4 Tips on Working Securely This Summer
With vacations and kids home from school, small business owners must try to accommodate employees who need flexibility this summer, which could mean working from home or on the road.
Some employees may need to adjust their on-site hours or work-from-home options due to switching school or daycare schedules. Assuming summer is not a peak season for your business, find ways to accommodate them.
Doing so will translate into employee loyalty to your small business — a crucial factor in retaining workers in this tight labor market.
Here are 4 things to consider if you or your employees plan to work remotely during vacation or at home this summer.
Have Technology In Place
Use a VPN service or a Virtual Private Network connection— it’s one of a business's best precautions to protect remote workers’ network connections and data.
If you're a business that already relies on external contributors such as contractors, professional service cos., gig workers, remote workers, etc., you may already have VPN and other technology to support them.
A VPN provides a secure tunnel between an individual's device and the service data center, encrypting the transmitted data, explains Macy Bayern in an article for TechRepublic.
“VPNs provide employees with secure access to an organization's internal network and data from anywhere,” the post says.
If you don’t have a VPN set up, check with your business internet provider for how you can get business mobile VPN and site-to-site VPN, which are often as an option in managed services or managed router solutions.
Find out about access in hotels/airbnbs
It’s a good idea to seek out information about what you can expect in terms of internet speed in the hotel or Airbnb where you’re planning to work remotely this summer.
“Many hotels know their guests expect internet access, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any good,” says a story for The Washington Post by Shira Ovide.
Keep in mind that hotels also are stuffed with WiFi-blocking obstacles such as walls, electrical equipment, and other humans, all sharing limited internet bandwidth. So, you might need to move around or contact hotel personnel to see where to go to get better Wifi access.
Reiterate security precautions
Review and go over the security guidelines with every employee who plans to work during a trip or otherwise remotely this summer.
For example, in addition to using a VPN, remind them to beware of potential “shoulder surfers” or anyone who might attempt to steal logins or passwords.
Acknowledge your network
If you’re a small business owner who can grab a hybrid work-vacay trip this summer, you already have a long list of to-dos to prepare.
In addition to planning for possible changes in operations and schedules at your business, it’s a good idea to connect with other key stakeholders before you leave, such as community partners, clients or fellow entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
A proactive approach allows you time to work out any potential issues with these stakeholders, plus it makes your clients and contacts feel valued and important to your business, writes Laura Spawn in an article for Business News Daily.
“Most importantly, make sure your clients know they will be taken care of while you are away and that they have a go-to team member available to handle anything that needs attention during your absence,” she adds.