remote proctoring, in some form, is necessary for legitimization and accreditation of an online course.

  • As noted at the outset, proponents of remote proctoring may or may not support the practice in all its forms, but fundamentally believe that it is necessary in at least some form to legitimize remotely-administered tests.
  • This is true at several levels. On a basic, legal level, the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires American colleges and universities "to verify the identity of students to ensure those who register for an online course are the ones who participate."
  • On a second level, "faculty and administration generally feel it’s important to include safeguards against cheating on assessments," and generally have a detailed academic honesty code to enforce this at the school level, making anti-cheating measures on online courses a necessity.
  • On a third level, "online courses that do not provide a secure means of assessment may not be regarded as reliable by other accreditors." In other words, the legitimization of online education may hinge on the instructor's ability to demonstrate that substantial anti-cheating measures were implemented.
  • These observations do not come together to form an argument that all forms of remote proctoring are ethical; rather, they are used by remote proctoring proponents to demonstrate that remote proctoring, in some form, is necessary, with additional arguments (like insight 2) presented to support an ethical form of remote proctoring.

5. Remote proctoring can be expensive, and choosing who will bear the cost has ethical implications.

  • As Educause notes, "some commercial proctoring services are expensive, with per-student prices that can be prohibitive for a large-enrollment course." Additional costs to students may include the cost required to reach a testing center or obtain the requisite computer technology and time taken off work to take the exam itself (given that exam times are generally inflexible).
  • In most cases, institutions "pass the cost of remote proctoring on to the students." One immediate concern in this regard is that disadvantaged students may be unable to grapple with these increased costs.
  • Additionally, some employment opportunities leverage online, remote-proctored exams to determine a candidate's eligibility, but passing extra costs on to job candidates "raises serious ethical concerns."
  • This insight may be used not only to argue against the implementation of remote proctoring, but also to argue in favor of noninvasive forms of remote proctoring; indeed, when establishing their noninvasive remote proctoring best practices, G. R. Cluskey et al. cited exorbitant costs as a primary reason to eschew more extreme proctoring measures.


Your research team employed the following strategy:

To find information and insights regarding the ethical discussion on remote proctoring, we conducted an extensive review of relevant academic and industry literature. This encompassed academic studies, white papers produced by firms and nonprofits in the education space, and media reports written by industry experts. After collecting a sufficient base of information, we identified and detailed the five key insights compiled above.
Part
04
of fifteen
Part
04

Standards in Online Proctoring

Since there is limited information on the actual specified standards in online proctoring, we determined some common online proctoring requirements and guidelines from the reports we found that can provide some glimpse of what should be expected of the process. Based on the data we found, online proctoring platforms should have embedded security checks in place and limit further human intervention. Online proctors should also undergo training and certification so they can use the testing platforms properly and detect any anomalous behaviors.

FINDINGS:

Online proctoring processes and guidelines

The following are the typical processes and guidelines that are taking place during online proctored examinations:
  • Online proctoring refers to the process of supervising an online examination that typically happens in a remote place such as in a test taker's house to ensure the integrity of the exam.
  • This service is typically done with the help of service providers who can provide the necessary tools, applications, and other programs to assist in monitoring the exam taker.
  • Proctors can choose an online proctoring service provider and create an account.
  • Once this is done, test administrators can then upload their chosen tests, go over student testing sessions, and check if there are any incidents that jump out.
  • They can also configure certain guidelines and parameters for each exam session.
  • These parameters can include allowed documents, break time frequency and length, time allocation, and other necessary setups.
  • Test administrators or supervisors can also opt to view live instances of actual exam sessions.
  • A live proctor should still watch over the exam takers and the entire setup. The proctor will use the provided webcam to check on the test takers.
  • They will also track the programs running on the test takers' computer through a "screen-sharing software."
  • The proctor will instruct the test takers through the pre-test process that includes the following: identity verification, checking compliance to testing environment requirements, and log-in actions.
    • The proctor should also be able to help with technical concerns during the exam.
    • Once the exam commences, the proctor should continue to track the activities and the environment of the test takers.

ONLINE PROCTORING TYPES

There are three types of proctoring, automated, subsequent and live.

ONLINE PROCTORING SOFTWARE ATTRIBUTES

Online Proctoring TYPICAL Requirements

  • Based on the "Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008," those who offer online courses should have systems that can authenticate the identity of their students.
  • Given this, platforms such as online proctoring solutions should enable education providers to authenticate their test takers.
  • Software solutions that will be used during the testing process should be compatible with any existing solutions that the school's system already has. This can include assessment engines and other grading systems.
  • The testing solutions should also be packed with the necessary features to ensure that it can support all the requirements of the testing session such as video capture, screen sharing, room scanning, and others.
  • It should also work seamlessly to prevent any delays during the testing proper.
  • Furthermore, these solutions also need to be checked for international use as other countries might have issues with hardware or connectivity.
  • It is better also if the solutions that will be used during the testing process is automated enough to save some time for the proctor and the test takers. This can also make the whole process more efficient.
  • Platforms should also have satisfactory reporting features to ensure that all the metrics and necessary evaluation can be seamlessly done.
  • Online proctoring solutions are also expected to maintain the test taker's privacy and should be non-intrusive. This is to prevent extreme aversion to the software.
  • Also, the online proctoring platform should have embedded security checks in place and not anymore require any further human intervention. This can ensure that the necessary privacy and level of compliance can be attained in a seamless manner.
  • A designated help desk technical team should also assess and ensure that the testing solution is working properly before every exam session. Typically, this team should also be available 24/7 to support any technical concerns.
  • In the case of the proctors, they need to be "trained and certified" to be able to use the testing platforms properly and detect any anomalous behaviors during the exam sessions.
  • They should also have some knowledge of the testing process to be able to assist test takers with their concerns.
  • As for the test takers, they are required to have a proper sitting posture and to keep themselves in full view of the web camera throughout the duration of the test.
  • This is to prevent the software from flagging seemingly anomalous movements such as looking at another area, leaning down, or doing other bodily movements.

Online Proctoring Advantage

  • Online proctoring can enable students from international locations to access any available courses worldwide.
  • This type of exam session can also save them travel cost and time as they can easily access these courses wherever or whenever they are in the world.
  • Students who opt for online proctoring systems also have the luxury of being flexible with their schedule.
  • Online exam options can also work for all types of tests such as essays, multiple choices, and others.
  • In essence, online proctoring is set to advance the education sector as it can slash the time spent in classrooms.
  • Furthermore, taking tests are now becoming more fun for the exam takers.

Challenges of remote proctoring

Future of Online Proctoring

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started our research by looking for directly available insights pertaining to standards in online proctoring. We looked for this information in various sources such as in learning related sources like Campus Technology, E-learning, ED Scoop, and related sources; academic sites like Une Edu, Harvard Business Review, and other relevant sources. Based on this search approach, we were not able to find reports or articles that directly state what the actual standards are in online proctoring. What we found are several reports that state how online proctoring is being done.
We also looked at the websites of several online proctoring providers such as Proctor U, Mettl, Talview, and other similar providers. We hoped to find some information on how these vendors ensure that examinations are undertaken with integrity. Based on this approach, we found some recommendation from their end on how they conduct their services. However, there were no mentions of solid standards or norms to follow.
We then checked if there are related survey findings or research studies on sites such as NCBI, Science Direct, Pew Research, and other sources. We hoped to find responses that are related to students' experiences in taking exams. We plan to piece together this information to determine the most effective process with regard to exam taking. As per the sources searched, there is limited information found around testing processes assessments. The reason for the limited information on the standards for online proctoring could be due to the fact that this method is fairly new and needs to be evaluated further to determine suitable standards.
Given the lack of solid information on actual specified standards in online proctoring, we extracted the common online proctoring requirements from the reports we found. Since these guidelines are commonly followed, we have concluded that these can partially represent online proctoring standards.
Part
05
of fifteen
Part
05

The Cost of Cheating

Five insights into the costs of cheating on businesses and schools are that cheating devalues higher education; cheating damages schools' reputations and companies' brands; cheating costs schools and businesses money in a variety of ways; cheating can lead to a school's loss of accreditation; and cheating causes companies to make bad hires, which then lead to loss of money, productivity, morale, and time. A deeper look at our findings is below.

Cheating devalues higher education

  • One of the main topics at the second annual "international day of action against contract cheating" in October 2017, was the "growing concern about an upsurge in educational fraud, which threatens to devalue higher education and undermine academic integrity."
  • The 2016 incident involving Western Kentucky University could have caused a devaluation of the school's computer science program and as the International Center for Academic Integrity stated, the "institution... risked a deterioration of educational quality" since the students did not have the initial skills necessary to succeed in the program.
  • Stanford undergraduate Kalea Woods claims that the recent college admission scandal devalues the prestige of attending Stanford and that "her degree now won't carry as much weight."
  • The Daily Collegian states that cheating results in higher education becoming "nothing more than a static process that results in a meaningless degree."
  • The rise of contract cheating, which is defined as students employing a "third party to undertake their assessed work for them," has "raised the level of community concern about the credibility of higher education qualifications and academic outputs."

Cheating damages schools' reputations or Companies' brands

  • According to the International Center for Academic Integrity, fraudulent student qualifications leads to a risk of reputational damage for institutions of higher education.
  • Western Kentucky University was "forced to suspend almost half of its international graduate students recruited by an India-based agent" in 2016.
  • The chairman of Western Kentucky University's computer science program, James Gary, stated the students who were asked to leave the program "did not meet the requirements of their admissions, even though they were offered remedial help by the university."
  • He also stated that if they had remained and graduated from the program "without the ability to write programs, that's embarrassing to [his] department."
  • Stanford's reputation took a hit with the recent college admission scandal because degrees from the university are "now not worth as much as [they were] before."
  • In addition, "prospective employers may now question whether [Stanford graduates were] admitted to the university on [their] own merits, versus having rich parents who were willing to bribe school officials."
  • CUNY education professor David Bloomfield states that cheating undermines "public faith in the schools."
  • According to Biomed Central, contract cheating has "ramifications for individuals’ learning outcomes, institutional reputations, educational standards/credibility, professional practice and public safety."
  • Resume or CV fraud can cause companies to "suffer brand damage" when an employee purports to have specific qualifications, but does not actually have the requirements to perform the job.

Cheating costs Schools and businesses Money

  • In the case of Western Kentucky University, the suspension of almost half of their international graduate students who were fraudulently recruited by an India-based agent resulted in a "loss of tuition revenues."
  • Cheating can lead to lawsuits, which can end up costing schools thousands of dollars in legal fees.
  • The recent college admissions scandal has already led to "lawsuits targeting elite universities" from students who were not admitted to the schools because their spot was taken by unqualified students.
  • Stanford will have to pay legal fees related to the lawsuit filed against it from students who are claiming they were harmed by the college admission scandal even though a university spokesman stated the school believes "the lawsuit filed by the students against Stanford is without merit."
  • Other schools that have been named in the college admission scandal lawsuits include USC, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University. All are facing a federal class action lawsuit, which will require the schools to pay legal fees to defend.
  • Due to the spotlight put on wealthy contributions to colleges and universities for the purposes of fraudulent admission, legislation has been introduced to Congress to eliminate the tax advantage alumni donors receive for such donations. This could lead to a decrease in fundraising for institutions of higher learning.
  • Schools also have to pay for investigations, as USC has "initiated a case-by-case review of current students and graduates who may be connected to the alleged scheme. We will make informed decisions about those cases as the reviews are completed" and Yale has hired a third party to "specifically examine the practices of commercial admissions consultants."
  • Falsified qualifications can lead to lawsuits against companies, particularly if a customer is harmed due to the perpetuated fraud.
  • Workplace crimes cost U.S. businesses $50 billion per year.
  • Hiring an unqualified person "costs organizations an average of $17,000" in recruiting costs, additional supervision pay, and diminished revenues.
  • Unqualified employees can cause workers' compensation costs to increase since these employees are more susceptible to workplace accidents.

Cheating can cause a loss of accreditation for schools

  • Dickinson State University was "placed on notice by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission" because the university was graduating students "without authenticated documents or appropriate academic prerequisites."
  • According to Higher Learning Commission, the action was taken "because of concerns related to the University’s oversight of admissions and transfer procedures; its gathering and reporting of enrollment and related data; its accountability for, and oversight of, contractual relationships related to its academic program; the integrity of the program provided to certain international students; and its articulation of, and consistent adherence to, policies and procedures at the University or other levels."
  • If a university loses accreditation, the school can lose federal funding, since "the federal government does not usually provide financial aid to unaccredited post secondary institutions," which often leads to the school's closure.
  • Graduates from unaccredited schools often find it difficult to get a job because "many employers simply do not hire graduates from unaccredited schools."
  • Schools can sometimes be sued for loss of accreditation, especially if it is due to "fraudulent behavior on part of the school."
  • Atlanta Public Schools was placed on accreditation probation in 2018 in part because of widespread allegations of teachers changing answers on students' tests.
  • Loss of accreditation at the secondary level directly impacts students' "ability to obtain scholarships or even get admitted to the college of [their] choice."

Cheating causes businesses to waste time on bad hires

  • When students cheat at the university level, they may not actually have the qualifications required for a degree. This can lead to businesses hiring people who are not qualified in a position despite their degree.
  • It can take a while to realize an employee is not qualified, which can result in loss of productivity because an unqualified employee likely cannot "do their job effectively."
  • The loss of productivity due to an unqualified employee can also lead to loss of productivity across the company as "other employees may start assuming other duties which aren't really in their job description."
  • Lower morale can also occur if other employees are asked to cover responsibilities that should be handled by the unqualified employee.
  • When an unqualified employee needs to be replaced, the company may be short-staffed for a period of time, which can lead to loss of productivity, low morale, and even loss of customers and business due to damaged relationships.
  • Applicants who lie about their qualifications on their resume cause human resource departments to waste their time on interviewing unqualified candidates.

Research Strategy

To find five detailed insights into the cost of cheating and specifically, on how cheating costs businesses and schools, we began by searching for lists of costs related to cheating on tests, as this appears to be the primary definition of cheating in an educational environment. In particular, we searched through education industry articles from sources like Inside Higher Ed, the Brookings Institution, and Times Higher Education, among others. Unfortunately, all we found were lists of the costs of cheating on students and their future aspirations. However, we found a brief mention in an article on NBCNews on how the recent college admissions scandal impacted the value of a degree from the universities involved. This led us to expand our definition of cheating from just cheating on tests to cheating in any capacity. We looked up the definition of "cheating" and found that "cheat" means to "defraud," "swindle," or "deceive." Therefore, any attempt by students or employees to defraud, swindle, or deceive schools or businesses would qualify as "cheating."

Once we expanded our definition, we easily found four costs of cheating on both businesses and schools, these being devaluing education, damaging reputations and brands, costing schools and companies money in a variety of ways, and losing accreditation (for schools only). However, the fifth insight remained elusive. We switched tactics and based on our expanded definition of cheating, we searched for ways in which employees tend to exhibit dishonesty in the workplace. We discovered that lying about qualifications on a resume is one of the top ways that employees attempt to deceive potential employers. From here, we began looking at the impact of hiring unqualified people on businesses and companies. This led us to our final insight, which is that cheating results in bad hires for companies and bad hires cost businesses in terms of money, time, productivity, and morale.
Part
06
of fifteen
Part
06

Industries Looking to Enter Remote Workforce


There are many things to consider when deciding to implement a remote workforce. After considering the benefits and costs of having a remote workforce, one should consider communication channels, management, home office requirements, engagement strategies, onboarding, monitoring, and tech support.

Remote workforce statistics

  • Business owners are increasingly stating they support having a remote workforce (91%)
  • Most businesses support a hybrid approach instead of an all-remote workforce (40%).
  • Over 25% of remote workers see their ability to work remotely as a sign of trust from their employer.
  • Remote workers tend to work 9.5% longer and are 13% more productive.

Benefits to remote workforce

  • 60% if businesses state the cost savings are a motivation in having a remote workforce. Depending on the size of your business you can save up to $2,000 per employee in reduced office space.
  • Employees who have the ability to work remotely, tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. As a result, they are willing to work harder because they are more content.
  • 57% of remote worker feel they are more productive. This could be in part to so many offices with open floor plans.
  • In China, researchers studied remote workers and traditional workers. At the end of the study period, the remote workers had gained the equivalent of an entire day's worth of productivity.
  • AT&T remote workers work on the average 5 more hours weekly than when they are not remote.
  • American Express remote workers produced 43% more than their traditional workers.

Considerations before you implement a remote workforce

  • Before you implement a remote workforce in any capacity, consider what they will need to work successfully. Will they need new skills? Will they need different technology? Will management need to be trained on properly managing a remote workforce? Will you need to implement different security protocols? What positions do you want to be remote?

COMMUNICATION/COLLABORATION

  • Use multiple communication solutions if necessary to meet your communication needs. For example, email, messaging, and video conferencing all serve different communication needs. It is also recommended having a policy to deal with urgent communication and other types of communication.
  • Remote workers should be left in the loop when important decisions are made or meetings take place. It is best practice to have a remote communication policy so that no one is left behind when it comes to communication.
  • Slack, Skype, Google Chat, Zoom, or other software programs are great ways to facilitate communication.
  • With the hours being sometimes different for remote workers, a policy should be made on when people are expected to reply to communications.
  • Some businesses advocate limiting the number of days an employee can work at home. This provides the employee with time to be in the office and collaborate and communicate in person.

EFFECTIVE REMOTE MANAGERS

  • Managers should check in frequently with their remote workers. 46% of remote workers stated their successful managers checked in with them frequently. Make it a priority to have face time with your workers, not just email.
  • Managers should have excellent communication skills. Not only should they be able to clearly, and effectively communicate what needs to be accomplished, but they should be good listeners.
  • A manager for a remote workforce must be able to be clear about what their expectations are. This is not a job for someone who can not be direct when needed.
  • A manager for a remote workforce must be available when needed. Nothing is more frustrating to the remote worker to be in the middle of a "work crisis" and not be reach anyone for support.
  • Management applications such as Trello are recommended when a project has multiple steps and people involved.
  • Set clear standards for how productivity will be measured.
  • Some companies who use Slack have a #shoutout channel so they can easily recognize a good job.

