Suppose you haven't fully transitioned into remote work by now. In that case, you might be considering it as you weigh the pros and cons of the pandemic work model. Giving up an office space (and the monthly rent that comes with it) could be an enticing reason to jump on possibly the largest growing work trend of our time. But, what are some of the drawbacks? On top of depriving your employees of shoulder-to-shoulder interaction, opportunities to stand out and get promotions, and more, you're also increasing your entire company's chances of a cyberattack.
This possible threat, of course, is no reason to throw out the idea altogether. It may just take some analyzing and planning. Still, you can implement some practices to make managing your remote workforce more effortless and more secure all in one go. First, let's go through what managing your remote team will mean, the challenges and benefits to look for, and how to manage cybersecurity while working apart.
If you are looking for a way to share logins with your remote team, using a password manager can mitigate the risk of unauthorized sharing and access. TeamPassword is an affordable password management solution for teams to share company credentials securely and efficiently. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!
What is remote workforce management?
Because of the recent change in work dynamic since the pandemic, companies have had to face the fact that managing remote teams is very different from leading on-site teams. Remote workforce management is all about flexibility, trust, and clear communication.
So, what practices will you have to implement to handle your fully remote or hybrid work model?
- Communication: establish channels for personal and work communication and implement tools so employees can also connect with each other easily.
- Process automation: use project management software to create, automate, and track processes easier without becoming the micromanaging boss everyone hates to hear from.
- Supplying work set-ups: Not everyone has a proper work set-up at home. Providing the elements they need to focus and carry out their tasks properly will pay off as employees feel more comfortable.
- Regularly scheduled training and feedback sessions: just because your team is out of sight doesn't mean they don't need you. Schedule times to chat to allow insecurities, questions, or concerns to come up. These practices also increase retention as they get ahead of conflict and discomfort before it becomes unbearable.
Benefits of a remote workforce
- Improved employee engagement
- Increased productivity
- Cost and time savings for employees by not commuting
- Higher employee satisfaction and retention
- More flexibility
- Fewer sick days as employees work and rest at home
- More business continuity without colleague distractions
Drawbacks of a remote workforce
- Lack of supervision
- Less access to information
- Social isolation and lack of team building possibilities
- Fewer collaboration opportunities
- Decreased spontaneity and hallway brainstorming
What to know about remote work management
As opposed to what you might believe going into remote work management, the practice is a lot less about being strict than it is about seeing your employees as individuals. In the same way that teachers address students with their individual needs, managers must understand team members' strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they should realize that a remote work model might heighten both. Get ahead of it by brainstorming possible challenges that may arise and addressing them with employees in small groups or one-on-one.
Cybersecurity tips to remember when working remotely
Work management and collaboration isn't the only thing you'll see change with a remote team. You'll also have to face a series of new risks that would have been mostly under control in an office setting. Cybersecurity, for one, is an element that many businesses, especially small agencies, overlook when sending their teams home to work.
Why does this happen? Well, not everyone is prepared to fight off cyberattacks from their shared-living Wifi, for instance. So, as you prepare to take on new work models, make sure your remote work policy includes how everyone will work to keep data (both work and private) safe and secure. Here are some cybersecurity tips you can start using today:
Increase network security with a VPN
When your employees work from home, a coffee shop, or an airport, they often won't be able to choose the security of their networks. In fact, they'll probably sometimes have to work from a public network, opening them up to tracking and snooping from outside entities. Investing in a company VPN will allow your employees the security of encrypting their internet traffic.
Improve password security
Phishing and password-stealing are two common password attacks that small marketing agencies suffer both when working on-site and remotely. Of course, sharing passwords remotely will also extend the time it takes to pinpoint and de-escalate a situation if an attack does happen. So keeping your passwords safe will become essential when employees are working in different locations. To improve password security, use a tool like TeamPassword.
TeamPassword is an affordable password management solution. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!
Separate and lock your devices
Include the practice of separating and locking devices in your remote work policy. While this may seem simple, it can be easy to forget when you're taking care of accomplishing your day-to-day workload. That's why it's key to ensure your agency uses separate devices for work and personal life and enables automatic locking of their device. This way, when they're out getting a coffee and have to pop into the bathroom, their device is still secure. A reasonable amount of time is about 30 seconds for mobile and a few minutes for a laptop.
How to keep remote teams secure as staff grows
All of these practices are easy to implement and work well for companies all around the world. You've learned how to start transitioning to a secure remote agency with talent in different locations. Now, moving forward, your marketing agency team is probably going to continue to grow. So, how can you maintain that level of security regardless of the size of your team?
TeamPassword is a great way to manage the access for lots of marketing staff. It comes with benefits and features that keep everyone in the loop, efficient onboarding, and eliminates bad password habits. Here are some of the ways remote marketing agencies use TeamPassword to keep attackers away:
Implementing 2-step verification
Even though employees' are enabling auto-lock on their devices, when they sign into TeamPassword to search for or use a new password, they'll have to go through 2-step verification. This practice ensures that the device is authorized to use the login credential and that the user is who they should be. This secure protocol keeps marketing agencies extra secure. They work with dozens of online tools, many of which hold payment information and other sensitive data.
Running regular vulnerability sweeps
You can't get ahead of an attack, right? Wrong. Marketing agencies use TeamPassword's reports from frequent vulnerability sweeps to learn about viruses or possible risks that open up opportunities to steal your data. These sweeps keep your agency on a proactive approach so you can avoid an attack instead of reacting to it.
Sharing host-proof and locally encrypted passwords
As an agency of many creatives and professionals, you'll often have to share passwords and logins to collaborate on work. Whether it's because the tool allows for only one login per company or because there's a new staff member, sharing passwords will become necessary. Marketing agencies with TeamPassword share logins that are hashed, salted, and encrypted locally on their device and then transmitted to the server with an encrypted connection. Once they're received, the receiver's account is verified, and they alone are given access.
Accessing Teampassword everywhere
Unlike a notepad full of login details, which is just inconvenient, or a spreadsheet with credentials, which is unsafe, TeamPassword is accessible from any device. Your agency employees can access team passwords from mobile, regardless of their operating system, desktop app, or even browser extensions. That way, in just a few moments, they can log in, verify, and get the password they need. As a result, they'll continue to work on their projects without interruption and without putting the agency at risk.
Generating secure passwords and sharing within teams
Brainstorming what password to use that isn't incredibly personal or outright strange is a struggle. On top of that, password requirements for every tool are different. So, when your employees need a quick password that meets requirements and is virtually impossible to guess, TeamPassword generates it for them in a flash. By adding it to any shared groups such as "branding team" or "advertising," the password is automatically shared only with those who need it.
Ready to take on remote workforce security? If password management is a security practice you're ready to start now, sign up for a 14-day free trial today!