Sponsored
Nowadays businesses are trying to keep their staffs well trained and updated by offering them a wide range of trainings that are important for their jobs.In today’s work environment it is very important to stay updated and it is only through proper training that this is possible.Online training helps to integrate new employees, strengthen their skill development and communicate important policies.Though a few may say that there are some disadvantages of virtual learning like it may be boring, impersonal, less engaging, but there are some inherent advantages to virtual learning that can help to boost your organization’s bottom line.Moodle is a popular LMS development platform and here in this article let’s see how it helps to boost online training and helps in increasing the ROI:Self-paced learning:Online learning programs that are created using Moodle has various advantages for the field technicians or remote workers.With virtual training only a small amount of work time was sacrificed to meet the learning needs and in terms of ROI, it was a solid win.Knowledge capture: You know how to use the computer and with rapid technological advancements and the constant need to adapt to the changes, creating virtual training is the much needed task of today.Short recorded sessions from subject matter experts can help to stay focused while highlighting the specific processes or operations.
What's that? You want to breathe clean air? Tough luck then VMware, the cloud computing biz headquartered in Palo Alto, California, will reportedly cut salaries for employees opting to permanently work-from-home if they decide to move out of Silicon Valley.…
7
From deployment to troubleshooting, VIAVI's new solution makes it easier for organizations to provide VPNs to remote workers.
2
The YubiKey 5C NFC works across multiple devices and operating systems to help remote workers authenticate their online accounts.
10
Sponsored
The Global Digital Report 2019 reveals that 45% of the world’s population are on social networks.While the continued popularity means there’s much opportunity for marketing, getting it wrong also affects your branding and customer relationships in a huge way.Social media management only seems like one of the easier strategies to implement because most people own a personal account or a few.If you’re going back and forth about leaving it to a third party, consider the following reasons.To Focus on Core CompetenciesA post isn’t something you should make when you have an hour free in your schedule.You must also address any queries sent to your channels as quickly as possible.Outsourcing gives you the chance to concentrate on the most important parts of your business, namely employee satisfaction, customer service, and revenue generation.To Get Expert AssistanceEveryone knows how to update their Facebook status or send a tweet.Targeting campaigns to maximise success and generate leads is completely different though.
We'll help you retrain data protection teams for IaaS and SaaS life Webcast  Remote working really does look like it’s going to be the new normal, either by the average worker continuing to stay away from the office in the mid-term or, perhaps more interestingly, because many organisations have now switched to understanding the benefits of dispersed and remote workers as a viable option for the corporate toolset.…
10
On a recent Zoom call with a friend, I was asked a favour. “Do you mind if I look at my other computer when we’re talking?” he asked. This, it turns out, was a fairly normal request. Since the start of the lockdown, the company he worked for had provided special technology he’d need to work from home. It would allow him to perform all the tasks he’d normally do in the office, and access advanced software that would have normally been only available in-house. The trade-off, however, felt more sinister. He would be more closely monitored and scrutinised while working remotely. And that included his company knowing not just how long he was on his work computer, but also, how regularly he was typing. His company’s rationale was that the added surveillance measures placed on their employees was necessary to ensure the company could function in the long term, that excessive monitoring would be a temporary measure that would keep the company afloat. Indeed, his company was one of many that had invested in tracking technologies designed to closely monitor and analyse the behaviour of their employees.Related... Opinion: Boris Johnson's Obsession With Office Working Punishes Disabled Workers Like Me 'Proper Bants'? This Ad Seriously Overestimates Our Love For The Office Since the start of the pandemic, tech companies such as InterGuard, Hubstaff and Vericlock – just some of the software than can track everything from the amount of hours one spends on a laptop, to the type of content they are viewing and how long they spend on specific websites – have all seen sales increases.  Until recently, even widely used platforms like Zoom had functions where bosses could check on their employees without them being aware, and functions that would demand their attention at a whim. Though online privacy advocates and some professional business bodies have warned that such monitoring technology might have a detrimental effect on productivity, while also causing employees to distrust their bosses, this hasn’t dissuaded some companies from investing in software so complex that it not only tracks how long one of their employees is online, but also, how often they are actually looking at their computer screen. To my friend, much like other employees, this is now a normal part of work. But, the increase in employee surveillance around the world brings with it more urgent questions as we imagine what work in a post-covid world might look like: Namely, do the benefits of working from home, being relieved of cramped commutings and store-bought sandwiches, outweigh the costs of further intrusion, surveillance, and the sacrifice of even more privacy?The introduction of these complex monitoring tools are relatively new in white-collar working environments, where monitoring often takes place within the office’s network itself. Where monitoring software like keyloggers and facial recognition tracers might feel like a novelty, it’s in lower-paid work where we can see the effects of persistent monitoring. In some restaurants, for example, the New York Times reports that spyware that had been supposedly designed to track theft is often used to track the “productivity” of wait staff based on their physical movements between the kitchen and dining areas. In China, some construction companies are reportedly making workers wear wristbands that can detect fatigue based on brainwaves and a pulse – using this data to decide how many breaks workers are allowed, or, if they are deemed too “unproductive” to be kept onto the workforce. It’s not just in productivity, where software companies have benefitted from creating spyware, though. A recent VICE investigation found that corporations like Amazon had used spyware to find and access private groups on Facebook where warehouse staff, delivery drivers and other low-wage contractors communicated with each other. Rather than being novel, this was just another example of Amazon leveraging surveillance technology to monitor its workers, alongside software that, while designed to “maintain social distancing” has received backlash from its own workers on the basis that it was actually being used to force workers to fulfil their quotas, and prevent them from even taking toilet breaks. We should remember the aspects of office life that have been primary causes of anxiety and stress can easily be replicated in our home environments too – only this time, it will be far more difficult to switch off.The civilian surveillance technology industry is one of the most lucrative in the world, and as the pandemic has gone on, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with no signs of slowing any time soon. Part of that may very well be offices trying to adjust to remote working at short notice. But, as a New