It’s no secret that, in what many have dubbed the “gig economy,” the number of freelancers and the types of work they offer have grown in recent years. According to Forbes, a third of today’s workforce identifies as a “subcontractor”. Millennials make up 40% of this workforce, and 92% of millennials, in general, desire to work in a freelance capacity.
For many small and mid-sized businesses, this has been a welcome development. Freelancers and subcontractors provide flexibility for businesses, allowing them to avoid the expense of full-time employees for part-time needs, as well as the flexibility to hire seasonally, when demand is high.
Still, the use of freelancers and subcontractors without strategically considering how they will mesh with your current employees, processes, and information systems can pose serious risks for your company—especially when it comes to cyber security. A revolving cast of subcontractors, combined with a lack of appropriate security safeguards on your network and data systems, is a recipe for disaster.
Telecommuting is increasingly common in today's business landscape. For some businesses, it's a worthwhile model for boosting productivity and adding flexibility to their workforce. Depending on your company's culture, this may be an attractive option.
It’s important to remember, though, that a productive telecommuting policy requires significant investment in and strategy around IT. Technology is, after all, the lynchpin that will keep your remote workers connected with others in your organization and with the assets—from business data to key software applications—that will keep them productive. And telecommuting necessarily involves relying on technology that is outside of your physical premises, leading to a greater potential for cyber security risk.
With the right approach to technology and the right safeguards in place, though, businesses can implement smart telecommuting and remote work options that can boost employee flexibility and productivity—and thus positively impact the bottom line.
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