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Protecting your business when transitioning to a remote workforce

On Behalf of | May 6, 2020 | Business Law

Over the course of the past five years, businesses have been making the decision to transition their existing workforce from a brick and mortar office space to remote.  Many new business start-ups have chosen to build their workforces remotely from the ground up. It is estimated that remote work options increased by over 40 percent.  In 2020, that rate has skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Therein lies the basis for our question.  How prepared were you to immediately take your business to the cloud? Did you take proper steps to protect your private and proprietary information?  It is highly likely that most small business owners did not, which has left their companies vulnerable to several possible types of damage.

While there are several matters to consider when utilizing a remote workforce, two stand out as most important to us.  First, it is of utmost importance that if a company is going to allow its employees to work remotely, contract and employment agreements address privacy matters. This could include things such as confidential customer information, data privacy, and proprietary information about a product. Contracts should be amended to specifically address each of these, and set out consequences for their breach.

Second, how secure is your operating system?  Whether you utilize a cloud based software that allows employees to login, or you have a VPN of your own, it is important to run security checks.  Having a professional take a look at settings and additional hacker protections is never a bad idea.  Again, that person should also be asked to sign some form of confidentiality agreement.

An astute business attorney can help you set your remote workforce up for success.  Having an extra set of eyes to make sure all recommended boxes have been checked, and your information is as secure as possible is money well spent. The demand for remote work is only going to grow.  As a business owner, you can be ahead of the game.

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