HOME OFFICES

  • We provide appropriate office spaces for our traditional workers, so it only makes sense to do the same for our remote workers.
  • Technology set-ups at home should be adequate to work productively and to not compromise security.
  • Create a budget for home offices. Even if the budget only allows for some office supplies, it will make your remote workers feel like they are part of the team.
  • Be upfront about what you are willing to provide and what you expect the remote worker to provide.

KEEPING REMOTE WORKERS ENGAGED AND PART OF THE TEAM

  • A rough schedule should be established each week to guide your remote workers.
  • Processes and checklists should be provided so there is no confusion on job responsibilities or how to complete a task. This keeps everyone on the same page. It is best practice to create a team manual that covers everything a remote worker would need to know.

HIRING/ONBOARDING PRACTICES

  • Remote workers should have characteristics that an employer might not see as necessary in a traditional worker. GitHub hires people who are "outcome-focused and have a high emotional intelligence." Workers like this are willing to go out of their way to get the job done correctly. Finding workers who are collaborative and care more about the end result tends to make a better remote workforce.
  • Once employees are hired they tend to stay in jobs where remote working is offered. In the long run, this saves the company money.
  • Make onboarding memorable. Even though you are remote you can still get to know your new employees. Questionnaires and surveys will give you insight.
  • During the onboarding process workers should receive all the documentation they need to do there job remotely.
  • Employees should have a Code of Conduct, just as traditional workers do. This should also clearly define appropriate behaviors when communicating and collaborating remotely.

EMPLOYEE MONITORING

  • Remote monitoring is necessary to make sure everyone is on track. It also is a valuable security tool.
  • As you get more remote workers it becomes difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. Having a monitoring tool assists with this problem.

TECH SUPPORT

  • Tech support for remote workers is crucial. They are the link between your remote worker and your business when they are having technical problems. Tech support also provides valuable security measures that are needed for a remote worker.





Part
07
of fifteen
Part
07

Ethics of Remote Workforce Monitoring

The ethics of remote workforce monitoring are complex. On one hand, implementing ethical remote workforce monitoring measures is a balancing act that must take into account questions of privacy, legality, consent, and fairness. On the other, monitoring of this sort may be important not only for business reasons but to maintain ethical working conditions such as fairness throughout all segments of the workforce. Below, we have provided five key insights around the ethics of remote monitoring, considering the issue from multiple angles and on several levels.

1. Remote workforce monitoring, if improperly implemented, can represent an invasion of privacy

  • Employers that employ remote workers often need to implement some form of monitoring, principally for some combination of "maintaining data security levels and assessing employee productivity."
  • However, some forms of remote monitoring can invade the privacy of workers. These may include the installation of keylogging software on the remote worker's computer, or installing remote access software on the computer and instituting random check-ins.
  • Similar monitoring solutions that may or may not impinge on an employee's sense of privacy include GPS, dash cams, and custom apps that track an employee's productivity.
  • While these measures may not be illegal, they present the potential for abuse, and may unethically restrict the privacy of employees.
  • Ethical monitoring measures include software that prevents users from stealing proprietary or sensitive data, routine check-ins (without the assistance of invasive remote access software), and strict guidelines regarding the volume of work that should be completed by remote workers.

2. Legality and consent play key roles in the ethics of remote workforce monitoring

  • Depending on where a business operates, certain types of remote workforce monitoring may be entirely illegal. For example, in California, the law bars the tracking of "any moving thing," encompassing vehicles as well as portable devices like mobile phones or laptops. Instituting a remote workforce monitoring policy that included tracking vehicles or devices under such conditions would be unethical beyond questions of privacy.
  • Similarly, monitoring employee "emails, texts, and other types of electronic communication" is illegal in Connecticut and Delaware, although surprisingly this is legal elsewhere in the United States (though it would almost certainly constitute an unethical invasion of privacy).
  • When the law doesn't forbid a given form of monitoring, consent largely governs the ethics of that practice. "Gaining your employee’s consent before undertaking monitoring activities" is an ethical imperative and must be done whether or not the monitoring technique could reasonably represent a breach of privacy.
  • Asking for consent before implementing a remote workforce monitoring process may allow employers to ethically impede employees' privacy, but it is important that coercion is not employed to get consent. Similarly, legitimate reasoning must be provided for monitoring, allowing employees to give informed consent.
  • In some cases, consent and legality go hand-in-hand — for example, in many US states the law forbids tracking of employee vehicles (provided they are not company-owned), unless the employee consents to it. Again, even if consent is not mandated by law in this way, it must be secured for any monitoring regimen to be considered ethical.

3. Remote and onsite workforce segments should be treated fairly

  • Remote workforce monitoring should strike a balance between constant, totalitarian, invasion-of-privacy monitoring and a laissez-faire lack of monitoring — in effect, the same balance that ethical workplaces strike for onsite workers.
  • One potential ethical problem with a remote workforce is that remote workers may be "unfairly considered 'out of sight, out of mind.'" In this sense, ethical monitoring practices are doubly responsible, as they prevent remote workers from being neglected or forgotten
  • As Teramind chief technology officer Isaac Cohen writes, "employee monitoring is just as important in the office as out of the office." While remote workforce monitoring can serve important ends, the ethical employer should seek to ensure that remote workers are not unfairly targeted for monitoring to which onsite workers are not subjected.
  • Ethical employers will also set clear "expectations for work hours" for remote workers as well as onsite workers, and remote workforce monitoring serves as a way of enforcing these expectations, thereby treating both segments of the workforce evenly and fairly.

4. Remote workforce monitoring can help ensure accountability

  • One important aspect of creating an ethical workplace is promoting a "culture of accountability." This can be done in a variety of ways, but in the context of a remote workforce, monitoring can be one important element.
  • Accountability can take many forms — for example, one form of accountability concerns "the time [a remote worker's] team spends on client projects." Monitoring in this context can "maximize billing," but can also ensure that the company is not unethically over-billing clients if remote workers claim to spend more time on a project than they do in actuality.
  • This insight ties in with the previous insight, as "remote workers must be held just as accountable" as their onsite counterparts; any greater focus on the latter or the former represents an unfair ethical lapse.
  • One way of encouraging this 'culture of accountability' amongst the entire workforce is for employers to share their "time sheet and activity levels with your staff, and encourage the sharing of timesheets among [their] remote teams." This "can help increase employee motivation [and] helps individual employees benchmark their performance, efficiency, and productivity against all other members of a company." Practices such as this, in conjunction with ethical monitoring practices, can ensure that all segments of the workforce are held accountable and treated fairly.

5. Employees' eligibility and qualifications for remote work should be considered

  • As Rice University's educational material on telecommuting (i.e., remote working) states, "it would be unethical to place workers without assistance in a new situation in which they can easily fail." Ethical employers must ensure that workers are capable of effectively performing their jobs remotely, and that the jobs themselves are conducive to remote work, before allowing a worker to telecommute or hiring a worker for a remote position.
  • Ethical employers should, as necessary, provide training "in time-management skills so [new remote workers] can maintain their productivity in an environment that may have more or different distractions than a traditional workplace and may make different demands on their time."
  • Additional training should aim to "strengthen communication skills, such as responding to messages promptly, that help ensure success in a remote setting."
  • On a broader level, employers should consider "whether the employees' attitudes, work ethics and personalities align with the company's expectations of telecommuting." Employees who do not meet these criteria should not be allowed to work remotely or hired for remote positions.
  • Ethical employers should implement these measures in conjunction with an ethical remote workforce monitoring policy. Without proper training, and proper discretion in hiring or in doling out remote working privileges, remote workforce monitoring would simply reveal shortcomings that employers have an ethical responsibility to weed out, at least to the best of their ability.

Your research team employed the following strategy

To find information and insights regarding the ethics surrounding remote workforce monitoring, we conducted an extensive search of academic and industry literature. This included academic sources, industry publications and websites, and business-focused media outlets. After collecting a substantial base of information on the subject, we compiled and detailed the five insights provided above.
Part
08
of fifteen
Part
08

Privacy Rights in the Remote Workplace

Some of the most relevant insights about privacy rights in the remote workplace include compliance with remote workplace monitoring and surveillance norms and documentation rights. Requested insights have been detailed below with a research methodology.

Workplace monitoring is an Employer's right

  • Remote workplace monitoring is the right of an employer against issues like data breaches, infringement of company privacy policies, and potential cases of data loss.
  • The right of monitoring comes with several limitations, including obtaining the consent of the employees, the notification of surveillance, with specified limits of the monitored areas. Consent is a basic factor, and it needs to be addressed prior to the process of monitoring.
  • Telecommute or remote workers hold a right to be aware of the risks, company privacy and security policy, guidelines, monitoring process information, and several other essential things.
  • Employees should be notified about the entire monitoring process and the scope of the process, along with exceptional extensions. Such notifications should be released prior to the process; while some organizations notify every employee, each time they conduct a monitoring process, there are some companies which specify these norms/guidelines/policies in the contract or employment agreement itself.
  • As per the laws formulated by the European Court of Human Rights, consent is a necessary component that employers need to keep in mind while monitoring their remote employees.
  • Consent of an employee for the monitoring of his/her remote workplace setup does not mean that there are no specified limits of monitoring. There are specific laws that deal with the security of an individual's privacy in a telecommute environment.

Privacy rights are not present across all countries and states

  • Some counties like the US, UK, and the territories in the European Union have special laws that protect the rights of people involved in telecommuting or remote work setups. However, states like Ohio and several others have no specific laws to deal with privacy and security breaches concerning remote working.
  • There are significant differences in the legal regulations across different countries concerning telecommuting aspects such as monitoring, consent, and the contents which can be monitored.
  • The state of Ohio has no explicit regulations about surveillance or monitoring of the remote employees. There are some regulations formulated by the state which do cover general surveillance limitations, but specific laws for the protection of privacy and security of remote or telecommute workers in the online space have not been formulated yet. The Ohio Wiretap Law prohibits the "intentional interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication," this does not really apply to the employers since security issues are more serious for an organization. Additionally, an employer has a right to monitor the employee data, so it all comes down to square one.
  • The United States, Australia, European Union, and the Argentine have regulations that legalize the right of monitoring without any limitations, but the right is only applicable to the devices owned by the company. China, Indonesia, and UAE have stringent restrictions concerning the monitoring of company devices. In America, the right to initiate surveillance on messages and email content is legalized, just like the European Union and Australia, but countries like China, Indonesia, and UAE still have some limitations.
  • The limitations usually include obtaining the consent of the employees; lack of access to financial information or records; social media accounts cannot be monitored, to avoid the infringement of the right to privacy.

Right of documentation

  • An organization that employs freelancers or telecommuters has the right to conduct a legal documentation process wherein all company guidelines regarding the using and sharing of company data, the privacy and security policies of the company are shared with the employee prior to his/her official joining.
  • Additionally, some companies can ask the employees or telecommuters to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits them from sharing any information regarding the trade secrets of the company, customer data, or any potential information which could result in any sort of data breaches.
  • Since the protection of data is the liability of the organization, internal policies can be made for the protection of such data.
  • Also, it is the responsibility of an organization to retrieve any data, which is lost/sold/or illegally shared with anyone. Non-disclosure agreements help the organization in the process of avoiding and recovering from data breaches.

An employer is liable for security and data breaches

  • Based on the regulations and the recent case laws, an organization is fundamentally responsible for the protection of its own data and the data of its customers, and if remote working employees or independent contractors commit data breach, then the company/organization is held vicariously liable.
  • Logically, the Privacy Acts in countries like Australia, puts forth the responsibility of protecting data by preventive measures, and if the organization fails to fulfill the responsibility, then the organization is liable for all damages. This indirectly provides a right of defense to telecommute employees against any cases of a data breach, deliberate or non-intentional.

Rights of a remote worker associated with the right of monitoring by an employer

Organizations have the right to form internal policies for the protection of data and privacy

  • The employer gets to formulate security policies and guidelines for the protection of privacy and data security of the company. Companies get to decide what they want to share with the employees and what they don't. Information about trade secrets, login credentials to admin versions of a product, website or applications are also not shared to avoid any cases of cybersecurity breaches. Detailed company information is also not shared without non-disclosure agreements because it can pose a significant threat to the privacy rights of a company.
  • Since companies have their own internal policies, they can raise restrictions on the use of personal devices (many companies provide their own devices and networking setups to the telecommuters). These policies may even ask for the use of specific virtual private network VPN to protect user privacy.

Research Strategy

As requested, we have provided the most relevant and detailed insights about privacy rights in a remote workplace. Since we had no specific region scope, we have provided information from all parts of the globe. Some regions have federal laws which intervene in telecommuting company setups to protect the privacy rights of a worker; however, not all countries have such norms.
For this research, we began searching for industry expert opinions about telecommuting or remote working jobs, and the privacy and security element of the job. We picked some articles from sources like Forbes, Digital Guardian, SHRM, Thomson Reuters, and several others. Most of the information we found was limited to individual opinions or facts about different aspects of privacy in a physical workplace. To list insights into the privacy rights in telecommute workplaces, we placed details about the most talked topics that the industry expert sources have dealt with recently. Since not much information was available, we have relied mainly on legal sources from law companies and LLCs. We assured that each insight is relevant to the core topic of privacy rights and describes all perspectives, norms, and the practices related. We tried to provide the most relevant and credible source, but it seems like the information concerning remote workplaces is scarcely located. We have used a few sources which were published more than two years ago; however, we have checked for recent versions or any changes in the information provided in the sources, but we could find any updates, and so we had to use them to provide some crucial info points.
Part
09
of fifteen
Part
09

Worst Practices in Managing a Remote Workforce

Poor management of a remote workforce can have devastating results. Some of the worst practices for managers to avoid are giving minimal or only negative feedback, not connecting with remote employees, having poor communication skills, hiring the wrong people, using technology poorly, and micromanaging.

Give minimal feedback/Only give negative feedback

  • Feedback is essential to be productive. Employees need to know if they are doing a good job, or if they need to make changes. No feedback has a negative effect on your workforce. By establishing a schedule where you provide constructive and positive feedback, your employee engagement will rise. A good manager will not only provide formal feedback, but consistent informal feedback that highlights not only areas for improvement, but areas in which they excel.

Don't connect with your Remote employees

  • Virtual workforces are very diverse. When managers fail to understand who their employees are and what their culture is, they misunderstand their worker. If you do not understand your workforce, it is impossible to succeed. If you have employees from different countries and you disregard their language, etiquette, religious/social obligations, and time-zones, you will not be able to manage them effectively.
  • Managers that do not make the effort to connect with their employees miss out on key chances to motivate and increase engagement.
  • Managers who do not make sure to include their remote employees in events for their traditional employees lose out on a great opportunity. An inclusive environment benefits all employees and the company with increased engagement.

Have poor communication skills & Policies

  • Online communication is difficult. We all know of that "Facebook argument" that started simply because someone misunderstood the intent behind a statement. Communication is non-verbal as well. Communicating online removes the non-verbal cues and makes misunderstandings five times more likely to happen. The easiest medium to be misunderstood is email. Poor communicators are not clear when they express themselves. They use jargon that might not be familiar to other employees. This is a setup for disaster and employees that are not clear with the job needing to be accomplished.
  • To combat poor communication, make sure that communications are clear and state who does what, when they do it, and how they do it. Everyone has a different way they understand and interpret communication. Don't assume everyone understands what you actually want to accomplish or communicate.
  • Poor communicators also choose the wrong channels to communicate with their employees. They also do not clearly define what channels their employees should use to communicate. Think of it like this, if you drove up on a wreck would you email the police department? When there is not a clearly defined policy for what channels to communicate, confusion and failure is most likely. In this policy state how communications should take place. Have a preferred order of communication and share that order.
  • Communicate regularly with employees to make sure everyone is on the same page. Make expectations clear when it comes to timelines and deliverables.

Hire the wrong people

  • Failing to understand what skills your remote workforce needs and hiring exactly like you would a traditional workforce is a poor practice. A good manager makes sure a potential employee is a good fit before they hire them. Along with the obvious skills, remote workers need to have a high level of enthusiasm for their work because it is too easy to get distracted. You need to have a high level of trust in your employee. They are remote with far less supervision than a traditional employee. You have to be able to trust them to complete their work, even when no one is looking. A remote worker must be an excellent communicator. Communication is a more difficult process in remote work, so your prospective employee must excel.
  • A good practice is to interview potential candidates by phone and ask them some simple questions. Ask them to reply to you by email. This will give you an idea of how well they will communicate remotely.

Use the technology available poorly

  • Poor use of technology will put a remote team at a great disadvantage. The beautiful thing is there is a technology for every need your remote workers have. Some good examples are Slack for group communication, Zoom.us for screen sharing, Google docs and sheets for documentation, Skype for calls, Trello or Basecamp for project management, and GitHub as a repository for information. Take a look at your current technology that is in place. Is it efficient? Does it work for everyone? Is it outdated? Make sure to take a look at your technology regularly. This is not something you can just do once and forget about.

Be a Micromanager

  • Micromanaging your employees is the #1 deterrent to keep your employees from being productive and successful. It is understandable that one might want to employ this style with a remote workforce, but it rarely works. When you micromanage your employees, they become resentful. Almost 60% of employees have stated they have had to work for a micromanager. Characteristics of micromanaging includes constantly correcting people's work, needing constant updates, demanding an account of absolutely everything, doubting others' ability to succeed, inability to prioritize, and mistrusting of other employees. Forbes referred to micromanaging as "one of the most dangerous habits one can have in the workplace."
  • Part
    10
    of fifteen
    Part
    10

    Best Practices in Managing a Remote Workplace

    70% of professionals work remotely at least once a week, while 53% work remotely for at least half of the week. Remote work is growing in popularity, and many companies that are completely remote have popped up recently such as Automattic, Buffer, and GitLab. These companies succeeded with a set of guidelines, and some of these guidelines and best practices in managing a remote workplace are discussed below.

    HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

    • The hiring process should be designed with remote candidates in mind. The skillset that candidates have should be strong because they will need to be able to solve problems independently. The worker should have an affinity to work in a remote environment, and workers that usually fit this role include workers who have had experience freelancing or those who had worked in a distributed environment.
    • Hiring someone who will get stuff done on their own is of utmost importance. Not only this, but they should also be able to write well, as written communication is important in a remote team.
    • Hire trustworthy people, and trust them to do their work. This is a line that is often said by the CEO of Zapier. Another CEO and co-founder, Jeff Robins, used to look for talented workers who were self-motivated and are also great communicators. He states that self-motivation is key as micromanagement is next to impossible in a remote work environment.
    • Finding people that share values is really important, especially in a remote environment. When teams share values, workers will be on the same page most of the time and there will be fewer missteps.

    FOCUS ON NEW WORKER ONBOARDING

    HAVE REGULAR MEETINGS

    • Agreeing on feedback points and times with workers instead of popping in unannounced makes the workplace a bit less distracting, and will also encourage more calm and creative workflow. A single source should be used to document procedures, how-to's, workflows, and onboarding that everyone can have access to.
    • Regular company-wide meetings are important as well. One example of a company that does this is Zapier, which has a weekly hangout where they do quick talks, interviews, and demos.
    • Q&A sessions should be held between executive leadership and remote workers at least occasionally. These sessions help workers know what is going on and lets them know that they are being listened to.
    • Sqwiggle's co-founder Eric Bellier states that every Monday they have meetings to discuss the week ahead. They have meetings on Friday too, but it's mostly to slack off and have fun as a team building exercise.

    USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

    • Even though remote workers are usually far away from each other, there are tools which bring each worker closer together and enables them to work with each other as if they were physically in each other's presence. Some popular tools include Slack, Trello, GitHub, Zoom, and Google Docs.
    • One of the most helpful technologies to have in a remote work setting is video conferencing. This technology helps workers see and speak with each other in real-time like they would if they met face-to-face.
    • Video and live calls should always be used as much as possible. Each manager must be available to talk when working and they must be responsive to their respective teams.
    • Other types of tools that are important in a remote work environment include chat and collaboration tools, video calling, screen sharing, project management system, automated onboarding software, HR software with employee self-service, and recognition and reward system tools.
    • Even though these tools can be good, there is a dark side to them as well. Slack and other messaging apps can be distracting. Choose email for non-urgent questions and feedback that will need thoughtful answers.
    • At Ecquire, they use tools like Getflow and ScreenHero for chatting and support and do not communicate anything internal over emails. All internal matters are saved for team chats on Tuesday mornings.

    FOSTER PERSONAL CONNECTIONS

    • 63% of women who have a best friend at work feel more engaged in her environment, compared to just 29% of women without a work best friend. Personal relationships are even more important in remote work environments as these workers are more likely to feel co-workers are saying bad things behind their backs, making changes to projects without telling them in advance, lobbying against them, and fighting against their priorities and interests.
    • One way to foster personal connections is through team collaboration. Plans and goals of a project should be shared with team members individually and in a group. This helps team members know that they are part of something and helps them feel needed.
    • The manager should try hard to prevent a clan culture from appearing. Clan culture begins when teams or groups start to blame each other for missteps and failures which creates a toxic work environment. Buffer tackles this with pair calls, where each worker calls a randomly assigned person in the company each day to talk about the previous day, their home life, plans for the day, etc.
    • Workers should also be encouraged to over-communicate. Janet Choi, Chief Creative Officer of iDoneThis, states that the key to a great remote workplace is over-communication, which makes up for the physical and psychological distance between workers.

    HOLD WORKERS ACCOUNTABLE

    • Set expectations for what needs to be accomplished, and trust workers to do their jobs, according to the CEO of Zapier. Workers must be trusted to do their work, but check-ins are important from time-to-time. There are tools that managers can use to track progress in projects, such as Trello, Confluence, and Slack.
    • Workers should be empowered to make decisions on their own and be held accountable for each decision. This will cause workflows to speed up, and many workers will go the extra mile for a project.
    • Giving workers jobs that they don't usually do is good too. Zapier, for instance, has all of their employees do customer service work. Performance on these jobs should be held to the same standard as their main jobs.

    HAVE OCCASIONAL FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS

    RESEARCH STRATEGY

    In searching for best strategies, we looked at articles from well-renowned publications such as Fast Company and Quartz and used articles from successful remote companies like Zapier. From each source, common themes were picked out, and we ended up with seven best practices with a few examples and quotes by executives from these remote companies.
    Part
    11
    of fifteen
    Part
    11

    Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Employees

    How to effectively manage remote employees include setting clear expectations, regularly engage by communicating, trust your team, encourage remote socializing, have reliable tools first, among others.

    HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE REMOTE EMPLOYEES

    1. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

    • Everyone on the remote team has a different idea of what doing something "quickly" or "well" means. Hence, it is important that employers of remote workers clearly explain their expectations to their employees. Remote employees perform better when they are well-prepared.
    • Usually, when the remote staff knows what is expected of them, they are most likely and more able to deliver. "Not only that, when there is an agreement on specific goals, it gives the employer a framework for measuring their performance."
    • Before setting expectations or goals for the remote team, the employer must consider the team members' availability due to the complexities of working across different time zones.
    • Agreeing on the time of the day and number of hours for your remote members to work is crucial, especially when they are in a different timezone from you.
    • "One of the most vital parts of setting expectations is allowing the space for your employees to meet them." It is necessary that the employer agrees with the remote employees on when or how often they will check in on progress, or ask for updates by a particular time.
    • "Setting expectations are not only useful for productivity, but they can also be an early warning system for both the employer and the remote employee."

    2. REGULARLY ENGAGE BY COMMUNICATING with remote workers

    • It is crucial for an employer to engage the remote employees daily through a specified communication channel.
    • A plan of regularly scheduling face-to-face meeting helps in the engagement of the remote team, and this can be done "weekly, monthly, or annually, and could be combined with a training or coaching program. "
    • The importance of the regular engagement of the remote workers is that it makes them feel that they are an essential part of the company; thus, they will put in their best.
    • Regular engagement can also be done through any of the latest communication means such as email, messenger, Hangouts, Slack, Trello, Whatsapp, among others.
    • Constant communication seems to be a key tenet of the manager-worker relationship in a remote environment, and communication is the answer that comes up often when asking about "improving remote-working relationships."

    3. TRUST YOUR TEAM

    • At different times companies might not be willing to embrace a remote workforce because there could be doubts about getting the job done at the same level as when they are in the office.
    • It is necessary to set up work-from-home rules and guidelines.
    • Some rules like setting a time frame for responding to emails, using text message for an urgent matter, and not taking calls between particular hours to make sure teammates are not working around the clock can be helpful.
    • Trust is the biggest challenge as testified by several failed companies and the main elements to build trust in remote teams are dependability, consistency, congruence, reciprocity, confidence, accountability, transparency, collaboration tools, interpersonal relationships, and commitment.
    • Once the company demonstrates trust in the remote teams through the key elements, a strong remote team will be built.

    4. ENCOURAGE REMOTE SOCIALIZING

    • "One of the biggest things remote workers miss out on is workplace socializing and social engagements outside of work. "
    • Setting up a “just for fun” messaging channel in your organization’s enterprise social network will encourage remote socializing.
    • It might be necessary to create a team-wide messaging "channel or email thread specifically designated for non-work related banter. This could include jokes, memes, new songs or videos, or any other topics that brings some fun to the workplace.
    • Employee socializing is seen in the traditional offices due to the proximity of the staff. It is essential, therefore, to create such an opportunity for remote workers through virtual means.

    5. HAVE RELIABLE TOOLS FIRST

    • The tools the company is using have to be reliable so that remote employees will not have difficulty accessing materials for their work. The tools being used have to be efficient and provide seamless service and access to the workers.
    • When a company or business owner is planning to employ remote workers, they must first invest in reliable tools to make collaboration possible, after which a clear developed process of using such tools should be considered.
    • Applications relevant to support the team need to be selected. This is vital for remote workers to work effectively.
    • "Remote teams need an infrastructure that allows them to focus on achieving their goals. Shared folders, collaborative documents, etc., play a key role in this."

    6. STAY FOCUSED ON GOALS, NOT ACTIVITY

    • "It is important to manage expectations and stay focused on goals when embracing a remote workforce."
    • The primary focus here is on results and not activity. Concentrating on what is being accomplished is more relevant than checking the activities of the workers.
    • "The employer should build a communication and accountability system that measures and rewards based on completion of tasks rather than hours worked."
    • Manage remote workers by measuring how well they adhere to established processes, and how well they meet agreed-upon deadlines and not how much time was put into the process.

    7. USE TECHNOLOGY TO BUILD COMMUNITY

    • "Building community is important to developing an engaged remote workforce. Use technologies to create dedicated spaces for celebrating special days (e.g., birthdays), company milestones (e.g., months or years of service), as well as community recognition."
    • "Being intentional about creating community helps develop a corporate culture that inspires connection, which can result in increased productivity."
    • Some creative means of providing visible, collaborative feedback and recognition for the remote employees are through social networking sites, internal communities, and virtual forums.
    • The channel will be a great place to offer praises to workers for a well-done job, something that helps motivate them to keep going.
    • It is great to share ideas so that all remote staff remains connected to a channel to see, share, and comment together.
    Part
    12
    of fifteen
    Part
    12

    Keeping Everyone Happy: Monitoring the Remote Workforce

    With the remote workforce growing in size and popularity, monitoring is essential. Transparency, framing the implementation positively, setting goals, keeping the communication channels open with your employees, and leading by example can increase employee satisfaction when they are being monitored.

    Facts

    • Since 2015, the remote workforce has increased by 115%. With this part of our workforce growing so steadily, it is important to think about the best ways to effectively manage remote workers.
    • Remote work grows increasingly popular. Most remote workers (90%) state they would prefer to work remotely for the rest of their careers.

    Why should we monitor employees?

    • Employee monitoring is essential to track productivity and performance, but how can a company implement monitoring while keeping employees happy? Monitoring lets managers gain an understanding of how effective and productive their workflow and employees are.
    • Employee monitoring holds employees accountable for their work each day. Knowing this, employees are usually more motivated and produce greater results.
    • Managers have a better grasp of where projects stand and how they are processing.

    How can a company implement employee monitoring and maintain employee satisfaction?

    • Once you have picked the monitoring that works best for your company, you should be transparent and introduce it to your employees. It is best to introduce this new policy as a positive addition to the company. Talk about the positives that can come from monitoring. Will they feel more empowered because they now have a concrete way to show how efficient they are? Will it give your highest functioning employees a platform to shine? If you fail to share the decision to monitor, this will undoubtedly bring about distrust.
    • Make sure to state the positive changes that can come from monitoring. Monitoring can let you see which tasks are poorly designed, or which application is outdated. These changes can only benefit the employee. When you discover these problems, share them with your employees so they can see the benefits of monitoring. This will help them see monitoring is not just a punitive effort.
    • When implementing a monitoring policy make sure your remote workers understand this is a company-wide policy, otherwise they will feel unfairly singled out. This can cause resentment.
    • Monitoring can reduce employee feelings of unassuredness. They can get real-time feedback.
    • Make sure to check in regularly with your employees for feedback. Don't just implement a program and then not follow through. There should be a definite purpose and goals for monitoring. Share these goals with everyone. Interact often with your remote employees concerning this process. Email, instant messaging, video chats, online chats, and phone calls are all great ways to keep in touch.
    • Lead by example. Share your time sheets and your own activities that are monitored.
    • Make monitoring a positive experience for your employees. Consider having a competition with a reward.
    • Do not micro-manage. Focus on what your employees are accomplishing.
    • After implementing, if everything is going well, reward your employees. Employee recognition helps keep your remote workers engaged and productive. On the other hand, if things are not working out the way you expected, use this as an opportunity to set goals and offer incentives. Moreover, make this individualized. A more personal approach will reap greater benefits than just a blanket statement to your employees on the good job they have done.
    • Lastly, keep the mindset of your remote workers in mind. Remote workers are more likely (39%) to work extra hours to complete a task compared to workers in a traditional setting (24%). Let monitoring be something that assists them in being more productive than they already are, not a hindrance. The ultimate goal is to have employees that are happy about their work environment, that contribute to the goals of the company and that want to stick around. Implemented correctly and introduced in a positive way, monitoring can help achieve this goal.
    Part
    13
    of fifteen
    Part
    13

    CyberSecurity and the Remote Workplace

    Five insights into how cybersecurity fits into the remote workplace are that a remote workplace increases the risk of cyber attacks to an organization; public Wi-Fi networks are a major concern for remote working cybersecurity; small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than large enterprises; bring your own device (BYOD) increases the risk of cyber attacks for a remote workforce; and the use of VPNs is a sure-fire way to mitigate cyber crimes for people working remotely.

    A REMOTE WORKPLACE INCREASES THE RISK OF CYBER ATTACKS COMPARED TO THE TRADITIONAL WORKPLACE

    • In a traditional office, the company's sensitive data and information are more secure and less susceptible to cyber attacks.
    • In a remote workplace, remote employees have to access and send company data and materials outside the physical borders of the company. This creates cybersecurity risks as it widens the network, and the company can easily fall prey to cybercriminals.
    • In April 2018, Apricorn conducted a survey was on 100 IT decision makers from private companies with more than 1,000 employees in the United Kingdom.
    • From the Apricorn survey, it was concluded that 95% of businesses in the UK are still struggling with remote/mobile working and cybersecurity, while 18% of the surveyed organizations in the UK worry that their mobile workers do not care about cybersecurity.
    • All the IT decision makers said that they have some employees in their organizations who work remotely.
    • Of all the 100 IT decision makers surveyed, 44% of them expect their remote employees to expose their organizations to cyber breaches, with 32% saying that they have already experienced cybersecurity threats and data breaches caused directly with remote working.
    • 53% of the IT specialists surveyed said that their biggest concerns with remote working are the complexities and management of the remote working technology for their remote workers.
    • Over half (54%) of the IT specialists expressed their organizations' willingness to comply with requests to enforce remote working security measures, but they claimed that their remote employees don't have the necessary skills and technologies to keep the company data safe.
    • According to a 2018 iPass survey, 54% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the United States suspected that their remote workers had been victims of cyber hacking during the past 12 months.

    PUBLIC WI-FI networks ARE A MAJOR CONCERN FOR REMOTE WORKING CYBERSECURITY

    • According to data from Spiceworks, 61% of organizations say that their employees connected their company-issued work devices to public Wi-Fi networks when working remotely in airports, hotels, or other public places.
    • Connecting company-owned devices to public, and mostly insecure, networks opens up organization data to vulnerabilities since the management of the data is outside the firewalls of in-house IT specialists.
    • According to Spiceworks' poll on IT professionals drawn from a variety of companies in North America and Europe, 12% of the respondents said that their company had received cyber security threats as a direct result of their employees connecting company-owned devices to public networks when working remotely.
    • From the poll, 34% of the IT specialists were not sure whether their organizations had received a security threat because such unauthorized log-in attempts may be undetected or unreported.
    • 92% of the IT professionals surveyed were worried that when remote employees connect company-owned devices to public networks, the company is vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks.
    • According to the Spiceworks poll on IT professionals, 63% of the respondents were confident that the company employees always use a VPN when connecting to public company-issued devices to public Wi-Fi networks. These means that still, a substantial number of employees do not use a VPN, exposing the company to all manner of cyber threats from middle-men 'lurking around' public Wi-Fi networks.

    SMALL BUSINESSES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO CYBER ATTACKS THAN LARGE ENTERPRISES

    • The new wave of remote working that is disrupting the way people work opens up small businesses to cyber attacks.
    • 21% of employees in small businesses say that their productivity increases when they work from public places, but only 18% of them are concerned with the consequences such working practices have on the security of business data and information.
    • According to 2018 data from Verizon, small businesses (businesses with less than 250 employees) accounted for 58% of cyber attacks.
    • Also, 72% of all cybersecurity breaches take place in organizations with less than 100 employees.
    • As per Malwarebytes, 25% of all small and medium-sized enterprises that had been victims to ransomware attacks in 2017 stopped their operations completely.
    • According to recent statistics, 60% of all small and medium-sized businesses that suspend their operations after cyber attacks never get back on their feet again.
    • All these statistics are for businesses that operate in the traditional office way. For small and medium businesses that incorporate remote working into their operations, their vulnerability to cyber attacks becomes way higher.
    • The main reasons why small businesses are targeted by cybercriminals is because they assume that they are not potential targets, they don't offer cybersecurity training to their employees, and their cybersecurity countermeasures are weak and less-effective.
    • Small businesses are also less likely to have security protocols that are up-to-date, and they may lack a dedicated in-house IT specialist due to staff shortage or budget constraints.

    BRING YOUR OWN DEVICES (BYOD) INCREASES SECURITY RISKS

    • According to an iPass survey, 94% of Chief Information Officers believe that the rise of BYOD has increased remote working security risks.
    • Before cybersecurity became a threat, BYOD "was smart, practical, cost-effective, trendy, and super employee-friendly."
    • However, with the increased risk of cyber attacks that come with the remote workforce, BYOD seems to be an ideal avenue for cybercriminals to target businesses.
    • The main challenges associated with Bring Your Own Device to an organization are hardware challenges, privacy risks, and security risks.
    • Some of the hardware challenges include Wi-Fi connectivity, access to network resources, and device compatibility problems.
    • Some security downsides to BYOD are local exposure, data leakage and loss, public exposure, insecure usage, malicious and rogue applications, cross-contamination, and insider attacks.
    • Some privacy risks of BYOD include litigation, personal data loss, and Big Brother.

    the use of vpns can mitigate cybersecurity threats in a remote workforce

    • A virtual private network (VPN) helps to create a secure network connection even when one is connected to a public Wi-Fi network or a home network that is not secure.
    • A VPN is one of the most effective methods to deal with cybersecurity risks when the workforce is working remotely as sensitive company data can not be accessed by the 'man-in-the-middle'.
    • According to an iPass survey, 46% of organizations are confident that their remote workers are using VPNs when they connect their company-issued devices to public and unsecured home Wi-Fi networks.
    • According to the Spiceworks poll on IT professionals, 63% of the respondents were confident that the company employees always use a VPN when connecting to public company-issued devices to public Wi-Fi networks.
    Part
    14
    of fifteen
    Part
    14

    Remote Working and Employee Cost

    Remote workers can help companies save money, reduce turnover costs, and increase productivity and efficiency. They help minimize employer costs because they tend to stay in their jobs much longer, and they tend to be healthier than employees who work in offices.