York Times investigation showed earlier this year, the valuable element of surveillance software isn’t the ability to co-ordinate teams or help people be more productive at work. Rather, it is the extraction of even more data, that can be sold and distributed to other technology companies building surveillance software. The Times’ investigation showed that even the most basic software was able to track everything from GPS coordinates to the general trends of an individual’s browsing histories – which could be used to paint a picture of what kind of worker someone was, and, by extension, how “valuable” they might be to a company in the future. Though users could “game” the software – by using Virtual Private Networks to mask their locations, or using different computers while working from home, the purpose of the spyware wasn’t just to keep employees focussed on a particular task, but rather, to assess how “disposable” they are.As the British government is encouraging people to return to their offices, in spite of the health risks associated with urban commuting and working, it also faces a public that have not only grown more accustomed to working from home, but have also experienced health benefits from doing so. This should be welcomed. But we should also remember that the aspects of office life that have been primary causes of anxiety and stress, can easily be replicated in our home environments too – only this time, it will be far more difficult to switch off. Hussein Kesvani is UK and Europe editor of MEL magazine and author of Follow Me, Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims.Related... Opinion: Boris Johnson's Obsession With Office Working Punishes Disabled Workers Like Me Women Who Started A Business During Lockdown On How They Made It Work 5 Fibs You Were Told This Week By Politicians, Pollsters And, Er, David Icke Priti Patel Complains About ‘Activist Lawyers’ Attempting To Halt Deportation Of Migrants
8
Image: MSI MSI is best known for its gaming laptops, but today, it’s announcing a new business line for remote professionals. The line includes the Summit E series and the Summit B series, each with 14- and 15-inch models, along with the 13-inch convertible E13 Flip. There’s no word on pricing or availability for the Summit line yet, but they certainly look like high-end models. The chassis are aluminum, with thin bezels and what MSI calls “military-grade durability.” Image: MSI Both series have some other nice features as well. The big news is that they’re powered by Intel’s new 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” processors and support the company’s new Thunderbolt 4 standard as well. The E series looks to be geared more toward creative... Continue reading…
1
As companies muscle through on-going economic and logistical shifts, many are recognizing the need for more robust and flexible mobile PC solutions to empower their remote workers.The changes have ushered in a need to get more out of a business notebook. With breakthrough performance, long-lasting battery life, and an array of professional manageability features that help enable secure and productive remote work without draining IT resources,  AMD Ryzen™ PRO 4000 series processors are defining a new standard for modern business PCs. These processors provide organizations with enterprise-grade computing horsepower in a sleek, mobile form factor, eliminating the need to choose between the flexibility of a laptop or desktop-grade performance.To read this article in full, please click here
1
Sponsored
Adopting remote support solutions rather than investing in an in-house IT department can help small businesses to save on critical resources such as time, money, and physical space.However, the benefits of remote desktop support are not always immediately evident, leading to a mistaken impression that in-person solutions are the best approach.Rather than waiting for a technician to arrive on scene or compile secondhand data on the problem, this professional can immediately access the system, evaluate the problem, and begin repairs.Benefit 2: Cost-Effective PricingCreating the space and investing in the team members necessary to establish an in-house IT department can be very expensive, particularly for budget-conscious small businesses.That lower fee, plus the fact that small businesses do not have to purchase any specialized hardware, or, in most cases, software, creates valuable cost savings.Benefit 3: Remote Work EnablementWith the growth of remote work in response to the global pandemic, more and more employees are working from, and requiring support from, home.Traditional IT services would struggle to provide meaningful technological support to remote workers, considering the far-flung nature of these workers and the cost and time required to travel to individual home offices and workspaces.These interruptions can lead to frustration, decreased productivity, and a sense of lost privacy for the employee.Remote support, on the other hand, can work discreetly and non-intrusively to resolve and prevent IT issues.
3
Sponsored
Yet despite having the ability to hire talent without being limited by geographic location, many still avoid engaging remote workers for their business activities.It may be you just find an office-based environment easier to control.While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional cubicle, you’ll end up missing out on the advantages that come with hiring remote workers.These include increased job satisfaction, higher revenue, and greater performance, among others.Don’t let misconceptions lead you to believe that managing a team that’s spread out across the globe is a bad thing.Read on and you may soon realise that much of what you thought you knew about remote work is actually untrue.What’s the Truth About Managing Remote Teams?Myth 1: You can’t foster an influential cultureThe assumption is that culture has to do with free snacks and other cool perks, but that’s off the mark.These same employees serve as the foundation for the success of your business.Fostering a strong culture takes a lot of effort but the following methods help:Create a ‘culture deck’ that visually communicates your mission, vision, and values along with expected behaviours.Hold video or voice meetings regularly to allow colleagues to connect with each other and strengthen their bonds.Be transparent, fair, and respectful as a leader so everyone develops trust in you as they follow your example.When all members are in sync, it’s easier for your work culture to take root and grow.Myth 2: You won’t find anyone skilled enoughIf you think that virtual workers are those who couldn’t qualify for a top position in a formal office, think again.Learn to determine who these resilient and confident people are among the sea of candidates.Hiring the right individuals spells the difference between a good team and a great one too.
Sponsored
This variety allows you to break up your week and enjoy some socializing.There are plenty of awesome places to bring your work to, and they’re not limited to overcrowded coffee shops either.Consider These 9 Alternatives to Your Typical CafesLibrariesThese are ideal spots for getting serious work done, especially if your job doesn’t involve making phone calls.By signing up as a library member, you get to support your community and enjoy free internet connectivity among other amenities.If public libraries are too rowdy for your tastes, look up privately-owned facilities open to the public or neighborhood reading centers.You’ll have to pay a small fee for the upkeep but it’ll still be less than paying for a coworking space.MallsWhile they’re packed with people, they serve as good locations for working online, as long as you get over the noise and distractions.Bigger chain stores offer free Wi-Fi too, although the speed leaves much to be desired during peak hours.They offer the same benefits as a coffee shop minus the hordes of remote workers at that.Plus you won’t have to go anywhere else to eat.Coworking SpacesThere are numerous pros to joining a coworking space as we’ve covered in this previous article.
