Although much of the country has opened up after the Covid pandemic, many employers are now using a hybrid work model. Some find that their employees get more done, that employees prefer the flexibility, or they are worried about the increase in Covid cases because of the Delta variant. Regardless of the reason, your business still must stay compliant with all data security laws. It is your legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are 100% compliant as well. The laws regarding document disposal haven’t changed, and the hybrid or work-from-home model does make corporate liability for information security more challenging. Whether your employees are working from home or from the office, you and your employees must keep data security at the forefront of your minds.
Hybrid Employees And The Challenge Of Compliance
Hybrid employees work from home and work from the office part of the time. Going back and forth raises data protection compliance issues because the information, whether digital or on paper, is most likely not properly secure in an employee’s home. Papers also cannot simply be thrown away in the trash when employees work from home and the material is no longer needed.
No matter where your employees work, every business is required by law to protect all confidential information. Document destruction practices must be communicated to all employees so that your corporate information remains secure. In addition, your business is required to make sure that correct document security rules are being followed by all employees no matter where the work is being completed.
Ways to Stay Compliant When You are a Hybrid Employee
While working from home gives employees more flexibility and reduces exposure to illness, you have other concerns that you must take into consideration. This list provides ways to stay in compliance with data protection while employees work from home full time or on a hybrid work model.
- Ensure Employees Have The Ability To Lock Their Home Office – While you save on office real estate, utilities, and more by having your employees work from home full- or part-time, you do have some other expenses. Make sure your employees can lock their home offices. All work documents, media and computers should stay in the home office, and employees should work in the office, not at the dining room table, or other non-secure location. The room should be locked when it is not in use to protect corporate information.
- Have a Separate Work Computer – The employee should have a separate work computer that he or she uses only for work. While you might be able to trust some employees, there are those who are always willing to push the bar as far as they can. You can put employee monitoring software on the work computers to watch the employee’s use of the work computer.
- Never Discard Business Documents At Home – Employees should keep all paperwork in a secure box or bag at home, and return all papers to the office and dispose of those documents in the secure shred bins, just as if they were doing at their office work station. The same procedures must be followed, whether you are working from home or at your business. Any documents with confidential information should be taken to the office by all employees for secure shredding to ensure your business remains compliant. If that isn’t possible, encourage employees to print documents only when they are in the office, so that proper document disposal can take place.
NO business documents should ever be discarded in the employees’ trash. That is against all data security laws and puts your business at great risk.
- Remind All Employees About Document Security Laws and Requirements – Leaving files, digital media and documents in plain sight, whether at the work office or the home office, invites the theft or improper disposal of those documents. Every work office should have secure shred bins for documents and files that have reached the end of their retention period. You can also put notes and other paper waste that you do not need to keep in the shred boxes. This will help employees keep their personal information secure as well.
Contact Royal Document Destruction
If you need to add locked document shred boxes to your employees’ home offices, or you need to increase security at your work office, contact Royal Document Destruction today to discuss your needs for data protection compliance. Our document security experts are always here to help provide the best solutions for your business needs!