    REMOTE WORKERS ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

    • A company can improve employee productivity through remote workers.
    • Cisco successfully generated annual savings of about $277 million in productivity because the company allowed chose their workers to do telecommuting and telework.
    • Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford professor, stated that working from home increases employee daily performance by 15%.
    • Additionally, a study from a Chinese Call Center found that employees who work at home have an increase of 9% in their timely shifts, and that they take 4% more calls than workers who work in the office.
    • Moreover, research from the University of Melbourne found that employees who work one to three days at home are more productive than workers who don't do telecommuting at all.
    • Another survey found that employees who work remotely at least part-time are 77% more productive.
    • In addition to this, 30% of the applicants accomplish more in less time because the off-site employees tend to be happier and less stressed out.
    • Forbes stated that more productivity is reached because they don't need to commute and that they can finish their work on time, and they are self-motivated.

    COMPANIES CAN SAVE ON REAL ESTATE AND SAVE OFFICE COSTS

    • By giving an opportunity to work remotely, companies can open a wider talent pool with less cost.
    • An example of this would Silicon Valley, in where the median income for a software developer is a whopping $112,000, while in Seattle its $100,000 and in Portland its $79,000.
    • By having a lot of talent and being diverse in cost saves companies money, and by recruiting talent from farther East salaries can drop to $65,000 for software developers.
    • Moreover, companies that use teleworking save 59% and they have a roster of employees with more extensive skills for the best price for the company.
    • Additionally, buying and leasing commercial office space can be a considerable expense, and by doing telework, it can save the company's money to avoid the unneeded expense.
    • A statistic from Workplace Analytics statistics showed that real estate savings with full-time telework costs companies only $10,000 per year.
    • Because of teleworking, IBM succeeded to cut real estate costs up to $50 million.
    • In addition to this, Sun Microsystems also succeeded to save $68 million a year in real estate cost by implementing teleworking.

    HEALTHIER WORKERs CAN SAVE COMPANIES MONEY

    • Working at home makes people move more because most of the office jobs make employees sit the whole day even when it's uncomfortable.
    • A study with over 8000 adults showed that excessive sitting increases the risk of an early death.
    • Remote workers often do their work with a break because they are in line with the suggestion of taking a break for half an hour to lower the risk of an early death.
    • Additionally, they can be healthier because they can stand for 30 minutes, which can reduce the health risk of sitting for hours end.
    • Remote work also reduces absenteeism.
    • A survey from CoSo showed that 52% of remote workers are less likely to take time off work when they are sick.
    • Another study from Softchoice found that 57% of remote workers worked when ill and another 44% worked while being on vacation.
    • Moreover, according to Entrepreneur, a healthier worker can reduce the long term healthcare cost of companies.
    • Big companies such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stated that they spend around $34.3 billion on healthcare.
    • If the medical claim costs can be reduced by making their workers healthier through teleworking, then it can save a lot of money for the company.

    HAPPY TELEWORKERS CAN REDUCE JOB TURNOVER COST

    • Teleworkers tend to be happier, so their companies save a lot of money on job turnovers.
    • The cost of replacing a worker on average can be one-fifth of the worker's annual salary, but for high skill labors, the turnover cost can be higher.
    • Some positions even cost the company up to 213% of the worker's gross annual income.
    • A study from Stanford University found that teleworkers reported better job satisfaction, and because of this, companies are experiencing significantly less turnover among remote workers.
    • When job turnovers are reduced, companies start to avoid the costly process of recruitment.
    • Another research from Global Workplace Analytics found that 95% of companies that have teleworkers reported that telework can keep employees because it helped eased their commute.
    • Moreover, teleworkers can be more loyal to companies because they are happier, more productive, and less likely want to jump to other opportunities.

    TELEWORK CAN REDUCE UNSCHEDULED ABSENCES

    • A study from Global Workplace Analytics found that unscheduled absences can cost on average $1,800 per employee per year or $300 billion a year for US companies.
    • So telecommuters can give the company significant savings because telework programs saw a 63% drop in unscheduled absences, and they can return to work faster.
    • Teleworkers can handle a lot of work because they can get back to work without making an absence due to doctor appointments and other prevailing reasons for absences.
    • Additionally, sick leaves are decreasing because when employees are sick, working from home can keep them from infecting each other.
    • Moreover, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that loss of productivity because of absenteeism cost employers $1,685 per employee.
    • Another information from 1MFWF said that absenteeism can cost large employers more than $1 million per year because of workday interruptions.
    Part
    15
    of fifteen
    Part
    15

    Security Risks in a Remote Workforce

    With the remote workforce gaining in popularity and number, security is paramount. Some of the most important security risks to address are software security, using personal technology, network security, educating the workforce on safe practices, having strong passwords, and maintaining a strong remote access policy.

    Security facts for a remote workforce

    • 84% or remote workers say they work from home.
    • 46% of employees state they have transferred files between work and personal computers.
    • 75% of employees do not use privacy measures when working in a public place.
    • 95% of security incidents involve human error
    • 52% of CIOs expect that their mobile workers have been hacked in the last year.
    • 34% of companies have reported a security breach and have suffered data loss due to breaches on mobile worker's computers or mobile phones.

    Software

    • Multi-factor authentication should be enabled on all software. Users need more than just a platform for complete security.
    • Email is widely used and an important tool for communication. According to Cisco, email is the most popular way to spread viruses and malware. Effective email security should include the ability to detect, block and remediate threats. Email should also have end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive information.
    • Set up your software and systems to auto-update so you do not miss crucial security patches. The US Department of Homeland Security states that 90% of security incidents are caused by an exploit in software.

    Use of personal technology- Bring your own device (BYOD)

    • More companies than ever have implemented rules involving how person technology can be used in the workplace. Some companies are eliminating it altogether. The bottom line to consider is this: If your employee is working at home and using their own device, have you set them up with the necessary security?
    • For remote workers it is advantageous to provide them with their equipment. This allows more control for security. If they resign, it is easier to regain control of proprietary information.
    • If you choose to allow workers to use their own technology, policies should be in place for security.
    • If an employee is allowed to use their personal phone for work, it should be equipped with adequate protection.
    • If an employee is using their own computer they should be provided with adequate backup and recovery software.

    Network

    • A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is an effective way to secure your network. It has lower operational costs and improves resources, by letting network administrators manage bandwidth. This approach will enable your remote workers to connect over secure VPNs to do their work without sacrificing security or privacy.
    • All connections made by remote workers should be through a VPN that uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), or IPsec (Internet Protocol Security). With all traffic going through a VPN, viruses, malware, and threats are automatically blocked before they get to your device.
    • Secure internet gateways (SIG) should be implemented to provide cloud security. This is very important, as 70% of attacks are "distinct to the organization".
    • Cloud computing is increasing and so should your protection. Cloud application security is managed by a cloud-access security broker (CASB). This tool functions as a gateway between on premise and cloud application. It also identifies harmful applications and protects against them.
    • Within the network, remote workers should be monitored to see what they are doing online and how they are doing it (within reason). How are they accessing files? How are they communicating? This information can be used to develop security that meets the needs of your company.
    • Companies should have the ability to recognize probes and data packet sniffers on their network. These are attempts to gain access to your network. They are sometimes hard to recognize, but it is important they are. Probes can be handled by your IT department or your service provider.

    Employees not understanding good practices

    • Remote workers should always make sure they are working on a secure system. Not understanding encryption, good password practices, or leaving their computer unprotected is bad practice. Educate your remote workers on good practices.
    • Employees should understand that downloading free applications or mobile apps can affect their security. Only approved software and apps should be used.
    • Employees should never use public WIFI. This is inviting an attack. Hackers can place themselves as an intermediary between you and the WIFI. They then have access to everything on your computer.
    • Employees should understand that work data is to be kept separate from personal data.
    • Employees should be educated on Denial of Service (DOS). This is when an employee thinks they can not log on, then goes through steps to reset their passwords or username.
    • Anytime an employee feels they have been compromised they should immediately shut down the device.
    • Employees should never share their work computer while working at home. It is not that you do not trust your family, but it is impossible to monitor the websites they choose to visit.
    • Home networks should be secured. They are easy to hack.

    Passwords

    • Remote employees should have strong passwords for everything. Weak or duplicate passwords are a security risk. Almost 75% of workers report they use the same passwords for multiple accounts. This makes a hacker's job easier.
    • It is recommended to have a company paid password system. These services protect your passwords by storing log in information off-site. If a password is needed, you must go through this company.
    • Having an effective password policy can be one of the single most important pieces of security. Use multi-factor authentication, check passwords against dictionaries of bad choices, do not mandate periodic changes without a good reason.

    Have a remote access policy

    • Every company should have a remote access policy that has guidelines for "requesting, obtaining, using, and terminating remote access to networks, systems, and data." These policies should apply to in-house and off-site operations.
    • This policy should be controlled and managed by the employer. Do not leave it to employees to figure it out on their own. They should be educated and trained on all pertinent security issues.
    • This policy should grow as your company grows or adds new technology.
    • This policy should be easily accessed by employees.
    • To make security training less boring, you can have contests like seeing which employee can flag the most suspicious emails.
    • Regularly perform audits on this policy. Third-party penetration tests are advised to see where your weaknesses are.