Asana, the productivity startup that filed to go public on Monday, is building a new corporate headquarters in San Francisco, and entered into a $40 million loan agreement from Silicon Valley Bank for its construction. The new HQ is a 12-story, 265,890 square foot building near Second Street in San Francisco, and Asana signed the lease in February 2019.  The company has started construction on the building and expects to start occupying it and paying rent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, which is February 2021. Like most other tech companies, Asana has temporarily closed its offices and asked employees to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a cloud software company focused on productivity, it's tools are uniquely positioned to help enable remote work. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories The coronavirus outbreak has driven Silicon Valley employees out of their offices and into the new world of remote work, as tech companies figure out the future of the workplace.  But Asana, the maker of project collaboration software that remote workers are increasingly turning to, is betting that the office isn't going away. The company disclosed on Monday that it got a $40 million loan in April for construction of its San Francisco headquarters. Asana, which filed paperwork to go public on Monday, disclosed the loan from Silicon Valley Bank in its S-1 filing.  The lease agreement for the new HQ was signed in February 2019 and located at 633 Folsom St, a 12-story, 265,890 square foot building near Second Street in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, as first reported by the SF Chronicle. In its S-1 paperwork for its planned direct listing, Asana said the lease started in May, and the company expects to start occupying it and paying rent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, which is February 2021. Asana says it has started construction on the space. The lease ends in October 2033.  Asana, like most other tech companies has temporarily closed its offices and asked employees to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a cloud software company focused on productivity, its tools are uniquely positioned to help enable remote work, which the company touts in its paperwork to go public.  However, unlike other software companies that enable remote work, like Slack and Box, Asana hasn't announced formal plans to give employees more remote work options even after the pandemic ends. That might have something to do with its pre-existing plans for a new HQ. The $40 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank is meant to to be used for the construction of the new HQ, according to Asana's S-1.  Asana says it expects to incur a minimum of $475 million in costs associated with the lease, plus another $3.9 million because in April 2020, it added more space and amended the lease.  Asana had 701 employees as of January 31, 2020, growing its headcount 65% in a single year. It expects to continue hiring more employees, and it also has outposts around the world in cities like London, Munich, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, and Vancouver. The new HQ can house up to 1,500 employees, according to the SF Chronicle.  "We intend to procure additional space in the future as we continue to add employees and expand geographically," Asana wrote in its S-1. "We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs and that, should it be needed, suitable additional or alternative space will be available to accommodate our operations." Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected] or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why American sunscreens may not be protecting you as much as European sunscreens
Cybersecurity has faced a shortage of tech talent for years, making its jobs market especially attractive.  Last year, Silicon Valley's Palo Alto Networks was named the highest-paying company, setting a standard for security companies.  Even non-tech roles in cybersecurity, such as marketing, can offer salaries of up to $300,000, data shows.   Here's a sampling of what Palo Alto Networks, Okta, FireEye, Trend Micro, McAfee, Netskope, CrowdStrike, and Cloudflare pay new hires, based on disclosure data for permanent and temporary workers filed with the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification in 2019. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. There are 350,000 cybersecurity job listings on LinkedIn, according to a recent study. And in a country with 10% unemployment, the Commerce Department has launched a project not to create cybersecurity jobs, but to fill them. Simple supply and demand would then suggest that the pay for cybersecurity professionals would be pretty good. And recent statistics from the federal government back that up. Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification's 2020 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out what eight major players in cybersecurity — Palo Alto Networks, Okta, FireEye, Trend Micro, McAfee, Netskope, CrowdStrike, and Cloudflare — pay tech talent in key roles including engineers, developers and data scientists. Companies are required to disclose information, such as salary (or, sometimes salary range), when they hire foreign workers under the H1-B visa program, giving insight into what these major companies are willing to shell out for talent. Palo Alto Networks, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm of around 7,000, was named the best-paying company among all industries in a ranking last year, and that sets the standard for cybersecurity. One interesting thing to note in this sampling of salaries – especially as remote work continues – is the fluctuation in pay for similar roles in different states. An engineer in Georgia could make up to $100,000 less than one in California, according to the data reviewed by Business Insider – a savings companies are increasingly investigating.  All companies named in this story declined to comment, with the exception of CrowdStrike. You can read CrowdStrike’s statement below. Here's how much these top cybersecurity technology companies paid employees hired in 2020:Palo Alto Networks hired a VP of Americas field marketing for $300,000. Named the best-paying company in a Glassdoor ranking last year, Palo Alto Networks specializes in creating security systems for companies and organizations to prevent cyberattacks. Palo Alto Networks earned the top spot in that ranking with a median total salary of $170,929. The company bills itself as "the world's largest cybersecurity company," with 70,000 customers and revenue in fiscal year 2019 of $2.9 billion. At the time of writing, its market cap is at about $26 billion. Here are some recent Palo Alto Networks hires based on 120 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Vice president, Americas field marketing (California): $300,000 Director of product marketing (California): $213,200 Principal software engineer: $200,000 Senior software engineer: $180,000 Data scientist (California): $125,000 Technical support engineer (Texas): $87,250    Okta hired a chief security officer with a salary range of $241,696 to $350,000. Okta, a $26 billion San Francisco identity and access management company, has seen its stock double during the COVID-19 pandemic as the identity-security sector booms during remote work. The company applies its multi-factor authentication tools to help the IT department make sure that the right employees have access to the right applications and data. Cofounder Frederic Kerrest recently told Business Insider his strategy for hiring during the economic downturn: "Keep your eyes open for strong talent hit by hard circumstances. Anyone who's worked at a company that's gone through COVID-19-related layoffs knows even your hardest-working or smartest employees can't always stay with the business in a tough economic climate." "While this is unfortunate, it means more talented people are looking for jobs right now and if you're building a team, you can offer them an entrepreneurial opportunity."  Here are some recent Okta hires based on 75 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Chief security officer (California): $241,696-$350,000 Software engineer (California): $196,300-$239,900 Manager, quality assurance: $165,027-$200,100 Salesforce engineer (Georgia): $121,077-$127,900 Software engineer (Washington): $107,100-$130,900 McAfee hired a director of security operations with a salary between $186,493 and $255,500. McAfee is one of the largest pure-play cybersecurity companies remaining, as big multi-faceted companies like Microsoft and smaller startups begin to dominate the industry. McAfee splits its roughly 7,000 employees mostly between two main locations – one in Silicon Valley, and the other in Texas. Chief People Officer Chatelle Lynch believes the many openings in cybersecurity make it a hot job market even for candidates who lack training, and McAfee currently has 200 job openings.  