Tip #1: There’s no such thing as over-communication
Vienna, Va. – March 30, 2020 – Technology has enabled tens of millions of people to continue working remotely during government-issued COVID-19 lockdowns, but social distancing creates new issues for employees, managers and company leaders.
“Employees working remotely during this pandemic may be socially isolated, financially insecure and stressed out by family and parental responsibilities,” said Tom Miller, CEO of ClearForce. “Executives, managers and team leaders need to take concrete steps to address employee well-being while also protecting the organization from new forms of insider risk.”
In just three weeks, the United States has gone from having 6 million employees working from home to an estimated 75+ million, introducing a potential threat to company culture and intellectual property for many businesses. Most organizations expect we will see transformation in the workforce, with a significant number of jobs permanently transitioning from an office-based orientation to a remote one.
ClearForce, an organization that specializes in identifying employee stress and high-risk behavior, offers these tips for mitigating risk with remote work:
ClearForce Tip #1: There’s no such thing as overcommunication.
Organizational leaders must be transparent and communicative about any issues that potentially affect their workforce. As the nation’s economy screeches to a halt, employees are worried about their livelihoods. Rumors spread quickly, even when false, and especially in a vacuum. Managers should be proactive about checking in with their employees and maintaining an open, two-way line of communication.
ClearForce Tip #2: Pay attention to what your employees aren’t telling you.
When it comes to employee engagement, changes in routine can be an early warning sign. Someone who starts showing up online later and later maybe checking out – or they may be taking on more than they can handle. This is absolutely a time to work with employees who may need reasonable accommodations to balance their responsibilities, but those should come about via open and honest conversations.
ClearForce Tip #3: Watch for signs of financial stress.
Everyone will face some level of financial stress over the weeks and months to come. And even the most upstanding employees may, during times of stress, make decisions that will hurt the organization. It is far better for the organization to have advance warning of these potential stressors so that employees can receive the supports they need to manage these issues. Employees in sensitive areas like accounting or security may require even stricter scrutiny.
ClearForce Tip #4: Safeguard technology, but understand it’s only one part of the solution.
Clear security guidelines and technology must be in place for remote work. We are already seeing cyberattacks exploding as malicious actors see millions of unsecured, at-home devices and employees as entry points into organizational systems. Ensure your employees have the tools and resources needed to handle sensitive material. Provide the necessary tools like VPNs, firewalls and antivirus software.
ClearForce Tip #5: Now is not the time to skimp on policy or training.
In a crisis, some solutions must be rolled out immediately to sustain operations. But we can’t expect all of this work to be carried out by individual managers without strong guidance and professional development regarding new responsibilities. All employees, whether they work remotely or not, should receive regular training to ensure they are compliant with your organization’s policies.
ClearForce’s mission is to create a safe and secure work environment for organizations in the public and private sector. Leveraging expertise in risk management, analytics and legal compliance, ClearForce helps companies reduce risk and liability by deploying a configurable, role-based, 24/7 workplace assurance program that combines real-time alerts to financial stress, criminal activity and high-risk behaviors outside of the office with compliant adjudication. ClearForce is headquartered in Vienna, VA. For more information visit www.clearforce.com.