    Sources
    Sources

    From Part 01
    Quotes
    • "In fact, according to a joint study by Global Workforce Analytics and FlexJobs, 3.9 million U.S. employees work remotely, a figure that has jumped 115 percent since 2005."
    Quotes
    • "Remote work is becoming very popular and once thing you will discover is that once people go remote, they don’t want or are unlikely to go back. As a matter of fact, 90% of remote workers report preferring to work remotely for the rest of their lives."
    • "79% of knowledge workers say they work from home. 60% of remote workers said they would leave their current job for a full time WAH job at the same pay rate. "
    • "55% of hiring managers state that full time remote work is becoming more common. They expect up to 38% of their full time force to become remote within the next ten years. "
    • "68% of millennials said that an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in a job. "
    • "70% of professionals work remotely one day a week, while 53% work remotely for half of the week. "
    • "Employees who work from home at least one day a month are 24% more likely to feel happy and productive at work. "
    • "58% say working away from the office would improve their motivation levels. "
    • "More than a third (39%) of people who mostly work from home often work additional hours to complete their tasks compared with less than a quarter (24%) of those in fixed workplaces. "
    • "62% of people have left of are considering leaving a job because of a lack of workplace flexibility."
    • "38% of workers say the ability to work remotely has the greatest impact on worker satisfaction. "
    • "Employees who spend 60-80% of their time working remotely are the most engaged and fell they make more progress during the day. "
    • "85% of customer contact managers agree that offering work at home programs enables them to hire more qualified talent. "
    • "79% of employees say they would be more loyal to the company if they gad flexible work options. "
    • "This growing population of the agile working population are causing companies to rethink their work demands and flexibility."
    Quotes
    • "It can have a hard-hitting, positive impact on recruitment, an employer’s bottom line, the workplace, and an individual’s output."
    • "Our research revealed that one in four workers would change jobs if there was the promise of remote working. This leaves a large group of employers who should be shouting about it from the rooftops to get the best talent through the door. Or at the very least, logged in from home."
    Quotes
    • "Of our respondents, 99% said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. This is a notable stat to have discovered; while remote work is sometimes portrayed as a trend, these results seem to infer that this way of working is here to stay. Out of all the data we collected, no "
    • "95% say they encourage others to work remotely. "
    • "Whats the biggest benefit you see to working remotely? 40%- Flexible schedule 30% working from any location 14%- time with family 13% working from home 3%- other "
    • "In fact, 44% of remote workers travel while working between one week and one month per year, and 25% of respondents do this work/travel combination more than one month of the year. Only 7% responded that they never traveled and worked at the same time."
    Quotes
    • "However, with a combination of ever-expanding 21st-century technology and demand from millennials (and others) to better integrate work with the rest of life, working remotely has advanced to new heights. In fact, remote work grew a whopping 115% between 2005 and 2015 to the tune of 3.9 million U.S. employees working from home at least half of the time."
    • "As this Forbes‘ article astutely notes, remote work is no longer a “perk,” “lifestyle,” or “policy.” “As of 2018, remote work, telecommuting, and workplace flexibility have officially become a global industry.”"
    • "When companies can get work done even when there are snow days, or the kid’s sick, or you’re on that business trip to Denver but still need to be on that conference call, why wouldn’t they?”"
    Quotes
    • "By 2020, both the healthcare and social assistance sector and the professional and business services sector will account for almost half the projected job growth in the past 10 years."
    • "Nearly one in four American workers are already accomplishing some or all of their work from home."
    • "A cultural shift has already taken place in terms of wider acceptance of remote work, with flexible jobs becoming more mainstream in a variety of organizations. Also important to note: the savings realized on both sides are staggering."
    • "From employers who can afford to downsize physical office space (or eliminate it altogether) to employees who no longer have to invest in public transit passes or buy as much gas, it’s clear that flexible work offers a significant fiscal benefit."
    • "Among them is a strong desire to work for companies that offer opportunities to work remotely; in a recent survey, 68 percent of millennials cited this option as a criterion for selecting future employment. (Organizations that are eager to compete for top talent are wise to take notice of this preference.)"
    • "Workers whose jobs are location independent tend to be happier by a figure of 87 percent. Breaking out of the 9-to-5 mold and being able to work where (and often, even when) workers prefer unsurprisingly leads to higher employee morale. By encouraging flexibility, employers are also boosting employee productivity."
    • "Millions of gig work opportunities are cropping up across all sectors. In the decade studied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2003-2013), there were more than 3.6 million “non-employer businesses” added to the economy. "
    Quotes
    • "According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report for 2019, 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility will be very important for the future of HR and recruiting. In the past two years alone, there’s also been a 78% increase in LinkedIn job posts advertising flexible work arrangements. "
    • "Remote work is environmentally friendly By getting rid of the commute, working from home drastically cuts down on the carbon emissions created from using a vehicle. Even from just working outside of the office for half of the week, remote workers could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons every year. Also the amount of resources needed within the office environment is reduced, meaning that paper, electricity and heating use are all cut down. "
    Quotes
    • "Freedom and flexibility: you can block out appointments, pick up the kids from school, and find your own balance of work-life integration. "
    • "Wear whatever you’d like: want to do that Zoom meeting in your Pink Panther boxers? As long as you’re wearing a decent shirt (and you never stand up), nobody will be the wiser."
    • "Take care of family needs: parents with kids don’t have to negotiate with their bosses to pick them up from school or take them to football practice."
    • "Live anywhere: working remotely gives you the freedom to live anywhere your passport will allow—as long as the time zones overlap efficiently (for example, at Hotjar we work across EMEA + US hours only). "
    From Part 05
    From Part 06
    Quotes
    • "Ninety-one percent of respondents who are business owners selected that they had always intended to support remote work. This is up from 88% in last year’s report."
    • "While fully remote companies (like Buffer) are the reality for 31% of respondents, an even greater 40% work on teams where part of the team is full-time remote, and the other part of the team works out of the same office. This leaves companies with the challenge of supporting both office and remote workers — employees who often have very different needs"
    • "What is your company’s stance on remote work? 40%- part of the team is full time remote and part of the team is in the office. 31%- everyone is remote 17%- we can work from home as needed 9%- we can work remotely a certain number of days per month 4%- freelancer/solo business "
    Quotes
    • ". “We need to stop thinking of remote work as a trend and start to focus on how to do remote work successfully. What new skills and tools do people, teams, and managers need to have to do their jobs productively and effectively from a remote location? How do we integrate remote work into a broader culture of flexibility that we deploy, as needed, based on the needs of the business and the realities of a particular job "
    • "There needs to be conscious thought put into making the shift, and training needs to reflect the new way people work today. Simply allowing people to work from anywhere without being mindful of company culture, workflow, and internal processes is a recipe for chaos.”"
    Quotes
    • "Over a quarter of employees see the agreement to work from home as a sign of trust from their boss. This factor is a sure sign of a strong working relationship, and this feeling of trust is sure to translate into a boost in company morale more generally."
    Quotes
    • "Mims goes on to note that companies that are realizing success with remote work policies are those leveraging tools to foster communication and collaboration. While I agree with Mims that technology is critical to making remote employees productive, the problem many companies fall victim to in today’s market is application fatigue. It can be difficult for companies to implement technology and tools that meet the communication needs of today’s workforce – from voice and video, to text and document sharing, many organizations are implementing three or more solutions to address each need. "
    • "Organizations that truly want to foster a collaborative, productive, and secure remote workforce need to look at adopting a unified approach to communications. By implementing solutions that provide voice, text, video, and document sharing services via a single platform, companies can offer employees a simple and seamless way to communicate from everywhere, and on every device. "
    Quotes
    • "Companies that allow for remote work can save significant costs Remote hiring companies see a tangible reduction in costs associated with running a fully equipped and staffed office for all workers. IBM for example managed to save $50 million in real estate costs. 60% of employers questioned in the costs and benefits survey reported cost savings overall as a significant benefit of allowing people to work from home*. "
    Quotes
    • "One of the first examples of a company doing the right thing when it comes to remote working is GitHub. Github has over 60 percent of its workforce working remotely, and this balance has been a big success, the company's senior product designer, Joel Califa, wrote in a blog post. The secret, he said, is finding the formula and balance that work best for each workforce."
    • "Creating a successful remote team requires a unique structure and training process that is best to implement from the start"
    • "GitHub, for example, hires people who are outcome-focused and have high emotional intelligence. These workers are more than happy to go out of their way to make thinks easier on one other and take chances in order to get the job done."
    • "If your company, too, has a remote team like this, you can build a collaborative team, with relationships that focus less on who’s making decisions and more on being productive and efficient when it comes to work output. The key is identifying employees who are collaborative, humble and kind and can share responsibilities and work together for the collective good."
    • "These freedoms lead to happy employees who are willing and able to work harder, as they are less stressed, Gascoigne wrote."
    • "Talent retention is also a big plus, as there are many people in today’s workforce who wouldn’t stay in the role they are in because they want more travel in their lives, or require more flexibility for their particular lifestyle."
    Quotes
    • "A recent study found that 70% of global professionals work remotely at least one day per week, while 53% work remotely at least half the week. With such a large (and growing) segment of the workforce going virtual at least part of the time, businesses who are equipped for remote work can get a competitive advantage and recruit the best employees from anywhere in the world, without being restricted to a physical location."
    • "Document processes publicly: to work as a unified team, we need to be able to be on the same page regardless of where in the world we are. A lot of our processes are documented publicly in this Team Manual, and anybody can take a look at how we work, what tools we use, etc. and understand if our way of working can work for them. "
    • "Establish a rough structure for the work week: although Hotjar doesn’t micro-manage each employee’s time, we do have rough guidelines for where we focus our energy each day of the week. For example, we have ‘core hours’ between 2pm and 5pm CET where we should aim to be available, while Friday is our ‘demo’ day where we all come together for an hour and share what’s been shipped and accomplished during the week. Having this structure in place allows teams across different continents to align their efforts and stay focused."
    Quotes
    • "Contrary to popular belief that you can’t get things done at home, the majority of remote respondents (57%) report thinking they are more productive when they work from home. Another 38% think they are equally productive working from home as they are in the office, and only 4% think they are less productive at home."
    • "This may be due to the fact that the workplace can be distracting — almost 70 percent of US companies feature open floor plans, and a number of studies indicate that these types of environments distract workers and lead to less productivity."
    • "A recent study of workers at China’s largest travel agency supports this: Researchers compared a control group of employees at company headquarters with a test group of employees who volunteered to work at home full-time. The study found that employees working from home gained the equivalent of an entire day’s worth of productivity. "
    • "For instance, limiting the number of days employees can work from home will help foster in-person teamwork, but providing the option of remote work can be a powerful differentiator for employers looking to be more competitive in the labor market and attract top talent from anywhere."
    Quotes
    • "Nearly half of respondents (46%) said the most successful managers checked in frequently and regularly with remote employees. The cadence of the check-ins varied from daily to biweekly to weekly, but they were always consistent and usually entailed a standing meeting or scheduled one-on-ones. Don’t leave your remote employees alone; make sure you are in touch with them often."
    • "Use face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact. One in four respondents said managers who insisted on some face time with remote employees were more successful. Make a visit to remote employees or schedule a mandatory in-office day once a week, month, quarter, or year. "
    • "Demonstrate exemplary communication skills. Respondents emphasized the importance of stellar communication with their manager and their co-located colleagues. The most successful managers are good listeners, communicate trust and respect, inquire about workload and progress without micromanaging, and err on the side of overcommunicating, all while modeling the same behaviors for others on the team."
    • "Make expectations explicit. When it comes to managing remote teams, being clear about expectations is mandatory. Managers who are direct with their expectations of both remote and on-site employees have happier teams that can live up to those expectations. People are never left in the dark about projects, roles, or deadlines."
    • "Be available. Our respondents said successful managers are available during remote employees’ working hours, no matter their time zone. They go above and beyond to maintain an open-door policy for both remote and on-site employees — making themselves available across multiple time zones and through different means of technology (IM, Slack, Skype, email, phone, text). Remote employees should always be able to count on their manager to respond to pressing concerns, no matter where they work."
    Quotes
    • "Just as you would provide your local employees with a conducive work space, remember to do the same for your remote employees. Your remote employees are likely going to spend on average 30-45 hours a week working, and so creating a comfortable space for them to work in is very important. Just because they are out of sight, does not mean they should be out of mind!"
    • "““One of the most difficult parts about managing remote workers is simply remembering to loop them in,” Grosse says. It’s just as important to include remote workers in team meetings and publicly recognize their contributions as it is for on-site employees.” "
    • "Individualised work schedules and times zones all contribute to making it difficult for employees to contact each other, but it is very important to establish times where employees will be consistently available to answer any phone calls, messages or emails."
    • "“Off-site employees routinely miss events like holiday parties and lunches celebrating team accomplishments. They aren’t there for the Monday morning “watercooler” discussions around who died on Game of Thrones that can bring co-workers closer together. It won’t take long for remote workers to feel left out and possibly become disengaged if they are not included in the culture.” "
    • "Get Your Tools Right Ensure that the tools that you choose match your culture and communication methods. With remote teams, communication and social interaction is very limited without the right tools. By providing a means to communicate easily takes away the feeling that keeping in contact is a chore, and the more seamless and easily accessible the tool is, the more likely employees and colleagues are to use it to connect with each other. "
    • "Remote workers are not present in the office environment to hear that someone did a great job. It is even less likely for your remote workers to be acknowledged by you or your in-office employees for something they did well. As such, it is important to show your appreciation for something that they may have done, or give them recognition. This can be done discreetly during one-on-one video calls, or it can be broadcast in the weekly company newsletter which is published to everyone."
    Quotes
    • "Ensure that your technology setup is adequate. #WFH doesn’t work if you don’t have a good wifi setup, video conferencing tool, camera (like the Meeting Owl), headphones, and a good place to set up for video calls"
    • "Keep up communication. Use tools like Slack, Skype for Business, Google Chat, or other chat software to keep your team in the loop. Remote work has the potential to silo employees, so make sure to check in and keep up team culture and communication."
    Quotes
    • "Communication is critical for establishing and maintaining engagement with any employee, not just one who works remotely. But keeping in touch with off-site workers can sometimes feel forced or laborious. That’s why it’s important to go the extra mile, add more opportunities, and make communication with remote employees a policy initiative."
    • "Chat programs may be seen as a synonym for “distraction” (which they certainly can be). But when it comes to remote workers, chat programs are a blessing: free, faster and more casual than email, and conducive to group discussions. Whether you use Slack, Hangouts, or any of the other programs out there, chat makes it easy to keep in touch with people in and out of the office and levels the playing field, so to speak, by making distance a non-issue."
    • ". Now, most laptops come with high-definition webcams built in, and free conferencing utilities like Zoom and Google Hangouts make video calls as easy as (if not easier than) actual phone calls. The difference seeing a friendly face makes is huge; try it once, and you’ll understand."
    • "How to Engage Remote Employees: Increasing Participation It might be impossible to exactly duplicate the community of an office environment for remote employees, but that’s no reason not to try. On top of effective and constant communication, it’s important to ensure remote workers interact in more ways and with more people than just the people they work with directly. "
    • "Make onboarding activities memorable. Employ get-to-know-you surveys to personalize appreciation We use a questionnaire for every new employee that helps us learn personal data and preferences like tee shirt size, hometown, and favorite candy. "
    • "Showing Appreciation The last component we want to mention in the telecommuting engagement trio is essentially the icing on the cake of the other two. Recognition and appreciation for the work your remote employees do is the most direct way to show you care about them, but so many companies fall short in this area. "
    • "Create a budget for spiffing up home offices Whether it’s as simple as sending some high-quality office supplies or as generous as giving every remote employee a standing desk for their home office, any money you spend on improving remote workers’ experience pays you back twofold: it has the feeling of a gift with the additional benefit of making your remote team more effective at their jobs. "
    Quotes
    • "This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: If you have remote team members, invest in all of the necessary tools/stacks to ensure that they feel connected. From HipChat to Skype or Slack and Asana, find the way to communicate with them that doesn’t simply involve emails."
    • "Fortunately, there are tools that allow remote management to use the most accurate, real-time data to check on their workforce availability. With an option such as this, the employees are able to log in anytime, from any computer and set their availability so the management knows if they can count on them or look for another employee without any unnecessary delays in the process."
    Quotes
    • "For example, remote workers work 9.5% longer and are 13% more productive. They’re also judged to be happier and their quitting rates are also cut in half. Compared to office employees, remote workers are more engaged"
    • "Besides productivity, you can cut overhead operational costs. If you decide to go 100% remote, you can forgo an office headquarters altogether. If you’d still prefer to have an office for employees nearby, you can reduce office space, which amounts to saving about $2,000 per employee every year."
    • "Over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters. AT&T workers work 5 more hours at home than their office workers American Express workers produced 43% more than their office based counterpoints "
    • "American Express workers produced 43% more than their office based counterpoints Nearly six out of ten employers identify cost savings as a significant benefit to telecommuting. IBM slashed real estate costs by $50 million. McKesson saves $2 million a year. "
    • "Without proper internal documentation–or as I like to call it, an internal wiki–the onboarding process will get messy."
    • "You can also create screencasts to show exactly how to perform a task. You can create screencasts using services like Screenflow or Camtasia (you can also just do a Google search for “free screencast app”)."
    • "Trello: Used to manage temporary projects that require multiple steps or action items across multiple teams or people. Basecamp: Used for external project management, client communication and delivery of client documents. ALL client communications should be sent through Basecamp. HipChat: Best used to touch base with team members quickly about projects, share links or small files, or to ask easy questions that can ideally be answered with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Skype: Best for 1 on 1 conversations that may require screen or file sharing. Longer conversations with more complex answers or collaborative problem solving. "
    • "This may seem trivial, but you don’t want an employee to send an email in an urgent situation–you never know when you’ll see the email. Likewise, you may not want to have an employee calling you every time he has a question."
    • "Have a clear job description. This seems obvious to do, but you don’t want to screen through resumes and applications, get on a call with an applicant and then tell them the job is remote. He might be turned off by it and remove himself from the hiring process. And you would have wasted your time looking at his application and blocking out time in your schedule to meet with him. "
    • "You’re always going to receive applicants who just want a job and apply for dozens or hundreds of jobs a day. By putting up barriers, you make sure that you only spend time and energy on the people who are serious about working with you."
    Quotes
    • "Many managers and employers find that as their business or team grows, keeping track of what each employee does on a daily, or hourly, basis is a difficult task. This can lead to: Huge reductions in performance as coasting employees aren’t as easily recognized A loss in earnings as billable time declines Entrepreneurs and business owners feeling like they have lost a grip on their company "
    • "To avoid these scenarios, startups, creative agencies, and even huge corporations are implementing worker monitoring and time tracking policies so that they can gain a better understanding of the moving parts inside their organisations."
    • "Knowing that the time they spend working productively is being tracked means that remote employees are more accountable to their output each day. Thus, they are far more likely to be motivated and produce greater results on a regular basis."
    • "Build monitoring and time tracking into your workflows To make sure that remote employees track their time, make a conscious decision to build monitoring and time tracking into all of your company’s workflows. "
    Quotes
    • "1. 44% of global companies don't allow remote work. (Owl Labs)"
    • "2. 16% of global companies are fully remote. (Owl Labs)"
    • "3. 40% of global companies are hybrid. (Owl Labs)"
    • "52% of employees around the world work from home at least once per week. 68% of global employees work from home at least once per month. (Owl Labs) 8% of employees work remotely full time. (Owl Labs)"
    • "8. 53% of respondents worldwide feel happy and productive at work. (Owl Labs)"
    • ". Companies that allow remote work experience 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow remote work. "
    Quotes
    • "First, companies need to determine what positions are eligible to work remotely, and state them in their policy. By analyzing their work and operating model, companies can decide which positions can and should be done out of the office, Gartner analyst Carol Rozwell said. She used herself as an example: "If I'm on the phone with you right now, doesn't matter where I'm phoning from, doesn't matter where you phoned me, right?""