Here are some recent McAfee hires based on 27 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Director of security operations (Texas): $186,493-$255,500 Manager of software engineering (California): $154,669-$256,000 Manager of marketing communications (California): $126,568-$199,000 Application developer (California): $108,784-$193,500 Software engineer (California): $97,302-$168,500  Netskope hired a software engineer, level IV with a salary between $185,000 and $215,000. $3 billion Netskope, which helps companies monitor and secure how their employees are using cloud software, joined three publicly traded companies in a "cloud security alliance" in June – in what amounted to a challenge of the biggest firms, including Microsoft. That should give some kind of signal on Netskope's ambitions in the cybersecurity space. Records show the company is investing in engineering talent, with pay for its top engineering job at around $200,000. Here are some recent Netskope hires based on 32 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Software engineer IV (California): $185,000-$215,000 Software engineer III (California): $135,000-$170,000 Software engineer II (California): $108,784-$135,000 IT project manager II (California): $98,961-$115,000 Business operations technical analyst II (California): $72,280-$95,000 Cloudflare hired a customer success engineer at a salary range between $100,000 and $110,000. Cloudflare has boomed during the hybrid work movement, which it met with a coworking project to help struggling businesses. The 1,200-person company, which focuses on security and internet performance,  has "been building up those ideas together – performance and security. And now, all of that is coming together," analyst Jonathan Penn told Business Insider earlier this year. Cloudflare stock has more than doubled this year, giving it a valuation of $12 billion, and the company's success is resulting in growth. The company has around 200 open jobs on its careers site, and doubled its intern class this year.   Here are some recent Cloudflare hires based on 12 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Systems reliability engineer (California): $155,000-$175,000 Systems engineer (Illinois): $130,000-$150,000 Solutions engineer (New York): $120,000-$130,000 Customer success engineer (California): $100,000-$110,000 Market research analyst (California): $90,000-$110,000 CrowdStrike hired a senior software engineer with a salary of $200,000. CrowdStrike turned a profit for the first time in Q1, and the threat-hunting company – which proactively looks for issues on networks and employees' computers – has seen its stock double this year. The Silicon Valley firm lists more than 200 job openings on its careers site in more than a dozen countries. Records show it has hired mostly engineers. Asked about the $200,000 salary for an engineer shown in the records, JC Herrera, chief human resources officer at CrowdStrike, said: "Yes, we definitely see pay for engineers in cybersecurity reach that level, especially for more senior roles and especially in the [San Francisco] Bay Area and other tech hot spots. In our experience, good engineers will always see healthy salaries. For us, we've had a record number of accepted offers, and applications have been up during COVID-19. We are continuing to hire." Here are some recent CrowdStrike hires based on 13 approved visa applications, and how much they're paid: Senior software engineer (California): $200,000 Engineering manager (Washington): $185,000  Data integration architect (California): $170,000 Director of corporate events (New York): $146,000 FireEye hired a director of engineering at a salary range of between $212,000 and $316,100. Famous for its investigations of nation-state hacking, Silicon Valley company FireEye has grown quickly since its 2004 founding to around 3,400 employees. FireEye sells cybersecurity products for enterprise networks, email and endpoints, such as laptops and mobile devices. It also provides consulting services and threat intelligence – both of which are labor-intensive. Here are some recent FireEye hires based on 31 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Director of engineering (California): $212,000-$316,100 Principal engineer (California): $166,700-$271,600 Senior business analyst (California): $140,900-$200,700 Staff systems engineer (Virginia): $129,000-$178,000 Financial planning analyst (California): $92,000-$109,600 Trend Micro hired a business process analyst for a salary range of between $72,000 and $97,324. Trend Micro has over 6,700 employees in 65 countries, and has expanded its global reach over its 30-year history. It has a broad array of products, from enterprise products for large companies and government organizations to cloud computing security to research of cyberattacks, and consumer products. That "cross-generational blend of threat-defense techniques," as the company describes its products and services, means a need for lots of tech talent.  Here are some recent Trend Micro hires based on 23 approved visa applications and how much they're paid: Manager, business development (New York): $150,000  Senior software engineer (Texas): $110,000-$130,000 Customer service manager (Texas): $96,470-$100,000 Customer service engineer (Texas): $79,560-$81,600 Business process analyst (Texas): $72,000-$97,324    
A new poll of 800 businesses found 94% embraced some aspect of a new approach to cybersecurity that constantly authenticates users.  But many also have run into funding challenges as they try to expand cybersecurity tools to protect remote workers.  This may provide a real opportunity and challenge for Microsoft, analysts believe.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Microsoft poll finds businesses embraces 'zero trust' security in pandemic, but must cut cybersecurity costs The pandemic has created a challenging situation for many companies, wherein they simultaneously need to beef up their cybersecurity practices to accomodate the shift to remote work while also keeping costs in check as an uncertain economy shrinks budgets.  Businesses have embraced "zero trust" cybersecurity and broadly adopted multi-factor authentication, according to findings from a recent Microsoft poll, but many are running into budget constraints as they look to go all-in on cloud-based security. Zero trust cybersecurity is so-named because it "trusts" no one in the company – not the CEO or head of IT – to stay signed into the system. Instead, users are continually authenticated with texts, pings, and biometrics like fingerprints. The approach has allowed companies to ensure that the users on its networks are indeed their employees – not someone who simply acquired log-in credentials. But zero trust also requires limiting all access to data to only those who need it at the moment, and constantly hunting for threats – and those are more expensive areas. The survey — which polled nearly 800 business leaders of companies of more than 500 employees in India, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the US — found that 94% of companies say they are in the process of deploying new zero trust capabilities to some extent. And while more than half of the business leaders (58%) reported budget increases for security and 65% for compliance, 81% also reported feeling pressure to lower overall security costs. That may play into Microsoft's approach of offering integrated cybersecurity, coworking, and cloud-computing solutions, since it can offer a cheaper combined cost than many companies could get from multiple vendors.  Microsoft has hired a new cybersecurity vice president who is also chief marketing officer for security, compliance and identity, reporting to the CEO and other top executives. Vasu Jakkal,  former chief marketing officer of FireEye, says Microsoft is doubling down on zero trust and looking to integrate cybersecurity solutions for companies on a budget. That is a big play with lots of potential, analysts say, but also may not be easy. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
The Lenovo 10QXPAR1US will bring a smile to the faces of remote workers.
