Working from home or other locations offers many benefits including reduced commute times, greater flexibility and opportunities to focus on specific pieces of work away from the distractions of the office environment.
A tele worker is someone who is contracted to work from home.
For some employees this has been formalised into a regular ‘tele-working’ environment where staff work from a dedicated home-based office with equipment supplied by ACC. A second profile is of an ACC employee who works much or most of their time away from the office visiting clients in a variety of locations often using an ACC provided laptop and mobile phone or other device to support the mobility the position requires. Thirdly there are those employees who are mostly office-based but might occasionally find it useful to work from home. Where their job requires the use of a computer, they are generally assigned an ACC location from which they access their files and emails etc.
There is an increasing trend within both the public and private sectors to support and encourage mobile and flexible working. This presents a number of challenges some technical, some cultural, particularly where working remotely requires access to personal or sensitive data.
2. What We’re Doing
ACC is committed to supporting and enabling workplace flexibility whilst protecting the public trust. A number of initiatives are helping to deliver this vision. This includes an on-going programme of laptop hard drive encryption, the launch of a virtual desktop environment (VDE) and the provision to employees of secure access and storage solutions such as encrypted USB devices and remote access tokens sometimes referred to as RSA.
Companies and organisations recognise that in the absence of a managed solution, staff may be tempted to resort to less secure workarounds such as using personal email accounts to send and receive work information from home or printing hard copies of sensitive information to read off-site. Whilst policies exist to control this behavior it is far preferable to find and support safer ways of enabling staff to work safely and flexibly and we will continue to focus our efforts in this direction.
3. What you Can Do Now
As profiled in the introduction, staff generally fall into one of the following categories with some overlap;
- Field-based worker
- Office-based worker (may occasionally work from home)
The following contain helpful guidance on how to manage this in practice based on your working practices.
4. Next Steps
In the coming months ICT will roll out important enhancements that will deliver a range of benefits including safer data storage and retrieval.
YourDesktop will mean that all your files and applications reside on the network regardless of your location. You will be able to log on as usual, access your normal desktop, drives and files but the information will at all times be stored on the ACC network rather than on your local drive reducing the risk of unauthorised access to ACC data in the event of loss or theft of a device.
If you are in any doubt about any of the information contained in this update please contact your service’s business support manager or the ICT Helpdesk for further clarification.
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