    • "Castanon-Martinez also recommended implementing a specific rule on response time. Define whether or not a remote employee is expected to respond to a coworker immediately, and also specify what modes of communication should be used, he said"
    • "Speaking of productivity, remote work policies should specify how an employee's productivity will be measured. Productivity can be measured in a number of ways, whether it be on the time spent on the project, number of cases resolved, amount of client interactions, and more, companies need to determine how they want to evaluate their employees."
    • "Equipment Remote workers need the right tools to complete their work. Therefore, companies need to state what equipment they are willing to offer to these employees. If they expect employees to provide their own computers, for example, then they need to specify that. "
    • "Tech support Along with equipment, companies need to specify if any tech support is offered to remote workers. Almost all major companies have on-site technology support, but not remote. Outline in the policy what remote employees are expected to do when having technical difficulties, that way there is a plan of action "
    • "A big problem with remote work is security. Big companies work on secure networks, but when information is taken out of the office, security is not guaranteed. Employees need to be extremely careful when doing work in public places, said Rozwell. If companies have specific requests—for example if they don't want employees working on public Wi-Fi—then that should be stated in the policy."
    Quotes
    • "Buffer's Employee Code of Conduct: We put forth this code of conduct not because we anticipate bad behavior, but because we believe in the already exceptional level of respect among the team. We believe that articulating our values and accountabilities to one another reinforces that respect and provides us with clear avenues to correct our culture should it ever stray. We commit to enforce and evolve this code as our team grows."
    Quotes
    • "Start a Slack #shoutouts channel to acknowledge the hidden givers at the organization while also openly celebrating and therefore encouraging this behavior"
    Quotes
    • "1. Evaluate each of the positions and determine if an employee’s physical presence"
    • "5. Develop a guide for each type of remote work option."
    Quotes
    • "1. Determine who is eligible to work fully remotely, work from home on an ad-hoc basis, and who is not able to work remotely."
    • "Determine these rules with your core Human Resources, Finance, and Legal teams before rolling out any policies to your employees to ensure this option is feasible."
    • "Empower your team with the right tools for productive and secure remote work. Whether employees will be able to work remotely on an occasional or permanent basis, you'll want to make sure they have the right tools to work securely and productively when they aren't in the office. "
    • "Connectivity: Will remote workers need high-speed internet to get their work done from outside of the office? Cybersecurity: Will remote workers need a VPN or another form of security to work on shared company files or private customer information? Workspace: What technology or privacy will employees need to set up an effective home workspace? Will they need a second monitor, a printer, or any other hardware to get their job done? Communication: How will remote employees communicate with the rest of the team? Will you set them up with video conferencing software and hardware so they can virtually attend meetings and brainstorms? 3. Set limitations for when and where employees can work remotely. "
    • "Set rules for remote employee working hours. Finally, you'll want to set limitations on how remote employees are spending their working hours, particularly if they're working from home where distractions like family members, pets, working out, and household chores can present easy "
    • "Get into the practice of over-communicating. Distributed or remote teams don't have the advantage of being able to tap a co-worker on the shoulder to swap ideas or build personal rapport, both of which are important to foster a productive team. What this means is distributed teams need to get comfortable and skilled at over-communicating"
    • "Make sure remote and distributed teams are leveraging the power of video to communicate as effectively as possible. Asynchronous, pre-recorded screen share and explainer videos are particularly helpful for sharing context and ideas with team members in different time zones (using tools like Loom or Soapbox), and live video conferencing is helpful for emulating the closest possible feeling to a huddle meeting, 1:1, or brainstorm (using tools like Zoom or Skype for Business)."
    From Part 08
    Quotes
    • "Nowadays it is very common for employers to offer employees the option to work remotely, from home and in transit. This involves the employer issuing ICT equipment or software to the employees which, once installed in their home on their own devices, may enable them to have the same level of access to the employer’s network, systems and resources that they would have if they were in the workplace."
    • "The Barbulescu v. Romania case presents an important view of the European Court of Human Rights, which clarifies in detail the limits within which employees can be monitored at work. In this sense, employers must be able to justify and express a legitimate reason and interest for monitoring. Employers must be extremely careful about how they respect the fundamental rights and privacy of their employees and also about how they obtain employee consent."
    Quotes
    • "With advancements in technology, employees increasingly work non-traditional schedules, including from remote locations. Advancements in technology provide the means to remotely monitor employees in both the office and remote locations. However, employer remote monitoring policies raise questions surrounding compliance with existing state and federal laws"
    • "Electronic workplace monitoring policies must comply with federal and state wiretapping laws, state statutory and common law surrounding privacy, employment discrimination laws, and the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).4 Public employers must also comply with the Fourth Amendment. "
    • "In Ohio, no statute specifically protects employee privacy or regulates remote monitoring. Protections against surveillance are found in the Ohio Wiretap Law, which prohibits the intentional interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication. Employees in Ohio have no expectation of privacy in employer-owned office spaces, computers, or desks that are accessible to other employees. "
    • "However, Ohio recognizes four common law bases for invasion of privacy, including the wrongful intrusion into an employee’s private activities, which causes mental suffering, shame, or humiliation to a reasonable person and the publication of an employee’s private affairs. When monitoring employee communications, the more personal and private employees’ emails on a company-issued device, the less likely the employer’s monitoring will survive balancing in the totality of the circumstances."
    Quotes
    • "Software designed to capture images of workers’ computers and what’s on the screen has begun to proliferate among businesses that rely on a remote workforce. The more popular these tools become, experts in the field say, the greater the need to have a conversation: about regulation, privacy and the interests of workers and their employers."
    Quotes
    • "Mobile devices, wireless networks, and even inadvertent disclosure of data in public spaces all expose your business to unwanted vulnerabilities. Ensure that you have security policies and guidelines in place to prevent data loss. Educate yourself on cross-border data transfer laws and the implications of sharing information about global customers with home office workers."
    Quotes
    • "Lounging in a coworking space, sipping coffee, and casually jotting project notes sounds like liberating relief from structured corporate environments, and is a reality for remote workers around the world. Unfortunately, that scenario is also in noncompliance with several information security laws, including customer/patient privacy regulations, nondisclosure agreements, and server security, making your entire informational infrastructure susceptible to a breach."
    Quotes
    • "Employees who are working from home need secure access to company information, including using encryption, passwords, and network firewalls. And, as Champlain College suggests, companies should also restrict the use of personal devices. A Finance & Commerce article adds that some professions require telecommuters to operate from a secure server or to use a virtual private network. “This is especially crucial for business owners because, in a case where a telecommuter compromises sensitive data, the liability remains with the employer,” the article says."
    • "The Burlington, Vermont-based college’s graphic encourages employers to take steps to maintain the privacy of company information, including signing a nondisclosure agreement. They should also ensure they can retrieve files from telecommuters. An article on FindLaw adds that telecommuters need to know their privacy rights. “For example, just because work is being performed on a home computer doesn’t mean that it’s not susceptible to being monitored or inspected by the employer,” the FindLaw article says. “Though the location may be personal, they are still acting under the scope of being an employee at work.”"
    Quotes
    • "Working remotely carries the risk of unwarranted and non-sanctioned divulgence of confidential information. Employees who work remotely use their own computers and not work issued computers. Such information can be subject to hacking and unintentional loss of data. There is a need for employees to sign non-disclosure agreements as well as take preventative measures that protect confidential and propriety information."
    • "Such employees should request for the use of company issued equipment that contain security protocols. Employees ought to review the homework area through deliberations with telecommuting employees. Companies must provide for a way to repossess files from telecommuting employees. Part of the agreement with telecommuting employees should be to return and protect classified information upon termination or retirement."
    • "Telecommuting employees ought to have secure access to company information. Nonetheless, home office equipment and electronic devices must be used only for official purposes and not for personal use. This must clearly be stated in the employee’s policy. Security should include encryption, passwords and firewalls. About $5.9 million was used in 2014 alone as costs associated with data breaches. When telecommuting employees limits the use of personal devices for office work, it goes a long way in helping to increase security."
    Quotes
    • "Depending on the region, country, or state, employee monitoring legislation varies. However, there are common core principles if to compare every local legislation. In general, employers are allowed to monitor employees work on company’s electronic devices (like servers, desktops, laptops, smartphones, iPads, etc. that belong to the company)."
    • "Most of the local legislation requires getting a consent from employees in order for employers to begin computer monitoring. Speaking on how well employee computer monitoring law is developed, USA is at the top of the list. Employee computer monitoring is highly demanded in the USA, and the monitoring legislation is the most complete in compare to other countries. "
    • "European Union does not really offer any legislation specific to the topic; all decisions about computer monitoring are made based on the general law about personal privacy. Australia is one of the strictest about employee monitoring: employers have the right to monitor, but informing employees is mandatory, and workplace monitoring policies must be reviewed from time to time. Indonesian employee monitoring law is also very strict: employers have to obtain a permission to monitor."
    Quotes
    • "For some companies, one of the greatest hazards in using remote workers is the protection of intellectual property. This can be an issue with technical workers that have access to software, are developing new tools or may not be adequately safeguarding passwords or customer data."
    • "Typically, non-disclosure clauses would be part of any employment contract, but these may be difficult to enforce with contractors living in a remote location. In any instance, non-disclosure policies and agreements should be clarified before work begins, and checks put in place to either monitor or limit a worker’s access to sensitive proprietary information."
    From Part 09
    Quotes
    • "In fact, according to a joint study by Global Workforce Analytics and FlexJobs, 3.9 million U.S. employees work remotely, a figure that has jumped 115 percent since 2005."
    Quotes
    • "Research shows that two-thirds of experienced managers fail in their first attempt to run a virtual team,” says Beat Bühlmann, Evernote’s General Manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). “For new managers, the failure rate is even higher.”"
    • "Lack of understanding We tend to think of virtual teams as separated by geography, but people are also separated by time zone, language, culture, religion, and other factors. They might be on a different floor or the other side of the globe. "
    • "Those offices also have distinct infrastructures, events, and methods of working. “One of the biggest mistakes virtual managers make is assuming every office is like their own,” says Beat. “They’re not.”"
    • "“Make sure you know the local situation and environment of each member of your team,” including cultural norms and religious obligations. If you have a teammate in another country, learn the etiquette for working in that country. Bottom line: Virtual teams are diverse teams. Learn to accommodate the differences, and you’ll be better able to take advantage of the unique perspectives and fresh ideas that come from that diversity."
    • "Poor communication As anyone who’s survived a Facebook or Twitter argument knows, nuances of meaning can vanish in text-based messages. That’s because a lot of human communication is nonverbal. When we speak face-to-face, we pick up meaning from visual cues like facial expression or body language, or paralinguistic cues like loudness or hesitation."
    • "Misunderstandings are 5x as likely to happen when we move away from face-to-face conversations."
    • "Of all the methods of communication, emails are the most prone to error. We tend to pour a lot of information into long, dense emails, and because the conversation is asynchronous, we may have no opportunity to clarify or correct ourselves. "
    • "Be crystal clear When working with a virtual team, remember that people have different means of expressing themselves and may not always understand you. Slow down when speaking, and avoid jargon or obscure words. If you’re sometimes misunderstood by your own family and friends online, imagine how difficult it is for a teammate in another country."
    • "Every communication should be clear about: WHO does WHAT by WHEN"
    • "Using the wrong channels: “So in a new virtual team, it’s important for everybody to meet in person as early as possible and agree on how they will work together.” The money spent on travel will be made up in the long term through a more cohesive team. “If your house is burning, do you email the fire department?”"
    • "Write a team charter for communication When Beat joined Evernote, he and his entire team collaborated on a “team charter” that laid out rules, responsibilities, and no-go areas for communication. Every team will have different needs based on their unique situation, but examples of what might go into a charter include: A preference order for communication channels: call if possible, then chat, then email "
    • "Hiring the wrong people Unfortunately, none of the above tips will be enough if you don’t have the right people on your team. “Team members are interdependent. That’s part of the definition of a team,” says Beat. “But most companies go through the same process for hiring a virtual team member as when they hire locally. They don’t check to see if the candidate will be a good virtual team member, and that’s why there’s so much turnover.”"
    Quotes
    • "#2: not having a prepared approach to the interview process! When you don’t have a strategic interview process, the odds that you will hire a reliable and skilled online worker goes significantly down. With the number of online workers looking for new jobs, your inbox can become quickly "
    • "“Wow! What if I could get $3.00/hour? That would cut my costs by 4 times!” You begin to imagine the impact that an hourly rate that low could have on your bottom line and you become fixated on getting that rate. Welp…join the club!"
    • "Everyone wants to pay the lowest rate possible, but unfortunately it also tends to come with poor quality of work, lower expertise, and infrequent communication."
    • "NOT DIVERSIFYING WORKERS ACROSS YOUR BUSINESS OPERATIONS we highly recommend hiring multiple workers and diversifying them across your business operations. You can receive the same quality of work for the same price while minimizing your risk if one of them is to quit."
    • "Fail to poroperly set up your online workers: Create detailed set up systems with step by step processes. Conduct all set up sessions via chat. By using chat, the online worker has a reference to go back to. "
    • "Not setting up your workers to be able to handle multiple tasks: For tasks that only have 1 person, find someone from your company that has the skills to perform that task. Write that person’s name down next to the task. Create a schedule that has everyone’s vacation plans projected at least 1 month out. Ideally, your vacation schedule will pan out for an entire quarter."
    • "You can also incentivize your online workers by providing them with milestones that they must reach before they are considered for a raise or promotion. By simply offering this notion, it indicates that they have the ability to grow within the company. "
    Quotes
    • "Avoid micro managing, the #1 deterrent to productive and successful remote work. "
    • "• Not communicating on a regular basis."
    • "• Not inviting remote staff to meetings."
    • "• Not checking the activity reports to see productivity."
    • "• Not spot checking the actual work being done."
    Quotes
    • "If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. "
    • "Many individuals who are responsible for supervising others never receive any kind of leadership training. They are expected to just learn those skills as they go. Immersive learning can be an effective way to get some good experience under your belt, but you should seek out opportunities to learn what the best practices in management are. "
    • "Poor communication comes in many forms, not the least of which are unclear expectations. So, Make sure your employees understand what your expectations are of them. Do not assume that everyone has the same understanding and interpretation of timelines, deliverables, and other expectations. Check in regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page."
    • "Nonexistent, inconsistent, or unconstructive feedback: One of the quickest ways to increase employee engagement is to provide consistent, constructive feedback. Many managers don’t make this a priority, which has a negative effect on employee satisfaction and performance. Make sure you have a system in place that reminds you to provide both informal and formal types of feedback. And remember that when giving feedback, you should highlight both areas of strength and opportunities for improvement."
    • "Not fostering an inclusive, positive culture: If your entire team is remote, make sure there are opportunities for everyone to interact. And if only some of your team is remote, make sure that you provide opportunities for them to participate in work functions. Never leave team members out just because they are not on site. If you have an inclusive environment, that will contribute to the overall satisfaction of employees and productivity of the company."
    • "Additionally, you should make time to meet with your employees one on one and make yourself available for spontaneous meetings or conversations."
    • "Some of these include poor employee engagement, a toxic work culture, or even problems attracting and retaining top talent. Keep continuing to seek out opportunities to improve your remote team leadership skills to build the most collaborative and effective remote teams."
    Quotes
    • "Centralize information One of the most important elements to getting any remote team (marketing or otherwise) running like clockwork is to centralize all of your information. In other words, everything needs to be available at all times to those who need it."
    • "Communicate regularly (at least 2 times per week) Centralizing the information in a remote team is vital, but without communicating regularly you’re not acting as a team. At best you’re lone agents who have a vague idea of what they’re doing, but next to no motivation."
    • "These calls serve a couple of purposes, the most obvious of which being that it lets us show what we’ve been working on and make sure there aren’t any barriers to stop each of us working for a couple of days until the next meeting."
    • "Document your processes Time and time again the mistakes that we’ve made have come down to one thing, and one thing only; we hadn’t documented our processes well enough. Either that or our process management had gone to hell. Recording and sticking to your pre-publish checklist is the only way to reliably execute your projects every time, especially in a remote team where communication and transparency can be extremely difficult to maintain."
    • "Organize your tasks Although this has some overlap with centralizing your information and documenting your processes, you need to make sure that your tasks are being tracked and organized to make sure that nothing is flying under the radar. "
    • "Manage your team’s time: When you work remotely your motivation (and thus time management) is entirely self-fueled. This makes it easy for most employees to lose track of time and waste their efforts on things that don’t matter. The hardest part of being able to remotely manage a team effectively is handling your regular management tasks while also battling the difficulties of working remotely. Management is hard enough without throwing in the communication and location disparity that most remote teams have."
    Quotes
    • "At the root, successful remote teams have the same three characteristics: great communication, remote-specific management, and the right people. On the flip side, the absence of just one factor causes remote teams to tailspin."
    • "If done correctly, a productive, happy, and scaleable culture is born. If the loop is broken though (meaning one characteristic is not present), the remote team sees decreased productivity, culture problems, and risks getting “sent back to the office” or axed completely."
    • "Scenario 1: Good remote-specific management, good communication, but the wrong people: I worked at a company where my manager had managed a remote team in the past, and communicated extremely well with us. But…I had team members that began to miss their sales numbers almost immediately after going remote."
    • "As their monthly number diminished, communication started to break down. As a result, our team regularly missed our monthly quota, putting pressure on our manager."
    • "Scenario 2: Good communication, good people, bad remote-specific management: I’ve worked for someone who had in-person management experience and managed my team as such."
    • "We had all the right communication tools, and everyone was passionate about our work, but we were being micromanaged. My team began to get resentful of our manager and communication began to break down."
    • "Remote teams fail without the third piece whether they are a 4 person marketing agency or a 300,000 person tech giant."
    • "The Right People (For Remote)A good culture fit for a co-located team might end up being a really bad fit for remote work, even if their skills and work experience look great. In effect, if part of your workforce is remote, your recruiting team is almost hiring for two cultures within the same company. Honestly, teams that start out fully remote tend to have an easier time staying fully remote and fully productive. "
    • "That said, some personality types and characteristics are essential for remote success and worker happiness. Here they are: "
    • "Enthusiasm for work – home offices supply distraction. People that love what they do won’t let distraction keep them away from shipping work. Remote workers really need to like their job. Some might even say that successful remote workers don’t just like their work, but they are passionate about what they do."
    • "Trust – without trust, remote companies don’t work…period. Working from home means much less supervision, and managers need to trust that work is getting done. The best remote workers are people that can be trusted to do the right thing, even when no one is looking."
    • "Communication skills – We’ll talk more about communication, but this is a non-negotiable with remote work. Communication is the weak spot for remote organizations, so remote teams compensate by staffing people with great communications skills."
    • "Successful remote teams let employees have decision making power. Managers trust that they’ve hired the right people, and workers are left to do what they’re good at."
    • "One of the biggest attractions to remote work is efficiency. Micromanagers kill efficiency, and play a big role in remote team failures. Insert trust and remove micromanagement."
    • "Slack – Duh. Slack is the gold standard of team communication at this point. It’s an amazing internal communication tool that pretty much every remote team uses. Gifs are commonplace here, making this a great tool to foster a remote culture. Lately, I’ve also been placing voice calls with Slack for those “need to talk” moments."
    • "Zoom.us – I use Zoom internally and externally. If I need to do an internal screen share during a meeting..no problem. Conference call with a client..easy. Zoom.us is great video chat and meeting software, especially for meetings with multiple people (other video chat software limits your attendance)."
    • "Google Docs & Sheets – The standard for internal documentation. Documents are easy to edit and share. Google Sheets is also great for any spreadsheet or metric tracking."
    • "Skype – Most remote teams are successful with just Slack and Zoom for meetings, but I like to use Skype for calls if I’m away from my home office. Skype rarely drops calls, and I find it really easy to use when I’m on the move."
    • "Trello or Basecamp – Most remote teams have project management software. Trello is probably more well known, and widely used, but don’t count out Basecamp. I’ve seen marketing agencies and software companies that swear by Basecamp. These tools are used to keep track of projects, and to keep the communication running smoothly on each one."