1
With the pandemic still surging, your business has almost assuredly shifted toward remote work. Indicators show that this could well become the new normal, but does your organization have the right tools and hardware to accommodate this seismic shift without cutting into worker productivity?Even before COVID-19, IDC research showed that 62% of organizations surveyed had started allowing flexibility when it comes to remote work. This spring, everything changed when the pandemic triggered a near-global work-from-home mandate in near real time.To read this article in full, please click here
Omnipresent, a platform providing a "one stop shop" for remote employment, has raised $2 million in seed funding from investors including Playfair Capital and Episode 1. It plans to use the money to quadruple the amount of countries it operates in to 80 by the end of 2020. Omnipresent set out to raise in March and closed within six weeks, as investors looked to take advantage of the long-term shift towards remote working.  We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck Omnipresent used to bring investors on board.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Omnipresent, a "one stop shop" for remote employment, has raised a $2 million seed round led by investors Playfair Capital and Episode 1. The pandemic is creating a long-term shift towards flexible working that is likely to mean many more small-and-medium-sized businesses need to navigate employment relationships with remote workers across multiple jurisdictions.  Omnipresent helps these companies sort out payroll, taxes, and benefits, as well as employment contracts for their remote workforce. "Running a global business, one that spans multiple different geographies and jurisdictions, is a real bureaucratic mess," cofounder Matthew Wilson told Business Insider. "We're cutting away all that complexity for our customers using a combination of legal, operational, and financial infrastructure, in addition to an end-to-end software platform." Cofounders Wilson and Guenther Eisinger, an ex-Austrian special forces agent, started Omnipresent after meeting through startup accelerator Entrepreneur First in November 2019.  They set out to raise the $2 million seed round remotely in March just as countries went into lockdown, after raising a pre-seed round from Entrepreneur First in January. High investor interest meant they closed in just six weeks. "We were really convinced that there was going to be this longer-term shift towards remote working [because of] some of the macro trends around the increased competition for talent in the tech centers and the increased quality of communication and ways of working for remote teams," says Wilson. But, shifts in working behaviour from COVID-19 have turbocharged the startup's growth. Wilson adds: "It's obviously been massively accelerated over the last few months with a huge behavioral shift being forced on a lot of companies." The money from the seed round will be used to quadruple the number of countries the startup operates in to 80 by the end of 2020, giving it "almost twice as much coverage" as the other players in the space, says Wilson. Omnipresent is a more affordable option than incumbent employment infrastructure platform, and a more complete offering than other startups that have emerged this year, he adds. Here's the (redacted) pitch deck that Omnipresent used to bring new investors on board: Omnipresent Omnipresent Omnipresent Omnipresent Omnipresent Omnipresent Omnipresent
The day I announced to our team that we would be closing our offices indefinitely in response to rising COVID-19 case counts and government mandates was surreal, to say the least.  We were lucky enough to already have a remote infrastructure in place, and while our core team operated out of our Chicago headquarters, I made sure to get in touch with our dispersed colleagues as well. Our remote workers in Dallas wanted to know how Chicago’s situation compared to theirs; our employees in Dubai and India wondered how our situation compared to theirs, and how high caseloads would rise in… This story continues at The Next Web
Over the past half century, workers' wages have stagnated, their rights have been eroded, and whistleblowers have faced frequent retaliation for calling attention to the problems. But in the tech industry, a new alliance of workers from warehouses to cubicles — bolstered by the pandemic and anti-racism protests — is speaking with a louder and more unified voice than ever. They're demanding everything from better pay and workplace protections to a bigger say over how the products they build are designed and put to use. Business Insider spoke to 14 tech organizers and labor experts about what obstacles the movement faces as well as the changes they'd like to see in American workplaces to empower workers once again. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. All is not well for workers in Silicon Valley. Amid a devastating pandemic that has left millions of Americans jobless, the four largest US tech companies blew past Wall Street's expectations, reporting quarterly earnings that pushed their combined net worth past $5 trillion and boosted their CEOs' personal fortunes by billions. But as the tech industry soared to unprecedented heights, many of the workers fueling its rise have seen their wages and benefits stagnate, grueling job environments have become more dangerous, and efforts to call attention to workplace inequities have been met with retaliation. Despite this, the tide is shifting. Last week, the top executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google faced a grilling from lawmakers that focused on their companies' outsized power. Over the past few years, the experiences of rank-and-file employees have become increasingly at odds with those of the wealthy executives at the top — both on the job and in how they see their employers' impact on society. Bolstered by the pandemic and sweeping protests against systemic racism, tech workers from warehouses to corporate office buildings have been speaking up with a unified voice for the first time. Their demands: Better pay, benefits, and working conditions. But there's a broader agenda in place. They want to shift the balance of power at their organizations so they can have more control over how their work gets done, how products are built, and who their companies do business with. And now they're inspiring others across the country to do the same at their own workplaces. Business Insider spoke with 14 tech organizers and labor experts who said the industry has reached an inflection point and that things aren't going back to the way they were before. Here are their thoughts on how to empower workers once again and the obstacles that still lie ahead. Chris Smalls — organizer and former Amazon warehouse worker What's the biggest obstacle workers face: Smalls said Amazon and other companies' self-interest and antagonism toward workers continues to jeopardize their safety. "Everything [Amazon's] doing doesn't benefit the employees, everything they're doing benefits the company and the company only," he said adding that companies like Amazon "smear the lower class people, they intimidate the working class people." How can we improve American workplaces: Amazon needs to be taxed and workers need better pay, Smalls said. "You're telling me at $25 an hour I'm working for the richest man in the world and I'm capped out," he said, referring to the salary limit he hit after five years with the company. What organizers should focus on now: "What we need is for the families who actually lost somebody [to COVID-19] to actually come out to the public," Smalls