The Dark Side of Work from Home: Two Brewing Threats

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As a business owner, what does the term “work from home” sound like? Perhaps it conjures images of employees lounging on their pajamas, sipping hot tea or black coffee while tackling their tasks for the day. Or maybe you think of moms and dads having a longer quality time with their kids.

You might think of work from home as an opportunity for workers to achieve a better work-life balance. They can sleep in longer and grab a glass of wine in the evening pronto.

But for many American workers, these images might be daydreams—further from the truth. Work from home can also place a business in significant jeopardy unless they take business continuity consulting seriously.

Everything has its downside, and work from home is not an exception. Business owners should pay attention to cybersecurity and mental wellness.

Cybersecurity Risks on the Rise

One reason for the popularity of work-from-home setups is the existing virtual-meeting platforms. This ability became more evident during the coronavirus pandemic when states recommend their employees to stay at home.

According to Cisco, within the past few months, members used their platforms for over 5 billion meeting minutes. In one day alone, the company recorded not less than 3 million conferencing meetings globally. Zoom is no different. The company claimed over 300 million daily meeting participants already used the app.

While most of them have pro versions, many offer free tools, which might be sufficient for small businesses. This makes the platforms not only helpful but also cost-effective. It doesn’t mean they are safe, though.

During the early days of the pandemic, a term called “zoom bombing” emerged. It referred to bad actors (uninvited participants) crashing into meetings and, worse, shouting slurs, threats, and curses. Some of them might consume adult content in the background. The problem was severe enough that Zoom had to release a security update.

That’s not all. Work-from-home arrangements can also make data more vulnerable to hacking. In a report by Aljazeera, ransomware attacks increased by over 130% from February to March.

Mental Wellness on a Decline

woman and therapist

It’s not only the company’s data at risk—so is the employee’s mental health too. In an Ohio survey, over 70% of the respondents revealed they’re struggling to adjust to the unfamiliar environment. Another study, this time by LinkedIn, showed more than half of the participants felt more anxious and stressed than before the coronavirus lockdown.

Many factors can impact mental wellness among employees who are already working from home:

  • Long working hours – Irish employees, for example, are logging in over 30 hours more per month. Some people are having a hard time separating personal and working times.
  • Lack of technical support and resources – Usually, employees are left on their own to deal with computer or platform issues. Technicians might not be around to help them immediately. Others don’t possess IT skills to let them perform basic troubleshooting.
  • Isolation – Increased isolation can also boost the risk of depression and anxiety.

Business continuity consulting allows companies to transition into different work setups as situations demand it as seamlessly as possible. To be effective, though, it needs to address the critical areas, which include mental health and cybersecurity. One cannot crumble, or else, it will leave the organization crippled.

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