WFH tech | Worrying number of staff use own laptops for work

Worrying number of staff use own laptops for work

When the UK Government confirmed that for safety reasons, the nation’s working population would be required to conduct their duties remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses scrambled to facilitate homeworking as quickly as possible.

For many, this was a logistical headache; office-based items that workers simply take for granted such as ergonomically efficient desk chairs, allocated spaces from which to work, computers, keyboards and screens all had to either be transported or cobbled together as a matter of urgency before work could continue.

And whilst the first week may have been a scramble to get up and running remotely, an IBM survey found that actually, the majority of employees are still struggling with incorrect equipment and processes – and company efficiency and security has suffered as a result.

As was reported by We Live Security, the survey of 2,000 US-based employees discovered that more than 50% of new remote employees are using their own personal computers for business use, however, 61% also said their employer hasn't provided tools to properly secure those devices.

While this study took place in the US, there are key takeaways for HR around the importance of providing staff with the necessary tools and equipment to facilitate long-term homeworking, particularly for health and wellbeing reasons.

IBM’s research was corroborated by several Twitter users who explained that they had been using personal laptops during this period of remote working.

In addition, IBM’s research found that half of the survey respondents said they participate in one to five videoconference calls per week, with an additional 20% saying that they participate in six to ten such meetings per week.

Yet, over half of them said that their employer did not introduce or were unsure of new cybersecurity policies around videoconferencing.

And even though eight in ten felt confident that their company was able to handle any cyber threats that may arise, nearly half have had no discussion with bosses about the potential for danger in this area.

This is despite the fact that more than 80% of respondents either rarely worked from home or not at all prior to the pandemic, and more than half are now doing so with no new security policies to help guide them.

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