    • "Github – Any remote company or team with developers should consider using Github. It’s a code “hub” or repository to be shared by your technical team."
    Quotes
    • "There are four key issues that managers need to consider to ensure they don’t fail when they first try to run a virtual team: Lack of understanding Poor communication Using the wrong channels Recruiting the wrong people "
    • "Issue: lack of understanding Virtual teams aren’t just separated by geography. Teammates are also separated by other factors including time zone, language, culture and religion. "
    • "Virtual teams are diverse teams. If you learn how to accommodate the differences you’ll be much better positioned to take advantage of the unique perspectives and fresh ideas that come from a team made up of lots of different team members."
    • "Solution: test how applicants work in virtual teams When I’m interviewing for new virtual team members, I always include an interview stage where I ask some simple questions by phone, then ask the applicant to reply by email. All they have to do is repeat the questions and answer each one with two or three sentences. Simple, right? "
    Quotes
    • "You don't recognize or praise good work."
    • "Compared with employees who work remotely 60% to 80% of the time but spend some time in the office, fully remote workers are 29% less likely to strongly agree that they have reviewed their greatest successes with their manager in the past six months."
    • "You don't talk to remote workers about career goals and personal growth. Compared with employees who spend at least some time in the office, fully remote workers are 30% less likely to strongly agree that they have talked with their manager about steps to reach their goals in the past six months."
    • "You don't provide opportunities to connect with coworkers. Our research shows that the optimal amount of time to work remotely each week is three to four days. Spending all of your time at the office or all of your time away leads to the lowest employee engagement. "
    Quotes
    • "Yet one study reported nearly 60% of employees reported working for a micromanager at some point in their careers. And Forbes referred to micromanaging as “one of the most dangerous habits” one can have in the workplace."
    • "Constantly correct other people’s work, Require constant updates, even on small tasks, Demand detailed time-accounting, Doubt everyone’s capabilities (except their own), Believe they’re the only one who can do a good job, Have trouble prioritizing, Mistrust others, Need to be on every business call and cc’d on every email,"
    From Part 12
    Quotes
    • "entrepreneurs and traditional employers across the world are starting to implement employee monitoring at their companies so that they can: Track the time their team spends on client projects (to maximize billing) Record the amount of time their employees spend on things other than work (so that they can minimize waste and increase performance and productivity)"
    • "When it comes to managing remote teams, time tracking and monitoring is essential. It helps leaders and managers gain a complete understanding of how each worker is performing, how productive they are being, and how efficient their workflow is."
    • "Knowing that the time they spend working productively is being tracked means that remote employees are more accountable to their output each day. Thus, they are far more likely to be motivated and produce greater results on a regular basis."
    • "First, think about why you want to implement time tracking in your company — is it to keep an eye on employee productivity, monitor performance, increase billing, or another reason?"
    • "Once you have found the right fit for your company, it’s time to introduce the policy to your staff. When doing this, it is best to frame the introduction of remote staff monitoring as a hugely positive addition to your company. Talk about how it will empower individuals to be more accountable, and that the best performers will be able to shine more clearly."
    • "After introducing the policy, check in weeks and months so your team has a chance to give feedback. You can also use this time to discuss what you’ve learned about work patterns and productivity since you started monitoring."
    • "To do this, lead by example by sharing your time sheet and activity levels with your staff, and encourage the sharing of timesheets among your remote teams. Openly sharing timesheets can help increase employee motivation. It also helps individual employees benchmark their performance, efficiency, and productivity against all other members of a company. This can lead to your whole team actively improving their daily work habits."
    • "o boost your monitoring culture, think about incentivizing employees to track their time and monitor their own performance. Consider holding competitions for the most efficient or productive employees, and stress how monitoring and time tracking helps to empower individual workers by giving them freedom and flexibility over their workload."
    Quotes
    • "To eliminate feelings of distrust, we must look at employee productivity as a dual partnership between effective leadership skills and technology. Here are a few tips from my own leadership experience on how to intertwine the two and increase productivity without not alienating your team."
    • "Equally important is the need for open communication when explaining employee monitoring to employees. Hesitations around employee monitoring do exist, so it is necessary to explain the productivity boost when employee monitoring is in use. Sharing the purpose monitoring gives your employees necessary insight."
    • "Monitoring employees helps you identify areas you may be lagging. For example, you may notice an outdated application is making a task too lengthy. Identifying the ill performing app will allow you to make the necessary changes. By explaining any identifications like this to your employees when they occur, you solidify the importance of using monitoring software and further your communication, transparency and engagement efforts."
    • "Keep in mind that employees, especially those who work remotely, can acquire a feeling of alienation if the work environment is lagging. Imagine yourself as an employee being monitored for unknown reasons and you never hear of feedback from the monitoring. It would be easy to become a detached employee, wouldn’t it? Now, imagine yourself as an employee being monitored so that your organization can assess the effectiveness of their tools and practices, and you also hear about positive trends the monitoring is showing within the company. It’s likely you would be a much more engaged employee in this scenario."
    • "Be transparent about your monitoring. Remember that maintaining a level of engagement within your teams - as well as giving them opportunities to remain engaged - will positively influence productivity."
    • "In relation to employee monitoring, employees aware of monitoring are driven to stay on task and pump out quality work. You are also likely to experience fewer incidents of unproductive work, given your employees are aware of the policy in place. Remember, increased productivity only comes if your employees understand why they are being monitored. "
    • "Failing to disclose why you are monitoring your employees waves the scent of distrust and your employees are less likely to feel like a part of the team. Express that employee monitoring is necessary to track productivity, better align your tasks and their urgency levels and assess company strengths and weaknesses. Use it as an aid to support your accomplishments."
    Quotes
    • "Monitoring employees has its pluses and minuses. Workers who know that they’re being tracked are less likely to slack off. On the flip side, you run the risk of creating a big brother environment, which might turn off your workers. For independent contractors who might be concerned as to how to justify the number of hours they work, having time tracking in place can actually be a relief, as it will show that they were legitimately working."
    • "Employers are less likely to be suspicious of their employees if they have monitoring in place because they know that their workers are actually working when they are clocked in. It also allows real-time feedback on progress, so that an employer is never left wondering if a project is halfway completed or barely even started."
    • "Once you’ve decided to put monitoring in place, you should share this information with your team, especially if your team hasn’t had a time tracking program in place before. You don’t want your workers to think that you don’t trust them, but rather, explain how these tools can help efficiency for everyone."
    • "You don’t want your workers to feel like they’re being punished by having their time tracked by management. So make sure they know that this is a company-wide policy in which they can also see when their managers are working. That will assuage the sting of feeling like they’re being penalized for not doing anything wrong and guarantee that you maintain a happy remote team."
    • "While some monitoring can be helpful and a true timesaver, overly monitoring your employees can become problematic. After all, time tracking is meant to reduce the amount of time you spend looking for your workers or playing catch-up with them—it’s not meant to spy on them or track their every move."
    Quotes
    • "Until recently, time and performance tracking has been one of the major issues in companies hiring remote workers. Today, there’s a wide range of tools that can tell you whether or not your remote staff is actually working, or simply wasting your time."
    • "The benefits of deploying employee monitoring tools are huge for both companies and workers, but only as long as they are properly implemented. If you fail to introduce them as a positive addition that boosts productivity and accountability, they will hardly make your remote employees any happier."
    • "Track your remote workers’ time, but avoid micromanagement. Instead, focus on what they are accomplishing. Enable them to work when they are most productive, but also establish a time when they’ll be available to managers and other members of the team."
    • "Conduct weekly one-on-ones to check their progress, track their time and discuss whatever concerns they might have."
    • "If everything is fine, and their results truly meet your expectations, don’t forget to reward them. Employee recognition is particularly important when it comes to keeping remote workers engaged and motivated, so make sure to encourage their further effort with a suitable incentive."
    Quotes
    • "In fact, according to a joint study by Global Workforce Analytics and FlexJobs, 3.9 million U.S. employees work remotely, a figure that has jumped 115 percent since 2005."
    Quotes
    • "Interact frequently with your remote workers via email, instant messaging, online chats, video one-on-ones, phone calls, or whatever other method works for them. When you talk with them, move your discussions beyond a recitation of projects, progress, and deadlines"
    • "While video chats and instant messaging are great, they can’t replace meeting someone in person. Visit your remote workers as often as you can. These face-to-face meetings will show you care, and your employees will often tell you about problems in person that might not come up during online conversations."
    Quotes
    • "Recognition and appreciation for the work your remote employees do is the most direct way to show you care about them, but so many companies fall short in this area. Broadly thanking or rewarding people who work remotely can almost feel like a reinforcement of an already impersonal relationship; on the other hand, an individualized gift or show of appreciation takes little effort and can have a dramatic impact."
    • "Essentially, it all comes back to communication: if you can learn what needs and concerns remote employees have, you have a basic framework for addressing those issues. And if you can gain a sense of how employees are feeling throughout the year, you can track that sentiment against your efforts to see if what you’re doing is working. "
    Quotes
    • "Remote employees want to keep their own schedules and work at their own pace, so make sure that you have utmost respect for these facts. Empower them with tools and training that will help them organize their time effectively."
    • "The benefits of deploying employee monitoring tools are huge for both companies and workers, but only as long as they are properly implemented. If you fail to introduce them as a positive addition that boosts productivity and accountability, they will hardly make your remote employees any happier."
    • "Track your remote workers’ time, but avoid micromanagement. Instead, focus on what they are accomplishing. Enable them to work when they are most productive, but also establish a time when they’ll be available to managers and other members of the team. Conduct weekly one-on-ones to check their progress, track their time and discuss whatever concerns they might have."
    • "If everything is fine, and their results truly meet your expectations, don’t forget to reward them. Employee recognition is particularly important when it comes to keeping remote workers engaged and motivated, so make sure to encourage their further effort with a suitable incentive."
    • "The most powerful one is feedback that goes beyond generic emails. When your remote employees take initiative or exceed expectations, send them a personalized “thank you” note that specifically point out to their accomplishments. Practical gifts are another way to go. Book a spa day in their name, pay for their gym membership card, or send them a gift card that they can use anyway they want."
    Quotes
    • "The key is giving employees the option of which they should use so they can work better, feel happier in their environment, contribute more to the company mission, and most importantly, want to stick around."
    Quotes
    • "70% of professionals work remotely one day a week, while 53% work remotely for half of the week. "
    • "Remote work is becoming very popular and once thing you will discover is that once people go remote, they don’t want or are unlikely to go back. As a matter of fact, 90% of remote workers report preferring to work remotely for the rest of their lives."
    • "More than a third (39%) of people who mostly work from home often work additional hours to complete their tasks compared with less than a quarter (24%) of those in fixed workplaces. "
    • "86% of workers say they hit maximum productivity when they work alone. In fact providing an environment for few distractions for a disciplined worker can yield a lot of results."
    From Part 13
    Quotes
    • "Mirroring the rise in data breaches is another trend: remote work. A majority of companies leverage remote workforces, but just a fraction of those have reliable policies in place to support or oversee those out-of-office connections."
    • "Using remote workers — who will very likely send, receive, and access company data and resources online — without a cybersecurity plan in place is risky, especially given the potential consequences of a breach."
    Quotes
    • " 95 percent of surveyed organisations in the UK recognise problems with mobile and remote working, and, worryingly, nearly one in five (18%) suggest their mobile workers don’t care about security."
    • "All (100%) surveyed IT decision makers noted that they had employees who work remotely at least some of the time, with an average of over a third (37%) of staff members who do so. With an increase in the numbers working remotely, this means more data moving beyond the confines of the corporate network, and organisations need to ensure that any data, be it at rest, or on the move, remains secure."
    • "just under half of respondents (44%) still agree that their organisation expects their mobile workers to expose them to the risk of a breach."
    • "30 percent of respondents from organisations where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies are concerned that mobile working is an area that will most likely cause them to be non-compliant"
    • "Despite strict security policies, mobile working can still leave organisations wide open to the risk of a data breach. Half (50%) of respondents admitted one of the three biggest problems with mobile working is that they cannot be certain their data is adequately secured"
    Quotes
    • "Studies show that most companies think mobile workers increase their security risks"
    • "An iPass survey –“2018 Mobile Security Report” (paywall) – found that the majority of CIOs (52 percent in the US) suspected their mobile workers had been hacked in the last 12 months"
    • "67 percent of respondents believed most wifi-related security incidents occurred at cafes and coffee shops, and nearly half of the CIOs surveyed said Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives had increased security risks."
    • "A 2018 Imation Corp survey of 1,000 UK and German remote workers found that the vast majority were not concerned about losing confidential business data"
    Quotes
    • "It’s one thing to secure data behind a corporate firewall. Increasingly, however, employees are working at home, while travelling, or from the neighborhood coffee shop. And connecting to strange Wi-Fi networks introduces all kinds of additional security risks when management of data is largely outside of the control of IT."
    • "According to our data, 61 percent of organizations surveyed said their employees connect company-owned devices to public Wi-Fi networks when working outside of the office, such as in hotels, airports, and other public places."
    • "According to the data, 12 percent of IT pros said their organization has experienced a security incident involving employees on public Wi-Fi. Said one IT pro, “Many hotels in my area have also been the target of man in the middle Wi-Fi Attacks.”"
    • "Additionally, 34 percent of IT professionals can’t say for sure whether or not a security incident has occurred, because incidents, such as unauthorized attempts to log into a Wi-Fi enabled laptop, may go undetected or unreported"
    • "According to our data, 92 percent of IT pros have concerns about the security risks associated with using public Wi-Fi on company-owned devices."
    • "However, only 55 percent of IT pros are confident their organization’s data is adequately protected when employees connect company-owned devices to public Wi-Fi networks."
    Quotes
    • "New flexible working practices could pose a security risk to small businesses, with one in five of employees (21%) stating they are most productive when working in public spaces like a cafe or library, but only 18% concerned with the security implications this could have"
    • "SMBs therefore face the challenge of keeping their business secure, all the while adhering to the needs and expectations of the modern workforce"
    • "Small businesses looking to adapt new working practices need to address the challenges raised in the report. If staff are accessing sensitive data or logging into business accounts through unsecured Wi-Fi, this puts the business at risk of an attack."
    Quotes
    • "Moreover, cybercriminals have found a sweet spot—small businesses"
    • "According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 58% of cyber attack victims were small businesses (organizations with fewer than 250 employees)"
    • "In fact, according to Malwarebytes, a global provider of malware prevention and remediation solutions, ransomware attacks caused nearly a quarter of small and medium-sized businesses hit by them in 2017 to completely halt operations"
    • "Recent statistics show that around 60% of SMBs forced to suspend operations after a cyber attack never reopen for business. The lost revenue due to downtime, the cash spent attempting to remediate the breach and the reputational damage can really add up."
    • "Despite these stark facts, most small business owners aren’t prepared to prevent, detect or respond to a cyber attack"
    • "A cybercriminal has a much greater opportunity for success in attacking a small business because small businesses are very weak in their security countermeasures.”"
    Quotes
    • "In its heyday, BYOD was smart, practical, cost-effective, trendy, and super employee-friendly. IT departments were saving money. Employees loved working with tools they knew without the need to micromanage their digital lives."
    • " It’s not that the wheels then fell off, but as cyber attacks increasingly made headline news, a curious ambivalence towards BYOD set in that is still ongoing today. Organizations realized they had to start weighing up security costs against the value BYOD brought to the company’s financial bottom line."
    • "Besides the technical challenges, security and privacy are the primary BYOD risks. Technical challenges include connecting to wifi, accessing network resources like shared files or printers, and addressing device compatibility issues."
    Quotes
    • "Connecting to company and client data over unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and from poorly secured devices, can bring major threats to the security of your business."
    • "But thankfully there are easy steps that can be taken to stop cybercriminals from getting in, with VPN use proving to be a simple and cost-effective measure"
    • "Data that could otherwise be intercepted by hackers is encrypted before your Internet Service Provider or public Wi-Fi provider has even seen it, and is sent to its online destination from a VPN server and location rather than being tied to the details of your own device."
    From Part 14
    Quotes
    • " There was a 13 per cent increase in performance, with a 9 per cent rise in minutes per shift and a 4 per cent increase in calls per minute in employees of a Chinese call centre who had been given the option to work from home, as compared to their colleagues who continued to work from the office."
    Quotes
    • "Another way in which remote workers can save companies significant amounts of money is by opening the door to a much wider talent pool. For example, the median income for a software developer in Silicon Valley is $112,000 a year. In contrast, the median salary for a software developer in Seattle is $100,000, while in Portland a developer can expect to make $79,700 and $75,600 in Denver"
    • ". Moving farther East, the median salary drops to a mere $65,737 in Sioux Falls, SD. Go even farther east—across the pond to Europe—and the median salary for developers in Russia, Ukraine or Romania drops to $15,000 to $20,000."
    Quotes
    • "According to information from 1MFWF supporter A Better Balance, absenteeism can cost some large employers more than $1 million per year. Workday interruptions to care for family can lead to similar large costs for companies."
    • "Flexibility is one of the most effective ways to reduce those expensive problems. According to the organization, telecommuting alone cuts absenteeism by almost 60 percent. By giving people options, you allow them to keep working, and that saves money."
    Quotes
    • "Remote work decreases turnover – TRN research suggests that 72% of office workers are disengaged from their work. It’s one of the most significant ways businesses fall behind. According to Gallup, remote workers are somewhat more engaged (32%) compared to their office counterparts (28%). But because they save an average of $5000/year working from home, remote employees are more likely to stay with a company longer. "
    Quotes
    • "Reduction in long-term healthcare costs. There’s no doubt that healthy employees cost you less. With global healthcare spending consistently above general inflation (due to factors such as an ageing workforce and poor lifestyle habits) prevention makes infinitely more financial sense than cure. "
    From Part 15
    Quotes
    • "Interestingly, 84% of respondents told us that, most of the time, they’re working from home. A much smaller percentage of remote workers primarily work from coworking spaces (8%), coffee shops (4%), libraries (0.5%) and other places (3%) including five RV campers, hotels, offices, and a grandma’s basement."
    Quotes
    • "Ensure there is adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry Ensure the work area can be secured Ensure that files and data are secure "
    Quotes
    • "Although I would say that even in our case, we have a number of different chat platforms and things that people do use, but I think especially if your concern is the fewer touch points you have, the easier it's going to be to do that as you can start to understand the security and privacy settings that are available in each one of these platforms, and you can take steps to help your employees be more secure and understand that as well."
    • "You should enable multi-factor authentication on wherever these applications supported so that users don't just need their password, but they also need access to a mobile phone or some other kind of authentication mechanism in case their password happens to be one of the many that's part of the latest compromise of password data that we read about all the time."
    • "The first thing to do even before it happens is to have a plan in place so that you know what you're going to do, who's going to be involved, what external groups are you going to contact, and then the actual response is a little bit easy to you because you have a plan that you can just execute off of, and hopefully you've practiced maybe once or twice as well before anything happens. "
    Quotes
    • "This policy outlines guidelines and processes for requesting, obtaining, using, and terminating remote access to organization networks, systems, and data. It applies to scenarios where employees connect remotely to in-house data centers as well as offsite facilities, such as cloud providers. "
    Quotes
    • "Security should not be left to the employees to implement on their devices. Security should be controlled and managed by the employer. "
    • "If a provided laptop, the employee should not be allowed to download other applications without permission. If the employee’s desktop or laptop, the policy should be that employee can only download applications that come from reliable sources. Because applications (e.g., games, mobile apps, coupon sites) may contain viruses or malware, it's important to know and trust the source of an application before downloading it. "
    • "Educate and train employees on security issues and requirements."
    Quotes
    • "Over 50% of employees are mobile. As the way companies work changes, IT must change as well. A network security checklist must account for all the different locations and uses that employees demand in a business network."
    • "When your business adds a branch, you must change your IT security strategy. Technologies such as software-defined WAN and secure Internet gateways can benefit multisite businesses."
    • "Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a new approach to network connectivity that lowers operational costs and improves resource usage for multisite deployments. With SD-WAN, network administrators can manage bandwidth more efficiently and provide high-level performance without sacrificing security or data privacy. SD-WAN allows smaller remote sites to connect over low-cost Internet links secured by VPN."