said. Concerns about coronavirus exposure were raised as early as March and he said Amazon's response fell short. "This could have been prevented ... somebody needs to be held accountable." Oriana Leckert — former Kickstarter outreach team member and organizer for the Kickstarter United employee union What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "There's a strain of individualism that runs through tech for sure, Leckert said. Convincing workers who have good jobs now to organize on behalf of their coworkers — and their future selves — can be challenging at times, she said. How can we improve American workplaces: Leckert said companies should start "listening to workers and giving the people who are doing the work some more influence over how and when and why the work gets done." Executives should trust their employees to have good ideas instead of dictating everything via "opaque, top-down hierarchical management," she said. What organizers should focus on now: "Talk to everybody in your workplace, talk to everybody outside of your workplace. Get advice from other folks," Leckert said. "There are lots of people who are having a struggle at the same time and who have done it before," she said, and people looking to organize at their workplaces can learn from others' efforts. Grace Reckers — organizer at the Office and Professional Employees International Union What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "The lack of hardened geographic bounds is an important component of the tech organizing movement, and it mirrors the structures of the tech companies themselves," Reckers said. "Unlike nurse unions that represent RNs in a few distinct hospitals, typically in one region or city, organizers in the tech industry have to take into account the growing number of remote workers, international employees, contract workers, and vendors that are all affiliated with their companies." How can we improve American workplaces: "The biggest change I would like to see is for workers to have unobstructed rights to form unions at their workplaces," she said. "Employers need to be swiftly disciplined and employees need to be reinstated when organizers are fired in retaliation for their union activity. I also believe that the amount of money companies spend on anti-union consultants and 'union avoidance' law firms should be publicized, called out, and eventually redistributed to workers' paychecks." What organizers should focus on now: "Going forward, I imagine that the remnants of these fears around job security will remain for a lot of workers in the tech industry. My hope is that employees will continue to organize around these issues and recognize that as long as you are an at-will employee, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all—without any guarantee of severance pay or continued healthcare coverage. It's only with a union contract that workers have the right to negotiate terminations and the safety nets that come with them." Laurence Berland — organizer and former Google engineer What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "In the pandemic, with so many out of work, a lot of people might have the attitude they are lucky to even have a job," Berland said. "But workers should remember that despite high unemployment, their experience and institutional knowledge is valuable, and not so easily replaced by a new hire, especially if they act collectively." How can we improve American workplaces: Berland said people need to fight for coworkers "across class and roles," especially those who have to work in person or whose jobs are jeopardized by the remote work surge during the pandemic. "Workers who are able to work from home need to fight for those workers and stand in solidarity with them," he said. What organizers should focus on now: "Make those connections with the most vulnerable workers — the Black and Brown essential workers, the unemployed service workers. Ask them what you can do to be a part of what they need," Berland said. "They know what they need and if you are genuinely showing up for them, they will tell you exactly what they need. Listen to them." Jacinta Gonzalez — organizer at Mijente What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Office tech workers are recognizing that their technologies are inherently political and are never 'race neutral,'" Gonzalez said, pointing to the growing surveillance state and "the insidious relationship between tech corporations and law enforcement." Gonzalez said that at companies like Google and Microsoft, "tech workers have made clear demands that all contracts with law enforcement be dropped, a necessary and long overdue step." How can we improve American workplaces: Gonzalez said that "while office tech workers today may not be underpaid, they are recognizing that the cushy benefits they currently receive does not mean they have a voice in the types of technologies and contracts their companies engage with, even if workers recognize that their technologies are harmful." She added that giving workers more power would create "more accountability within the companies creating the technologies that are actively harming Black and Brown communities."  What organizers should focus on now: "The revolving door between government contractors and corporations must end and the curtain must be pulled back to reveal the full impacts of the growing surveillance state," she said. "As Naomi Klein said on a recent Mijente panel with Edward Snowden, we have a right to live illegible lives. It is time for technology to be transparent, human focused and end the growing surveillance and ownership of our data."  Wesley McEnany — organizer at the Service Employees International Union Local 1984 What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Workers are seeing the use of their labor for immoral or unethical reasons as cause to organize because these issues are fundamentally working conditions as much as wages or benefits are," McEnany said. "These are also workers, especially at the big 5, who potentially hold a lot of structural power." How can we improve American workplaces: "Tech companies have a serious responsibility to end systemic and structural racism. They are uniquely positioned to use technology for good and lead on issues of diversity and inclusion." What organizers should focus on now: To make money, tech firms are incentivized to "take on nefarious projects, whether it's facial recognition software for oppressed governmental agencies or upgrading the technological infrastructure of local police departments surveilling Black Lives Matter activists," McEnany said. "[Tech companies] aren't going to be moral institutions without worker input." Dania Rajendra — director of Athena, a coalition of activists and Amazon workers What's the biggest obstacle workers face: The "sheer size and utter disregard for transparency or accountability" of companies like Amazon lets them get away with mistreating workers, Rajendra said. "Amazon's outsized power and its impunity about wielding it is the obstacle." How can we improve American workplaces: Rajendra said she'd like to see "more elected officials — at every level — start to use their investigative and regulatory power to prioritize everyday people." She pointed to France, where a court ruled in April that Amazon wasn't doing enough to protect workers and would have to shut down or take stronger precautions. What organizers should focus on now: "We'll continue to see more bridges built between the issues workers deal with on the job and the issues people — including those very same workers — deal with in their communities," Rajendra said. "Both COVID and the uprising [against