According to a Gallup poll, 62% of workers say that their employers expect them to perform work-related activities, such as checking emails, outside of regular working hours compared to only 23% whose employers don’t have that expectation. Only 5% reported never participating in work-related activities outside normal working hours. These figures also hold true for employees who work remotely. Workers who used mobile technology to work remotely reported an increase in stress compared with those who didn’t. However, on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, they also rated the quality of their lives at a 7 or higher, which is considered “thriving”, rather than merely surviving.
This could be due to the fact that some stress is called “productive stress”, which is actually beneficial in that it provides motivation and leads to a sense of satisfaction in having achieved a task as a result. The added stress of working outside normal working hours is also offset by the increase in self-esteem and autonomy that comes with being trusted to perform outside the realm of visual supervision. You can take steps to avoid the good stress from becoming the unhealthy variety by negotiating with your employer. How you will account for time spent working remotely, how you will be compensated if it exceeds your normal working hours and a reasonable limit should be discussed before reaching an agreement.
Mobile Devices – BYOD
In addition to an increase in employers expecting employees to work remotely outside regular business hours, an increasing number of them also want employees to use their own devices. BYOD or bring your own device, is becoming more popular as employers seek ways to save money. Many employees like it because it allows them to work with a device that they are already familiar with and doesn’t require additional training on a new device.
Employers are willing to take the risks associated with giving up some control over company data, which can also entail legal and security risks. For their part, employees risk compromising their privacy and control over their device and the data it contains. Mutual trust and agreement concerning a few potential issues is essential. It’s important that both parties fully understand the terms before agreeing to participate in a BYOD program.
You’ll need answers to questions such as whether your employer can remotely access your device, what you are liable for in case of loss or theft, and what security precautions you are required to take to protect company data. Most employers will require employees to download security software to their devices. They also need to know that they can remotely wipe data from your device in the event that it is lost or stolen or you decide to resign from your position.
Security and Legal Responsibility
When utilizing cloud servers to take full advantage of the benefits of working remotely and being able to access data from multiple devices, it’s vital that the security of your company’s cloud server is impenetrable. It’s also important that your security software provides alerts in the event that someone tries to hack into your network. The consequences of a data breach are potentially catastrophic.
When Anthem, a major health insurer, had their system hacked earlier this year, the New York Times published an article devoted to helping people whose personal information had been compromised. It contained several suggestions that could prevent people from becoming legally liable for financial accounts opened in their names using their information. Needless to say, Anthem suffered a major financial loss as a result of the data breach that exposed millions of customers to potential identity theft and fraud. According to one article, that loss was estimated at over $100 million.
Ironically, one of the advantages of using cloud and mobile technology for work is that it results in decreased mobility. However, like stress, mobility can be either good or bad. Mobility in the form of jetting away on vacation is the good kind. Mobility that involves fighting traffic to get to and from the office every day at the same time as thousands of other people is the unhealthy kind. The good news is that now, there’s an app for that.
This guest post was written by Philip Piletic. If you would like to have your post published on Bizzvenue, click here.