    • "Secure Internet gateways (SIGs) provide powerful, overarching cloud security. Because 70% of attacks are distinct to the organization, businesses need a cloud security strategy that identifies attacks previously used on other organizations before they are launched on their organization. "
    • "For mobile security, technologies like a secure Internet gateway and a virtual private network are crucial. Virtual private networks (VPNs) give workers an encrypted connection over the Internet to their corporate network. The encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is safely transmitted. It prevents unauthorized people from eavesdropping on the traffic and allows the user to work remotely. "
    • "Two critical components of network security include email security and cloud application security."
    • "Email security. Email is both the most important business communication tool and the leading attack vector for security breaches. According to the Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, attackers turn to email as the primary way to spread ransomware and other malware. Proper email security includes advanced threat-protection capabilities that detect, block, and remediate threats faster; prevent data loss; and secure important information in transit with end-to-end encryption."
    • "Cloud application security. With an increase in cloud applications, your network needs a cloud-access security broker (CASB). A CASB is a tool that functions as a gateway between on-premises infrastructure and cloud applications (such as Salesforce and Dropbox). A CASB identifies malicious cloud-based applications and protects against breaches with a cloud-data loss-prevention (DLP) engine."
    • "A security solution must give you real-time monitoring of network traffic and the ability to instantly address potential threats. At the same time, your solution needs to provide all this information in a user-friendly interface"
    • "Finally, your IT department must be able to find and control problems fast. Breaches will happen. "
    Quotes
    • "46% of employees admit to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home."
    • "Meanwhile, 13% of those who work from home admit that they cannot connect to their corporate networks, so they send business email to customers, partners, and co-workers via their personal email instead."
    • "And there’s more bad news when it comes to remote workers and your business data: more than 75% of employees don’t bother with privacy measures when working remotely in a public place. That makes it easy for hackers or anyone else to see what they’re doing and compromise your company’s security."
    • "Not knowing exactly how all of your workers are accessing and using your files also leaves your business open to an attack. In fact, IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index found that 60% of all attacks were executed by insiders of a company."
    • "But it will take a dedicated culture of security in your business to make remote access security a top priority."
    • "It starts by identifying the remote Worker to be given access to the data. From this, you can build audit trails of the actions against the identity, *not* intending to police the worker, but for forensics in case, an incident happens. Plan this process to proactively prevent any security incidences."
    • "Monitor Remote Workers, Remotely Get started with remote access security by monitoring what your remote workers are doing online, and how they’re doing it. While part of the appeal of remote work is limited distractions and the ability for employees to work autonomously, there are cloud-based tools that can make monitoring seamless and unobtrusive. "
    • "Document Your Security Policy Employees can’t follow remote access security protocols if they don’t know what they actually are. Document and outline your specific security policy, and hold periodic training, workshops or meetings to ensure they are fully understood, followed and executed. "
    • "Once your security policy is in place, make sure all employees have easy access to it with the freedom to ask questions. Your security policy should also be an integral part of your employee onboarding process. "
    • "Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are increasingly becoming the workplace norm, but they also create more weaknesses and points of entry for hackers intruding in your business. You could consider eliminating BYOD policies altogether and instead mandate that all work be done on employer-supplied equipment and devices. Regardless of your take on BYOD in the workplace, take the time to scrutinize the technology and devices used by your team members and make sure all operating systems are completely up to date."
    • "Update Your Systems Wendy’s found out the hard way that continuing to use outdated technology and POS systems opens the door to hackers. Thousands of franchises were accessed and customers’ credit card information was stolen and used to rack up fraudulent charges. Wendy’s is currently in litigation with customers, banks and other financial institutions over the data breach. The chain’s reputation has also taken a catastrophic hit as it continues to deal with the fallout. "
    • "Encrypt Your Devices It’s not enough to simply update your operating systems to strengthen your remote access security. Your data and devices should also be encrypted from the start. Mandate that workers only used encrypted devices like iPhones. iPhones can be difficult to crack and offer some added built-in protections, while only 10% of the world’s Androids are encrypted. "
    • "Safeguard Your Communications One of your biggest remote access security issues could be your email system. Investigate what services your remote workers are using to send and receive correspondence, files and sensitive information from clients, and upgrade their services if needed. "
    • "Your biggest security risk may not be your cloud-based providers, devices, or even the growing knowledge base of sophisticated hackers. More than likely, it’s your remote workers themselves – and how they conduct business. Even without intentionally creating data breaches and backdoors for hackers, remote workers could be putting your business in jeopardy. Here’s what to look out for."
    • "Weak or Duplicate Passwords Almost three-quarters of those polled use the same passwords for multiple accounts, and a high percentage of people haven’t changed duplicate passwords in over five years. Research shows hackers rely on weak passwords when brute-forcing PoS terminals."
    • "Uploading Files to Unsecure Systems Remote workers unknowingly invite hackers to access their files by using unsecured systems. Uploading sensitive information directly into an email, stashing it away in unencrypted storage or leaving data on devices without password protection is just a few ways your business data can be readily compromised. "
    • "Poor Application Security The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) states that 90% of security incidents are caused by exploited software defects. That number can seem staggering in a world where we rely on apps and cloud-based tools to run our entire business and personal lives. "
    • "Using a combination of open-source content management systems and cloud-based apps compromises your remote access security. Make it part of your security policy to approve web app purchases and free downloads. "
    • "Granting unlimited data access to workers leaves your business open for hacking and ransomware attacks, or other malicious activity from a third-party source. Limiting data access for nonessential purposes gives your security a boost and cuts off dangerous hacking vulnerabilities. Only allow remote employees to access the data they need, and automatically revoke access to programs and files when they leave your company, finish a project or move on to a different position."
    • "Security Training Remote access security training probably won’t evoke much enthusiasm around the office. But keeping your business secure doesn’t have to be a dry exercise in compliance. Instead, turn remote access security training into a competition. "
    • "But to really get your team engaged and invested in remote access security, offer prizes. Keep a tally of employees who continuously report suspicious emails and other online activity. "
    Quotes
    • "To mitigate security risks, companies must implement clear and comprehensive policies and take proactive measures to ensure the safety and integrity of company data. "WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICES FOR SECURING YOUR REMOTE WORKFORCE?""
    • "Two-factor authentication. With 2FA, each time one of our employees wants to enter our system they MUST not only enter their personal password (of at least 10 characters including numbers and symbols), but we will also send them a 4-digit code to their personal cell phone."
    • "Be Wary Of Allowing Employees To Bring Their Own Devices The risk it poses to the protection of confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets information is enormous. Without the proper policies in place, employers will have very little control of information that is on that device. This becomes problematic when employees are fired or resign. "
    • "To avoid unnecessary disputes and the costs associated with them, it makes sense to have a carefully drafted BYOD policy in place with employees. Not having a comprehensive policy invites disputes over what data/information is what, makes it hard to get back, and may compromise the protection of intellectual property."
    • "It makes sense to use technology that manages and monitors data transfers and minimizes the risk of “theft.” For example, many employers allow employees to utilize their own cell phones for both work calls and work emails. They do this by utilizing applications that are controlled by the employer and allow the email functionality to be disabled when the employee leaves the company."
    • "Content storage should be allowed on cloud only. Use cloud or web-based storage software that allows sharing and editing of documents (for example, Cisco Cloudlock)."
    • "No connection is allowed with public WiFi."
    • "Contingency plan for risk management. If a remote worker loses a laptop with sensitive business information on it, it’s essential that the laptop can either be tracked or remotely deleted."
    • "Any connections made to the company should be performed through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which either leverages SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) to encrypt communications from the remote teleworker’s machine; depending on various requirements. This both safeguards the end user along with the corporate environment to ensure no pesky adversaries are snooping in-between."
    • "Consequences of poor cyber security hygiene while working remotely or while on the road can include anything from sensitive data compromise to unauthorized access into the organization's infrastructure"
    • "When a business decides to employ a wireless network to accommodate remote employees, they are knowingly giving up a portion of physical control. It has been often stated that instituting a wireless network is like placing an open Ethernet port on your front lawn. Depending upon the methods employed to secure the wireless network, this analogy is not far off. From passive data collection via wireless monitoring to active denial of services attacks and everything in between, the dangers of employing wireless network are directly related to the way a business approaches implementing and securing it."
    • "Performing internal audits and third-party penetration testing of the wireless network will aid in identifying gaps in security that may have been missed during wireless network implementation, as well as a providing a fresh set of eyes by wireless professionals experienced in detecting misconfiguration and poor security practices. "
    • "educating employees of the risks and dangers associated with wireless communications, both within the corporate network and public networks, coupled with a sound employee wireless security policy that is enforced, will only serve to enhance the company's overall security posture."
    • "The first thing you should lay out to your remote workforce is that all work data and personal data must be treated separately. "
    • ""One of the best practices businesses can implement when it comes to securing their remote workforce is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts data in transfer, allowing personal and confidential data to tunnel from one device to the next, away from prying eyes."
    • "There are several best practices for remote workforces using other WiFi networks, including:Change default passwords and user names. Make them long, random, protected and carefully managed, "
    • "Use security, but not just any default (usually WEP) security protocol, use the best available at the time, which is WPA2 at present. You can increase the protection more by also using EAP-Transport Layer Security (TLS) for more secure user authentication."
    • "Turn off WiFi-protected setup (WPS) to prevent bad actors from using it to breach your network more easily."
    • "Do not allow employees to use non-company provided networking access points and hot spots."
    • "Company Paid Password System: I directly pay for business accounts of industry standard password protection services. Because we fund it, it is an absolute requirement that company related login information is stored and accessed only via this service. We selected 1Password, but there are quite a few password storage services."
    • "Two-Factor Authentication: Our website is perhaps our greatest asset. It would be devastating if our password fell into the wrong hands. I installed two-factor authorization to ensure you could only enter our website after providing both the password and a verification number sent via SMS."
    • "The reality is no matter how secure we make our systems, either intentional or unintentional security breaches may occur. For this reason, employees only receive login information for the systems they need access to. As to client information, employees have carefully tailored access to their specific assignments. Should a security problem arise via that employee, the damage is mitigated."
    • "Encrypting all emails will make certain that the content is disguised, which will protect any sensitive information that may transpire during an email conversation and only the intended recipient will be able to see it."
    Quotes
    • "With the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace including smartphones and tablets, remote employee security becomes even more critical. With the ability for the mobile device to become stolen or lost, crucial data could easily fall into the hands of an outsider if not handled properly."
    • "Protect Every Device – Malicious software that is designed to steal data often infects a computer through an email or website. To reduce the potential of malware infections always utilize the best security software and proper computer practices."
    • "Utilize Cloud Applications – Utilizing the features of a cloud service provider, the company can maintain a high level of security. A cloud service provider uses data encryption technology while transmitting confidential information from remote locations to the company intranet."
    • "Maintain a Secure Connection – Utilizing a virtual private network is the best way to ensure that all the employees Internet traffic remains fully secure. A third-party VPN service will have installed all the necessary security patches and continuously monitor for any signs of malware or infection."
    • "Develop Strict Guidelines – Creating and implementing strict user guidelines will help minimize the potential of a security breach from a remote location. The company should specify exactly who has authorized access from a remote location, and detail exactly what network protocols must be used. "
    • "The company IT department or managed service provider (MSP) must set up a system to recognize a probe. This type of penetration is often detected by high-volume attempts from hackers working to gain access into the company system. Many times probes will generate confusion or curiosity when misunderstood by the IT department."
    • "Identify Packet Sniffers – Hackers often use computer program packet sniffers that capture transmitted information sent through data packets over the Internet. These packets often include proprietary company information, passwords, usernames and other pertinent data. A detected packet sniffer will usually indicate that the company has experienced a root compromise"
    • "Teach Employees about “Denial of Service” – Many hackers use an attack based on a “denial of service”. This provides the inability of the authorized user to gain access into their own account. This is done in a variety of ways and for a number of reasons. However, many hackers use denial of service as a social engineering tool, and can trick the remote employee into revealing their username password combination in an effort to gain access to services."
    • "When an Account Is Compromised – Any time an employee recognizes that their account has been compromised, it needs to be shut down immediately. This will prevent any more loss of confidential data, or identity theft."
    Quotes
    • "A 2014 IBM study found that up to 95% of reported security incidents involved human error. This means that even if you hire the best of the best, especially when they are working remotely, your company and all its valuable data and confidential information are considered vulnerable different forms of security attacks."
    • "Through security awareness training, you can equip your employees with the right knowledge, tools, and mindset that will keep them from falling prey to cyber attacks outside. "
    • "Virtual Private Networks. More popularly called VPNs, these networks are perfect for remote workers who prefer doing their daily tasks that could involve sensitive company data and information in using unsecured public networks. These usually include Wi-Fi hotspots in malls and coffee shops that expose valuable data to different kinds of attacks."
    • "Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Being used as early as the mid-90’s, PPTP is a VPN protocol that is known to be flexible in terms of its ability to be installed in different kinds of operating systems. It is, however, incapable of performing an encryption; rather, what it does is encapsulate the data packet. To cover the lack of encryption, secondary protocols are necessary."
    • "Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). These two types of VPNs are commonly used by service providers and online retailers. It features a “handshake method” which generates the cryptographic parameters that serve as a means for the two systems to create a secure connection, as well as authenticating the session and exchanging encryption keys."
    • "Firewalls. A firewall software functions by filtering the information coming through the Internet connection and into your company’s computer system or private network, in the case of homes. Basically, it serves as a “checkpoint” wherein they bar packets of information that are flagged by filters. Firewalls are generally helpful especially for companies that have hundreds of employees using hundreds of computers."
    • "These guidelines may include rules that prohibit remote workers from accessing unsecured connections, unrecognized Bluetooth connections, and the like."
    • "Here are a few examples of risky behavior that should be avoided at all cost: Sharing the laptop or computer. This is one of the most common mistakes remote workers often commit, especially when they are working at home. They are easily tempted to share company-issued laptops to close friends and family members for online use. This is very dangerous, since there is a risk of not being able to monitor each and every website they go to, which could put your office data at risk. "
    • "Accessing other networks. This exposes your laptop’s data to potential hacking, since no authentication is necessary to establish a network connection, especially when it comes to Public Wi-Fi. Hackers can easily access all of the information you are sending in the Internet, from confidential emails, to your company’s security credentials, and even credit card details."
    • "Carelessness in opening emails. During times when the workload is a bit heavy and the schedules are hectic, remote workers tend to speed up things without taking time to analyze what is in front of them. Emails often times come in succession, and there is the risk of opening everything. "
    Quotes
    • "One of the most common dangers surrounding file transfer practices is when employees attach private company documents and data to a personal device."
    • "Ask yourself: have you ever emailed company information to a personal email address because you needed to access it from a different computer? If you’re nodding, you’re not alone as 67 percent of workers already use their personal devices in the workplace. Personal devices and the unsafe migration of data also increase the odds an employee loses a device with sensitive information on it. From thumb drives to mobile phones, mistakes happen."
    • "For example, hackers have made use of a common tactic where they position themselves between you and the public connection point. In this scenario, instead of sending information through the public hotspot, you’re actually sending through the hacker. This makes information like emails, phone calls, credit card information (when you make a purchase) and business data extremely vulnerable. Once hackers have that information, they can gain access to all of your data and install malicious software on company devices."
    Quotes
    • "If you look around any coffee shop these days, chances are most customers are working away on a laptop. According to Spiceworks data, 61 percent of organizations said employees connect to public Wi-Fi networks from company-owned devices when working remotely."
    • "Wi-Fi phishing is when an attacker creates a web page that looks exactly like a legitimate page on your company's website, such as a commonly used email sign-in page. When an employee unknowingly encounters a page that looks legitimate--but isn't--and then enters credentials, he or she is actually communicating directly with a hacker."
    • "An unsecured home office Wi-Fi network can be accessed through harmless-looking--but vulnerable--IP-enabled devices like security cameras, wireless video equipment, and even network-connected thermostats. Unsecured IP-enabled devices are easy to hack, meaning an attacker can breach the network and move straight to your website or other assets."
    • "That's why it's important to educate all employees about cybersecurity. For example, phishing emails are cleverly crafted to convince users to provide credentials, download infected attachments, or click on a malicious URL."
    • "Set up regular employee security trainings to review the latest cybersecurity threats, how to spot scams, and understand any company policy for reducing risk. Small businesses with limited resources can turn to outside experts to provide affordable security training customized to their needs."
    • "Endpoint security refers to securing local resources such as software, applications, and operating systems that employees utilize on their devices. For businesses with remote employees, endpoint security offers a last line of defense against cybercriminals attempting to launch attacks against their integral systems. Endpoint security can take many forms, most notably updating software and operating systems by using anti-virus software, and network firewalls."
    • "The 2018 State of Endpoint Security Risk Report shows that the average time to patch critical software and operating systems is 102 days, leaving sensitive data and systems potentially vulnerable to attack for over three months. "
    • "Ensure that all company-owned devices have the most current software versions and are set up to resolve any security issues with automatic updates. "
    Quotes
    • "This poses a major threat to data security. A study by iPass found that 52% of CIOs suspected that their mobile workers had been hacked in the past 12 months."
    • "95 percent of businesses admit that their mobile workers are a security challenge."
    • "34 percent of companies actually reported having suffered a data loss as a result of a security breach on the mobile workers’ devices, and another 50 percent of businesses fear that such a thing could happen to them."
    • "53 percent of businesses stated that their biggest challenge with a remote workforce is the complexity and management of technology that the employees use."
    • "Inadequate Backup and Recovery Systems In case of an accidental data loss, remote employees using their own devices often do not have adequate backup and recovery options. In fact, this is one thing many companies fail to pay enough attention to, until something goes wrong. "
    Quotes
    • "The theft of massive quantities of data can occur in just minutes using wireless technology, and new techniques are needed to defend against these threats. This is not only from a remote employee copying the data from corporate resources, but also cyberthreat actors breaching a remote employee and leveraging them as a beachhead."
    Quotes
    • "The cloud is a beneficial way of ensuring your data is kept secure when working with remote teams. It’s much more difficult for cyber attackers to break into the cloud, while it also makes it highly unlikely that your workforce will lose any of their or the organisation's sensitive data."
    • "While this is seen as a simple method, it remains as one of the most important ones for securing the data of your business. Ensuring you have an effective password policy, effectively enforced and policed across your organization is an essential foundation for your security. The latest password guidelines from NIST advise the following: Use multi-factor authentication, if available Use a phrase with multiple words - which you can picture in your head Require a minimum of 8 characters Check new passwords against a dictionary of known-bad choices Protect your most important accounts with a unique passphrase No more periodic password change requirements (without a reason) "
    • "As a general rule, you shouldn’t allow your remote teams to use public computers for business work. Even accessing work emails on a computer in a cafe or hotel can be dangerous and opens you up to a multitude of possible threats. You will be unaware of the types of malware that could be on the computer or even the security measures that are in place, if any. To take this further, you won't be aware of potential spyware that might have been installed by a previous user looking to find sensitive information."
    • "Secure your corporate data by restricting the use of USB drives. This shouldn't only be the case for public computers, but it should be a necessity for each employee. USBs can be easily misplaced by remote works and are free for anyone to open if found."
    Quotes
    • "Furthermore, since all the traffic is routed via the VPN’s servers, viruses, malware, and similar threats are automatically blocked at the server end, leaving your device virus-free."