By Arjay L. Balinbin
MANAGEENGINE, an India-based multinational technology firm, warned companies that a sudden shift to work-from-home setups could lead to a “big drop” in employee productivity.
In a recent e-mail interview, Rajesh Ganesan, vice-president of ManageEngine, told BusinessWorld there are operational risks associated with the work-from-home setups, which became popular during the coronavirus lockdown.
“The culture and operating model of the business may pose a challenge. For example, if teams inside the business are used to in-person meetings for communication and collaboration, or if the culture demands strict supervision of employees, the sudden shift to working from home will cause a big drop in productivity,” he said.
He added that leaders of companies should plan for this and instill continuous awareness and training to keep their employees’ productivity at optimum levels.
Mr. Ganesan likewise said maintaining information security during this period is a primary challenge.
“Attackers will exploit the opportunity, so IT leadership needs to ensure security is tight before opening up remote access. They should look into investing in technology that facilitates secure remote access,” he explained.
He noted that most businesses today have completely migrated their communication and collaboration tools to the cloud.
With the new setup, he said, companies should make sure their employees are trained in basic information security, ensure employees understand their responsibilities and set up comprehensive auditing and surveillance for all user sessions, among others.
When providing their remote employees with access to exclusive corporate information, he said remote privileged session management tools can help.
“These tools offer secure channels through which employees can access information and perform operations remotely. The tools only provide access to users with the right permissions, ensure remote sessions last only for the required time, and record all actions users carry out in every session,” he explained.
Another factor that could affect employees’ productivity is the “at-home environment” where they are expected to get their work done, Mr. Ganesan added.
“Leadership must be proactive and understanding of employee needs, and should prepare plans to allocate a portion of the workstation budget for employees that need to replicate an office setup at home,” he suggested.
ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management software division of Zoho Corp., a software company headquartered in India that focuses on developing web-based business tools and IT solutions such as office tools suites, Internet of Things management platforms, and IT management softwares.