systemic racism] expose the fact that the risks working people face on the job don't just end at the warehouse exits." Ben Gwin — data analyst at HCL Technologies and organizer for the United HCL Workers of Pittsburgh What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Corporate-friendly labor laws," Gwin said. "Companies would rather pay lawyers and union busters, break the law, and pay a fine than honor workers' rights to organize and bargain in good faith." How can we improve American workplaces: "Medicare for All," Gwin said. Nearly half of Americans get health insurance through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the pandemic has shown gaping flaws in the US' approach. A study from Health Management Associates said 35 million could lose coverage due to layoffs. What organizers should focus on now: Gwin said a change in the White House is needed before things improve for workers. Under Trump, the National Labor Relations Board, the top federal agency tasked with protecting workers, "is awful, and we need at least nominally pro-labor appointees in there," he added. Nicole Moore — Lyft driver and volunteer organizer for Rideshare Drivers United What's the biggest obstacle workers face: For gig workers, Moore said the biggest challenge is not having the same rights and labor protections as employees. "If we want safe industries where people aren't dying to put a box on your porch, people aren't becoming homeless as they buy a new car so they can drive you and anybody else with an app around, then we have to put these basic things in place," she said. How can we improve American workplaces: "We need to see a reform of labor law that makes that easier for groups of workers to organize," Moore said. Workers should be able to band together to negotiate contracts that guarantee fair wages, she said, "so that when you wake up in the morning, you know what kind of money you're going to make, it's not going to change overnight." What organizers should focus on now: Moore said she's focused on getting "fair pay and a voice on the job, more PPE for drivers, and "somebody in the White House who actually is going to have a Labor Department that's worried about the welfare of workers, not just how much profit companies can make off of them." Y-Vonne Hutchinson — CEO and founder of ReadySet and cofounder of Black Tech For Black LIves What's the biggest obstacle workers face: While "a lot of people are waking up to the reality of racism in the tech sector and racism in this country," said Hutchinson, "there are still people who are invested in keeping things the same who are going to push back, and we have to be prepared to face those people." How can we improve American workplaces: "When it comes to anti-racism, we do need to hold people accountable," Hutchinson said. "People don't change their behavior if they're not incentivized to change their behavior." She said employees who serve on diversity and inclusion committees and managers who hire, promote, or mentor diverse workers should be rewarded, not forced to sacrifice their work toward these goals in order to accomplish others. What organizers should focus on now: Within tech, Hutchinson said Black Tech For Black Lives wants to "make sure that Black people are hired and promoted and supported and really able to thrive" in a way she said hasn't happened so far, even as companies have said they want more diversity and inclusion. Steve Smith — communications director at the California Labor Federation What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Tech CEOs have become very adept at employing anti-union strategies to crush organizing," Smith said. While executives' opposition to unions isn't new, Smith said the difference now is that tech companies have "some of the wealthiest and most powerful CEOs on the planet with vast resources to fight organizing at their disposal." How can we improve American workplaces: Companies need to follow existing labor laws, Smith said. "Provide workers with the basic protections and pay they deserve." What organizers should focus on now: Smith, who works closely with rideshare and food delivery drivers, said they're focused on defeating Proposition 22, a California ballot measure backed by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates, that would permanently make drivers independent contractors. If it passes, Smith said it will hurt drivers "who have few basic protections" as well as "small businesses who are at a competitive advantage when these large tech companies cheat the system." Erin Hatton — associate professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Labor movements — like all social movements — require an incredible amount of work," Hatton said. Keeping up the momentum while trying to support families, survive a pandemic, and fight for civil rights will be "a Herculean task" for workers, she said. How can we improve American workplaces: Hatton said "all workers who perform labor from which others profit" should be covered by all labor and employment laws, not be forced to work in unsafe work environments, and should be protected from "coercion and abuse" by their employers. That includes diverse groups such as "Uber drivers, student athletes, incarcerated workers, graduate students, Instacart drivers, meatpacking workers, grocery store workers, and doctors and nurses," she said. What organizers should focus on now: Worker rights as well as basic civil rights for Black people, immigrants, and transgender people should be top priorities, Hatton said. "As a country, as a democracy, and as an economy, we are only as strong as our most vulnerable population." Clair Brown — professor of economics at the University of California Berkeley What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Right now the problem is at the national level," Brown said. "The Department of Labor was set up to speak for workers, to protect workers, to represent workers. And right now it doesn't. Right now, it really represents employers under Trump." How can we improve American workplaces: Brown said unemployment programs in the US should look more like those in Europe, which "focus less on payments directly to individuals once they're thrown out of work" and instead on "how can we actually pay to keep them on the job." What organizers should focus on now: "We have to get back to this question of: 'what kind of social safety net do we want to provide people in the United States?'" Brown said workers who are laid off or can't work have no way to "just basically get through life, pay their mortgage or their rent, pay their health insurance, pay their kids' bills." Tom Kochan — professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology What's the biggest obstacle workers face: "Employer opposition, and that hasn't changed at all," Kochan said. "Any employer that wants to defeat a union organizing campaign can do so because the penalties are so weak and so slow to be enforced." How can we improve American workplaces: "We have to open up our labor law to new forms" in order to give workers more voice, Kochan said. That could include creating works councils or putting rank-and-file employees on corporate boards, "not to control it, but to bring a worker's perspective to these issues and the knowledge and the information that workers can bring." What organizers should focus on now: Kochan said the upcoming election will have huge implications for workers. "If we get a change in government, both in the presidency and in the Congress, then we are going to see a massive debate around the future of work and how we learn from this crisis and fill the holes in the safety net that have been temporarily filled."
