We have been WFH for several weeks now. What started as a short-term arrangement is looking increasingly like a medium-term solution and a preferred option for many colleagues for the longer term. While it is permissible to rely on the unusual circumstances to provide a defence to lower data protection awareness, that defence is evaporating as we move towards accepting WFH as a regular part of working life.
So what should line managers and compliance specialists be doing now? Risk assessments would be a good first step. Carry out some fact-finding about the experience of WFH to determine where your risks might lie so that you can plan actions to mitigate or avoid the risks.
Health and safety are likely to be an issue. What facilities have home workers got? Are they using desks and office chairs or something more temporary on a dining table, for example? Separate screens are needed with laptops if colleagues are to avoid cricked necks.
Data protection is also an issue. Some of the apparent risks were covered in a previous blog [LINK], but there could be issues with particular job roles that will only come to light if you ask the right questions. See the free downloadable checklist [LINK] to gather information about data protection strengths and weaknesses of your home working cohort. It will help to identify risk and act as a reminder to colleagues of the standards of confidentiality and data security required of them at all times, not just when they are in the office. Use the template to kickstart the conversation about how we manage data protection compliance for changed working practices.
Mandy P Webster
Data Protection Consulting
We specialise in data protection so you don’t have to
27 April 2020