Many knowledge workers are new to an activity that some of us have been doing for a while: remote work or, more specifically, working from home. This business comes with several challenges, including a significant challenge that we all know too well: data security and data risk. Change happens very quickly, and the development of new business processes and workflows only adds to the challenges of working in a safe environment through M&A advisory.
We probably have as many work-from-home scenarios as there are readers of this article. However, many things to consider apply to almost everyone.
The weak link in data security
First, it is important to remember that the management of data security and data risk is partly a matter of software technology, equipment, processes, and human behaviors – the human being, most often, the weakest link. Even if there are other weak points to be exploited, this exploitation generally requires the involuntary cooperation of a human to be successful. The human alone can sufficiently defeat all other measures.
Second, data risk is not solely, but rather largely, security based. To mitigate data risk, it is important to have the right tools in place to ensure the data is of high quality. In addition, good data management is necessary for your business to use it effectively.
With these principles in mind, let’s now think about the steps you need to take.
Except for those managing new responsibilities associated with the pandemic, everyone is still carrying on with their usual duties in a similar fashion. The only difference is that the offices are much further apart. Let’s think about what this layout requires:
If, prior to this change, you had responsibilities to manage sensitive information, such as Human Resources records, trade secrets or company finances, or research, your responsibility to protect that sensitive information remains as habit.
To the extent that you needed to collaborate with others to complete your tasks, you will need to continue to do so.
The need to ensure your data and records are complete and accurate has not changed
So how do you meet all these requirements in a home environment? Just like in the past (just a few weeks ago), you still have a desk to work from. It’s just another office that probably isn’t as organized and laid out as your old workplace. But to get good results, you need to work in your new home office; So, let’s start by addressing this aspect.
Maximizing your work-from-home experience
You must first start by setting up a space that will be devoted solely to your work, a permanent space for the duration of this situation. You should also have realistic expectations of what you need to do well in this environment.
1. Reserved space
You can’t share your workspace with your three kids while they’re coloring or work efficiently when you must clear your dining room table or office for lunch, lunch, and dinner. If you dedicate this space to one or the other of these activities, or even both, it is inevitable that your important documents will be mixed up or that your children will spoil them by consuming their drinks and snacks. Since you and your children are now stuck at home for a while, create a space for each of you, no matter how small.
If you’re used to working with a large screen or multiple screens, don’t expect to work the same way using a laptop with a 30cm screen. This way of doing things will drive you crazy and may affect your productivity and the quality of your work. You might have been used to going through dozens of documents open at the same time on different screens. If so, don’t underestimate the annoyance, irritation, and inefficiency this practice on a single tiny screen can cause you. I’m using four 68cm screens placed in front of me as I write this review, and the investment has been worth it.
And, of course, there’s room to accommodate four large screens. A corner of the dining room table will not do.
A completely paperless office is not yet on its way to becoming a reality. I’ve been thinking about it for 25 years already and I’m getting there somehow. However, I always find myself sitting between a stack of paper on the right and a stack of paper on the left. Your workspace must be adapted to this reality, and you must provide additional space for your Working documents. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with another version of the problem with a 12-inch screen: having to sift through piles of disorganized hard copies to find the printed document you need, with the results you know.
If the paper document you can’t find contains sensitive or time-critical information, the desperate search for the document will greatly increase your stress level. Digging through the trash, the recycling bin and among old newspapers to find something is totally inefficient; do not impose this task on yourself. Be sure to set up a real workspace that will give you room to spread out your documents if necessary.
4. Power and surge
You will need a lot more outlets than you think. You’ll be amazed at how many devices you’ll need to install to make an efficient work platform and how many power bars you will need to meet that demand. Choose a space in the house that will give you access to the most wall outlets with the help of an M&A advisor.
If you live in a space where short circuits are common. Be sure to use a battery Working protection device or surge protector. Power outages and power surges can cause you to lose. A lot of data if you are not prepared for them.
To perform your tasks efficiently, we therefore recommend that you create. A well-appointed workspace according to the space and money you have available. This layout will make your work-from-home experience much more enjoyable.
Proceed at your own risk!
All these measures that I have just explained to you may seem very simple to you. Which they are, but many people will ignore them and end up regretting it. Don’t risk having your data destroyed because a raging toddler spilled his apple juice on your laptop. Or you threw away a document full of sensitive HR information along with the previous day’s log. It is not as exciting as having your system hacked by Putin. Or the North Koreans, but the result is just as damaging.
All the information I mentioned above is taken from my extensive personal experience. For many years, I ran a virtual Working business. Out of a tiny home office while playing “Mister Mom” to care for two preschoolers. Now they’re grown up and out of the house. And I live alone with my cat, who likes to walk on my keyboard when he’s not sleeping on it.
If you don’t save your work and lock your computer. A child or pet could do immense damage during the few minutes. You spend in the kitchen refilling your cup of coffee. The three-year-old eventually moved on, but as for my cat. I had to forfeit and put a pillow on the corner of my desk. So he could take a nap there. It worked.