A new study from Forcepoint was recently performed on over 2,000 participants who began working remotely once the pandemic began. What did they find? It turns out that the stress of working from home can be a major cybersecurity liability for companies.
Since the pandemic, remote workers have switched to spending most of their time in front of a computer screen. Know any parents with kids stuck at home? Schools have shifted to partial or complete remote learning. Family gatherings, extracurricular clubs, reunions and staff meetings – all on Zoom. With so many disruptions, what do you think this means to the at-home workforce? I’ll tell you in one word: stress. The Forcepoint study found that stressed-out employees in a remote-working world is a major contributor to poor cyber hygiene. All remote workers, whether or not they have the added responsibility of caring for family members all reported more stress in their lives.
Over half of at-home workers (55%) reported making more mistakes when working from home compared to working at the office, like sending emails to the wrong person or forgetting to get something important done on time. Nearly two thirds of participants (65%) made more mistakes and agreed that distractions while working from home negatively impacted their ability to make good decisions.
So the 2 key things you should know about working remotely is:
1. More risky behavior
There’s an increase in risky behavior such as using apps the IT department might not approve of like computer games and visiting websites that would otherwise not be appropriate at the workplace such as Reddit, Job listings or politically charged sites.
2. Less focus
It’s more difficult to focus on work when employees are stressed out and surrounded family members. There’s also pressure to be available outside of normal working hours, leading to competing demands on both their personal and professional lives. All of these factors create distractions that lead to minor mistakes which can make a major impact on your company.
Employees need to feel recognized for their contributions, and this should be done by managers on a regular basis. Remote workers may need to be encouraged to try new things to manage their stress levels because like it or not, there’s more of it.
This might include scheduling moderate levels of exercise like as brisk walking, yoga, meditation or as Jack Welch, former CEO of GE called it, “staring out the window” time.
So if you’re a manager, team leader, boss or parent, please take this to heart and show some appreciation for your circle today. If you really want to try something new, how about a short 15-20 minute meditation? There are tons on YouTube to choose from and you can practice them just about anywhere. Want some more ideas, feel free to reach out – we can help.
I’m Attila, from Cylanda. Stay safe out there.