Today, more than ever, people are ditching their traditional 9 to 5 jobs, and turning to remote work to earn their livings.
In fact, regular remote work by non-self-employed individuals has risen by about 140% since 2005. That’s nearly 10 times faster than other jobs in the workplace and self-employed individuals it and makes sense that remote employees have become an integral part of small businesses.
This surge in remote jobs is not surprising when you consider the advancements in technology that we’ve seen over the past couple of decades. And with that in mind, these numbers are only expected to rise as technology continues to evolve and makes it easier than ever for people to work remotely.
It’s easy to see what’s so appealing about working remotely. The prospect of being able to skip the commute into the office, or simply being able to work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, makes remote work an extremely enticing option.
Of course, remote workings have the technology to thank for making it possible to work from anywhere.
Communication tools such as Skype and the internet make interacting with people around the world flexible and fast, and there are many cloud-based solutions which make it easier than ever for people from around the world to work together on the same project at the same time.
However, working remotely and hiring remote workers comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to the cybersecurity concept.
Below, we’ll go over some of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses who work with remote employees.
Less team interaction
Although communication tools, such as Skype and WhatsApp, make it easy to communicate. When your employees work remotely or from their own homes, you lose the benefit of being able to interact with them face-to-face.
In an office setting, complicated tasks or decisions can easily be discussed and decided upon over lunch or in a meeting room. However, when your employees work remotely, this benefit is lost, and back-and-forth communications can end up taking significantly longer to accomplish.
One of the most significant issues that comes with hiring remote employees is maintaining an adequate level of communication between your team members.
As mentioned in our last point, discussing ideas in person is much more effective, since you’re able to gauge your employees’ reactions and tailor the discussion accordingly when you can actually see your co-workers in person.
There’s also the issue that remote workers often have different working hours, which can lead to scheduling mishaps and makes spontaneous communication much more difficult.
Lack of efficiency and collaboration
Now, it’s not to say that it’s impossible to run a small business with remote workers efficiently. However, remote work definitely makes it harder to ensure proper team collaboration and run things properly.
Proper collaboration and synergy within a company’s team is an essential element, which contributes to your employees’ enthusiasm and their overall sense of value to your company.
That being said, smaller companies with distributed staff members often struggle to achieve these essential aspects of a business.
Potential data security issues
When a business decides to run their team remotely, security is often overlooked, leaving the company vulnerable to hackers and other types of cybercriminals.
Although there are many cloud-based options, which make working remotely more accessible than ever, there are still countless cybersecurity threats that need to be considered and protected against.
Therefore, it’s crucial that small businesses take the necessary steps to ensure that their valuable information is kept private and confidential.
Protecting your small business
As a small business, many steps can be taken to mitigate risks associated with hiring remote workers.
For starters, it’s important to take the time to get to know your employees before hiring them, especially if your company handles or stores any sensitive customer information. This might involve running background checks on remote employees to make sure that they don’t have any sort or criminal histories.
It’s also a good idea to implement strong security measures on your company’s website and establish clear and explicit data protection policy. This needs to outline the security measures that your employees are required to take to ensure that your company’s information is kept safe and confidential.
We also recommend that you require all employees to use a VPN on their devices, which protects their information when they use unsecured, public Wi-Fi sources.
Hire a security expert
The absolute best way to keep your small business safe when working with remote employees is to hire a security expert. You can use VPNs and secure protocols all you want, but nothing compares to the skills and expertise of trained cybersecurity professionals.
Security experts are up-to-date with the latest threats and know how to create a safe working environment for you and your remote employees.