The Covid 19 pandemic has forced many companies to adopt work from home (WFH). Many firms prefer flexible working arrangements despite the risks involved. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for example, has poured millions into improving WFH operations.
Recent data obtained by Freedom of Information (FOI) and analyzed by the Parliament Street Think Tank, shows that the FCA has spent more than £5 million on laptops and smartphones.
Between April and August 2021, the financial regulator bought 5,850 new laptops. An FCA official said the total amount spent in the last 12 months is between £5 million and £10 million, but the exact price of each laptop remains secret due to trading restrictions.
The trend is quite concerning, however, as it could pose a risk to employers. Since employees access a lot of company data from corporate or personal devices, there is a threat of data leakage if the device is lost. In fact, 54% of experts at IT believe that remote work poses a greater security risk than office work.
As CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet, previously reported, the Bank of England alone lost 161 electronic devices between 2018 and 2021. If any of the devices fell into the wrong hands, the bank could suffer serious damage, and not just in terms of its reputation.
Remote working itself could be considered a significant security breach that is not easily remedied. To protect data and information, most companies provide their employees with company devices, just as the FCA does. This allows cybersecurity staff to access the devices and lock them immediately if they are lost to prevent data breaches.
However, even the risk has not affected the popularity of remote working. Mainly because people tend to seek a better work-life balance. However, due to the pandemic, most companies had no other choice. On the other hand, working from home can save time and money for both companies and employees. For example, utility bills and traveling can sometimes cost millions.
According to data collected by Findstack, 16% of companies work from home 100% of the time, including Adobe, Dropbox, etc. Also, 77% of employees said they are more productive working from home.
When benefits are taken into account, 44% of companies still work entirely on-site. However, this number is expected to decrease. By 2028, 73% of businesses are expected to have remote employees.