Remote work has been gradually ascending to the top of the list of covered employee benefits for the past several years. The vast majority of employees would prefer to work remotely at least part-time for the rest of their careers. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people are finding themselves with no choice but to work from home in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly virus.
Remote work comes with a lot of benefits. For instance, employees who are able to work remotely enjoy flexible hours and reduced schedules. Working remotely reduces commute-related stress and improves an individual’s work-life balance. Many professionals believe that the flexibility that comes with remote work will have a positive impact on the quality of their lives. But there are various risks associated with remote work.
The biggest concern with remote work is the cybersecurity risks involved. For instance, employees working remotely often use their personal gadgets to perform a myriad of work-related tasks. Personal computers and mobile devices are plagued with different types of malware, which can easily spread to the office network. Employees may also connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks leaving the company vulnerable to data breaches and network intrusion.
Impact on Physical and Mental Health
Mental health and work go hand-in-hand. Your job affects your mental health in several ways. For instance, the general process employees go through in their daily commute to and from work can take a toll on their mental health even if they delight in their daily work tasks. Working from home reduces commute-related stress and improves overall mental health. Flexible work schedules also mean that remote workers have more time to focus on overall health and wellness.
Health and Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
Remote work allows employees to perform various employment tasks remotely. This type of work arrangement has its advantages; there are security concerns. In this section, you’ll find tips on how to mitigate the various cyber security risks associated with remote work as well as how to stay healthy, mentally and physically, when working remotely.
Protect Sensitive Company Data
Use a VPN
Use a VPN to protect company data when connecting to the office network via public Wi-Fi. It is a service that uses various encryption techniques to turn a public Wi-Fi network to a private connection. You can download a VPN on your device easily and protect company data from cybercriminals when using public Wi-Fi.
Install Antivirus Software
If your computer is infected with malware, you can easily spread the malicious software to your organization when you connect to the office network. Install antivirus software in your device to scan and remove viruses and malware that may be hidden in your device before you connect to the office network.
Improve Mental and Physical Health
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to working remotely. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a wide range of health problems. Exercise 20-30 minutes a day to get your heart pumping and stay healthy. You can stretch, do yoga, dance to YouTube videos, or ride a bike.
Ecotherapy refers to a wide range of nature-based exercises designed to improve both mental and physical health. If you are feeling blue from working remotely, take a walk outdoors to lower anxiety, stress, and depression. You can try exercising in nature to hit two birds with one stone.
Remote work allows employees to perform various job tasks outside the office environment. Working from home, for instance, reduces commute-related stress and improves overall health and wellness. However, cybersecurity presents a massive challenge for this type of working arrangement. By following cybersecurity and health tips listed in this article, a remote worker can continue enjoying the benefits of remote work while protecting sensitive company data and leading a healthy lifestyle at the same time.
Brad Smith is a technology expert at TurnOnVPN, a non-profit promoting a safe and free internet for all. He writes about his dream for a free internet and unravels the horror behind big techs.