How to make hybrid work effective and secure at home and in the office

Tips on security and productivity for those who work both from home and in an office.

How to make hybrid work effective and secure at home and in the office

After a year of remote work, some organizations finally realized that not everyone has to be physically present in the office during all work hours, and so they introduced so-called hybrid work, letting employees spend some workdays in their home offices.

This hybrid-work business has both pros and cons. Many workers find the switch between working at home and in the office difficult, and some face technical challenges — and that’s before we even get to challenges involving the security of corporate and personal information. Here, we discuss how you can combine working from home and from the office without risking productivity or any confidential data.

Work conditions matter

Some prefer working from their couch; others feel more productive in a busy office. Which type of work suits you better? Consider which tasks you handle better in which environment. For example, the office may facilitate in-person conversations and meetings, whereas home may be the better choice for tasks that require concentration and focus (or maybe it’s quite the opposite). Determining which tasks are better suited for home and which for office can help you plan your week accordingly.

Also consider whether you might begin your day working from home and then coming to the office later in the day. Bonus: That might let you skip morning rush hour. Night person? Inquire about arriving and staying at the office late.

Distractions are everywhere. The office may have chatterbox colleagues, for example, and office hours at home could include a spouse, kids, pets. Every office is different, but you should have some form of recourse there, and we have some tips for those working from a home office — for starters, try using a dedicated office, or at least setting aside a secluded corner.

However, one cannot just remove all distractions, so to minimize the impact, use a noise-canceling app, earplugs, or a white noise generator.

Consider your health

At home, many find it hard to stop working after the formal workday is over, but working overtime can result in insomnia, headaches, and other unwanted consequences. Emotional burnout syndrome, another consequence of overwork, can leave sufferers unable to do much at all. Whether you’re working from the office or at home, try to finish up at the same time every day.

On the flip side, resist the temptation to work from home in pajamas. Dressing appropriately for your job can make focusing on work tasks easier. In general, the more you separate your home and your work activities, the more you’ll be able to immerse yourself in both, even if you’re working from home.

Secure physical data

While you’re working from the office, on your employer’s local network, data protection is mostly IT’s job. But transporting your work — laptop, files, flash drives — between the office and home can place corporate data in danger from carelessness or even theft.

If possible, keep separate devices for your home office and for the actual office. Beyond the convenience of not having to tote your work around, that setup is more secure. If you do need to take your laptop on public transportation, look for a sturdy case with locks and hidden zippers.

It should go without saying that your laptop case should never contain the notebook that holds your passwords — that notebook shouldn’t exist at all. Use a password manager both to create strong passwords and to manage them. (It’s safe to keep a few passwords in your noggin, of course, and mnemonics can help with that.)

Pay attention to digital data security

If you must carry your devices with you, consider the risks of losing them and prepare for it. Encrypt confidential data to safeguard it. You can use your operating system’s default tools, such as BitLocker in Windows and FileVault in macOS, or third-party tools if your company allows it. That way, even if someone steals the laptop, they won’t have access to the files on it.

As an alternative to full-disk encryption, you can avoid storing any data locally by instead relying on cloud services. For example, Google Docs has become a serious rival to traditional offline productivity software. Regardless of the document, spreadsheet, or other tools you use, set up file access safely.

Perhaps the most important fundamental consideration is two-factor authentication. Choose services that offer 2FA — again, with IT’s permission — to make the accounts significantly harder to breach.  And don’t keep classified information in clouds; they’re not perfect.

Work safe and enjoy peace of mind

One last thing: Don’t forget to protect both your device and your connection from cyberthreats. Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, to keep your data safe. It not only prevents attacks on your devices, but also creates a secure connection to protect your data.