With the Covid restrictions slowly easing, people are once again looking for ways to engage with strangers. The most popular way of doing this is meeting people through digital platforms like social media or Skype. While convenient, this can lead to problematic behaviours. Specifically, customers may be more likely to engage with marketing professionals online because of the convenience, but this could also lead to issues with cyberbullying, misinformation, or other bad acting.
To protect your customers, your employees, and your business, it’s essential that you understand the risks associated with working remotely. This requires careful consideration of the technology and tools that you use, as well as the training and supervision of your staff. In other words, you need to put in place a formal enterprise risk management program. This program should include the following elements:
Regardless of whether you’re a marketing manager or a head of department, you’ll undoubtedly be spending more time working remotely. For this reason, it’s essential that you have someone on your staff who is trained to handle customer queries, complaints, or issues. The last thing you need is for some disgruntled customer to expose your business’s vulnerabilities because your staff didn’t have the training or experience to handle their issues effectively. Having a dedicated person who is solely responsible for ensuring that your staff are trained and equipped to effectively do their job goes a long way toward protecting your organisation.
Decentralised work environments like remote working give you the opportunity to behave in ways that would’ve been difficult to achieve prior to the pandemic. For example, you might grant your employees the flexibility to work remotely or set their own hours, enabling them to balance work and personal life as they see fit. While this may be great for employee engagement and productivity, it also means that you need to be really careful about what kinds of activities and interactions your staff get involved in. Specifically, you need to set rules and boundaries around social media and marketing activities, as these are frequently used by unscrupulous businesses to attract and engage with customers. This is sometimes referred to as ‘digital dirt-digging’. Even before the pandemic, your staff’s involvement in social media would’ve been a legitimate source of concern, as they would’ve had to constantly monitor and be mindful of their interactions. While the risks might not be as great as they could be, you can never be too careful when it comes to ensuring that your employees respect the boundaries that you’ve established.
Secure and Confidential
Given that your staff might be working remotely, it’s highly likely that they’ll be handling customer inquiries over the phone or through email. This means that they’ll be handling sensitive and confidential information that could be used to for criminal activity. Ensuring that this information is secure and kept confidential is essential for preventing data breaches and other damaging incidents.
Keeping these elements in mind will help you to determine whether or not to allow unsupervised remote working. If you decide that this is a safe and viable option for your business, however, you can ensure that your organisation is as safe and secure as possible by taking proper precautions. These include: