A new remote workforce study from CyberArk (NASDAQ: CYBR) found that the majority of employees feel more productive at home and want to continue remote work, even after it’s deemed safe to return to offices. However, poor security practices could force businesses to reconsider the long-term viability of remote work.
Remote Work Challenges: Family Disruptions and Zoom Fatigue
As the pandemic forced more of our in-person lives into virtual environments, remote workers have had to overcome several challenges to balance their work and personal lives.
- 78% admitted to having technology issues with connecting to corporate systems and resources cited as the biggest hurdle.
- 45% of remote employees cite disruption from family and pets as the biggest challenge of remote work, followed by balancing work and personal life (43%) and ‘Zoom fatigue’ (34%).
- Despite these challenges, employees also recognize the distinct benefits of remote work – including saving time on commuting (32%), being able run errands (24%) and catch up on household chores between meetings (23%).
Balancing Security, Productivity and Convenience
Sixty-seven percent admit to finding workarounds to corporate security policies in order to be more productive including sending work documents to personal email addresses, sharing passwords, and installing rogue applications. However poor security habits go far beyond sidestepping a policy or two and more education is not changing these behaviors. Over half (54%) of the employees surveyed said they had received remote-work specific security training, yet:
- 69% of respondents admit to using corporate devices for personal use.
- 57% admit that they allow other members of their household to use their corporate devices for activities like schoolwork, gaming and shopping – a 185% increase from a similar survey conducted in the spring.
- 82% admit to reusing passwords — a 12% increase from the spring.
“The global pandemic has been the largest test yet for the future of distributed work. Working people have proven incredibly resilient as they rise to the challenge and overcome the stress and significant obstacles of blending home and work lives,” said Matt Cohen, Chief Operating Officer, CyberArk. “As we continue to adapt to this new way of operating, it’s the responsibility of both employees and organizations to take responsibility of corporate security. Organizations should continually reinforce best practices and implement user-friendly tools and policies while employees need to understand and be receptive to those policies.”