Cupertino, March 16, 2020 – At the moment, all employees who can work flexibly from home consider themselves lucky. Unfortunately, not all companies already have clear guidelines about doing so in place, but they urgently need to think about these now.
So what can companies do to make working from home safer and more efficient?
“In the current situation it is more important than ever to be able to work from home,” says Jens Bothe, security expert and Director Global Consulting at OTRS AG. “Some IT security measures are necessary as well, but they can be implemented relatively quickly and easily by employees and companies.”
Overview of IT equipment – current software
When it comes to IT security, it is more important than ever for home office workers to have the right equipment supported by the business. It is not uncommon for companies and their employees to still work with old software that no longer reflects the latest state-of-the-art updates. This means that companies run the risk of violating the current basic data protection regulation and possibly having to pay high penalties. Therefore, it is always recommended to update to the latest software version, such as OTRS 7 (will be OTRS 8 as of March 27th).
Working in the cloud makes access easy, but security should be a top priority
If the systems that need to be accessed are operated in the cloud, all employees can access them conveniently — whether they are working in the office, from home or on the road. That sounds convenient. But it’s worth taking a close look at the cloud-based solution provider to make sure that all data is processed in accordance with the GDPR. Among other things, companies should make sure that compliance certifications are available. They should also take a look at how data is encrypted during exchange, what backup procedures are in place and where the data centers are located.
Bring your own device
Bringing your own device is still an important issue that should be regulated when working from home. If employees don’t have a company mobile phone, are they allowed to use their private devices in the home office for business calls or communication? That is up to the company to decide. However, data protection must always be guaranteed, so encryption, password protection and virus scanners should also be installed on private devices if they are being allowed. The WLAN connection should also always be protected in your home. It should be a matter of course that sensitive data is not stored locally. Just as in offices, the computer should always be locked at home as soon as the user moves away from it. If several users have access to a device, the accesses must be protected with different passwords.
Digital collaboration tools help to maintain communication / But the overview must be maintained
When working from home or on the road, it is not always easy for employees to exchange personal information. Therefore it is important to keep communication flowing. Digital collaboration tools help employees work together virtually in teams and always stay up-to-date. But the choice of communication channel also plays a role: Colleagues now communicate via e-mail, telephone, What’s App, SMS, Skype and other means of communication. But even this should be well thought out so as not to lose track in the flood of messages.
A flood of e-mails can also quickly become confusing: According to a recent OTRS Group study of 500 employees from Germany, the USA and Brazil, 32 percent need an average of one hour a day to sort their e-mails. 28 percent say that with the flood of e-mails, other tasks are repeatedly put off or forgotten.
This is where the implementation of a solution desk that includes ticketing like OTRS can help: This adds structure and traceability to communication. This way, no details are lost, while at the same time the number of e-mails is reduced and a complete overview is created for all parties involved.
With home office regulations, each employee may have different experiences, so it is worthwhile to create overarching guidelines for working from home.
About OTRS Group
OTRS Group is the manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of the service management suite OTRS, awarded with the SERVIEW CERTIFIED TOOL seal of approval.
It offers flexible solutions for process and communication management to companies of all sizes, saving them time and money. Among its customers are Lufthansa, Airbus, IBM, Porsche, Siemens, BSI (Federal Office for Security in Information Technology), Max Planck Institute, Toyota, Hapag Lloyd and Banco do Brazil (Bank of Brazil). OTRS is available in 40 languages. The company consists of OTRS AG and its six subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS Asia Ltd. (Hong Kong), OTRS do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the basic board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. For more information, see www.otrs.com.