The unexpected Techy

Can technology really boost employee productivity and satisfaction without risk?

All the so-called “feel-good” psychological methods of improving employee satisfaction and  productivity metrics are great, but they’re useless without the right tools. And the right tools mean the right technology. For an employee to be efficient and productive in today’s job environment means equipping employees with the right tools. (I.e. remote access via a phone connection or an unsecured wireless link, smartphone access to check emails outside the office, a netbook while traveling, web applications, social media networking sites, etc.) Companies that fail to upgrade or ignore the necessity for these tools run the risk of diminished employee productivity.

Here’s the problem though – traditional security models in which company information is protected by secure network perimeters only around the office environment are becoming obsolete. This is due to more mobile employees accessing systems remotely from outside the office. As IT departments come under pressure to effectively manage and protect employee behaviors enabled by these tools, threats to the company network are becoming more sophisticated.

Where’s the balance? In conjunction with employee education and internal safety/security policies, it is essential that your IT division/company is taking a proactive approach to securing your computer network. They can make sure your network is secure from viruses, hackers, and annoying spyware thus reducing downtime and losses with up-to-date firewall and Unified Threat Management (UTM).

Some examples of what internal policies should cover include (in addition to technological advances to protect your network):

  • Where and when devices can be used.

  • How to secure devices uses to access the company network, including anti-virus and anti-malware definitions.

  • Rules for copying sensitive data onto external media such as USB devices, DVDs, and CDs.

  • The use of passwords, including how often a password should be changed and whether the same password should be used to access personal resources, such as internet banking.

  • Appropriate use of technology in the workplace including H/R issues such as workplace bullying, harassment, and confidentiality breaches, etc.

  • Appropriate behavior, confidentiality and disclosure on social networking sites, and

  • A consequence for breaching policies and program guidelines.



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