Workforce Productivity and Cybersecurity Considerations in The Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

Life is unpredictable. Nothing is ever constant. In fact, the only constant changes. The Covid-19 pandemic was neither planned for nor anticipated. It has disrupted personal and professional lives in unprecedented ways. However, failure to adapt is a failure to move forward. As the uncertainties surrounding it continue to prevail, both employers and employees must come together and find ways to increase engagement, ensure safety, boost morale, and improve productivity.

What Can Employers and Employees Do to Ensure Productivity?

Many companies have reverted to remote working. Here, we’ll explore the actions that both working staff and executives can adopt to improve productivity. Let’s get right into it. 

Maintain Office Hours Whilst Working Remotely

The idea of working remotely from home can make a person begin to entertain thoughts of taking a relaxed day. Waking up early or dressing formally for work may not be an immediate priority to you. Whether consciously or subconsciously, you are inevitably going to start treating it like another day off. This will, almost certainly, negatively impact your productivity. Instead, you must treat every day that you are working from home as if you are going to the office. Maintain your normal working day morning routine in order to maintain focus.

Implement Remote Employee Monitoring Methods

Employers can make use of remote employee monitoring programs to track and record their staff’s work progress. Components such as clocking in and clocking out hours, idle hours, and engagement levels, among others, can be tracked remotely. This data can then be used to assess an employee’s productivity and also help take corrective measures where needed.

Conduct Virtual Meeting Via Video Conferencing

Physical contact between colleagues is no longer an advisable option. Fortunately, people can still keep in touch with each other and even share tasks via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Slack, among many others. Executives can also use these platforms to issue instructions to their team.

Boost Morales Via Employee Engagement Apps

These are tough times. The uncertainty of the future can take a serious toll on mental and physical health. Take every opportunity to encourage a colleague who seems low. Reach out via a personal call. Some advice and encouragement to let them know they are not alone can help reinvigorate their focus, become motivated and more productive.  

The Cybersecurity Challenge of Working Remotely

Working remotely and away from the office IT team presents a different set of cybersecurity threats. As a matter of fact, according to Google Transparency Report, the number of websites considered “unsafe” and compromised by Phishing attacks has increased from just under 40,000 in January 2020 to more than 58,000 by the end of June 2020 – representing an increase of 45 percent. Here are a few tips you can implement at home to ensure sensitive data or information is protected.

Update Network Security

Ensure that all of your devices are regularly updated with the latest security patches. This includes anti-virus and anti-malware programs, as well as your operating system and router.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication access adds another layer of access control beyond the typical password, which we know can be easily cracked. You may want to consider implementing these – especially where important information is stored.

Avoid Phishing Emails

Be wary of emails that ask you to click on links. No matter how authentic they look, make sure you know exactly who the sender is and why they are asking you to perform that action. 

Besides these, talk to your employer and enquire about setting up secure remote access to the company’s system. Have the IT department seal any weak links in your home system, if possible. It does not exactly know when the pandemic will end. Therefore, it’s best to take all precautions and advice given by health practitioners and other front line workers, even as you embrace the new changes in your field of practice.

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