Many companies are deciding to give employees more permanent remote work options even after the pandemic ends, which requires having a consistent culture whether employees are in an office or distributed.  Michael Pryor, the cofounder and head of Trello, which Atlassian acquired in 2017, has been managing a team that's 80% remote for the last nine years, and offers advice for how to make it work.  He says executives need focus on three things: Being deliberate about the tools their employees use, setting clear guidelines for how those tools should be used, and making sure those rules establish a culture of trust within the company.  Click here to read more BI Prime stories.  As the coronavirus pandemic has shown that companies can be successful even when all employees are remote, many businesses are rethinking the future of work. Tech companies like Slack, Box, Facebook, and Twitter are among those planning to offer more permanent remote work options for employees even after the crisis ends.  Many executives are envisioning a future with both office workers and remote workers, which gives employees more flexibility. However, that system may also require a culture shift within the company to make sure that all employees have a level playing field. Michael Pryor, the cofounder and head of Trello, which Atlassian acquired in 2017, has been managing a team that's 80% remote for the last nine years. He says executives need to do three things when managing a distributed team: Be deliberate about the tools their employees use, set guidelines for how those tools should be used, and make sure those rules establish a culture of trust within the company.  "The future is now — it was like the pandemic just said, 'Everyone just got pushed into this new reality,'" Pryor told Business Insider. "I think that what people are realizing is that the tools have gotten so good and that there's a lot of benefits from people being flexible about how they're engaged."  Choosing tools that enable "asynchronous" work and setting guidelines for using them Choosing tools that allow people to collaborate while not needing to be in the same time zone or in the same office is key, Pryor said. That includes communication tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, cloud based file sharing like Dropbox, and project management tools like his own Trello.  However, just having the tools isn't enough. Managers have to set guidelines for expected employee behavior and how each tool should be used. For example, setting best-practices for when people can expect to reach others on Slack, so people can maintain a work-life balance, or establishing rules for what types of communication is meant for email versus chat apps versus video chat.  "Those rituals that we used to have that happened in place in physical offices, you need to create similar things that accomplish the same goals, but now using digital tools," Pryor said. For example, Pryor's team uses both Slack and Trello for communicating and keeping track of work. If a question needs an answer ASAP, employees are supposed to use Slack, while using public channels rather than direct messages as much as possible. That keeps the discussion available for people in different time zones. However, if a message isn't urgent, employees are supposed to use Trello, to avoid overcrowding in Slack while ensuring the message is publicly logged.  He also suggests using a video chat tool that can record and transcribe a meeting, so it can be shared with those who couldn't join. Features like that help keep everyone informed and isn't a heavy-lift for those planning the meetings.  Replicating in-person practices with online tools to establish trust Equally as important is making sure to establish trust between employees. "[The] number one indicator of how a team can be effective is trust," Pryor said. In an office setting, trust is established via in-person communication, so companies moving to a distributed work model have to replicate that using digital tools, he said.  One step Trello takes is using non-verbal signals to indicate when you're available or busy. For example, if you walk past someone's office and the door is closed, you know they're busy. To get the same effect in a distributed environment, Pryor's employees set 'do not disturb' statuses in Slack to indicate when they're not available.  Additionally, employees should all feel like they have the same access and space within a company. So, if one person dials in on a video call, everyone else should dial in that way too, regardless of if they're in an office or not.  Another example is using tools to track progress for recurring one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Trello uses its own tool for this, but others also work. The goal is to have an agenda and set specific goals and deadlines, and document those so it can be a record for when performance reviews come up. It also makes sure managers are evaluating office employees and remote employees on the same criteria. "As a manager, it's not my space, it's a shared space between me and my employee," Pryor said. "And so we're putting things in there together. It's a collaborative meeting in order to grow people's careers" A big trust building factor that gets lost in a distributed environment is the casual conversation with coworkers. To make up for that, after virtual all hands meetings using Zoom, Trello employees get placed in breakout rooms to chat with coworkers they may or may not know.  "In this digital environment," Pryor said, "We had to figure out a way for people across the company to meet each other."  Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected] or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.SEE ALSO: Slack is laying the foundation for a new type of job, following in the footsteps of customers like IBM and Verizon who created dedicated roles to manage their use of the work chat app Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
Join us and find out more with Box in this German-language online broadcast Webcast  As the coronavirus crisis has gripped the world for the past few months, it’s become increasingly obvious that remote working can work extremely well with a good many advantages. Collaboration can, in fact, be boosted, with a greater number of remote workers able to work together digitally on projects that may have been, in the past, executed only in an office environment.…
Companies are increasingly monitoring their remote workers, data and experts say. New research shows remote employees are starting their work-from-home days later than they did in March and spending less time in business apps overall. Companies that use surveillance software are primarily paying attention for two reasons, experts say: to understand employees' daily work habits and to discover any loss of company data. Worker-monitoring companies urge employers to be transparent with remote workers about what they're measuring, but some critics still bristle at the practice. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Companies are increasingly monitoring their employees' computers as remote work continues across the US. And experts say companies are watching two key areas: how much employees are working and whether they're exposing or stealing data. Teramind, a highly rated maker of employee-monitoring software, has seen sales soar to three times pre-COVID levels, Eli Sutton, vice president of global operations, said. The spike includes a recent bump as anticipated office openings around the US were postponed because of continuing infections of the coronavirus. A Gartner report on how COVID-19 was influencing work also found that "employers are using technologies more frequently to monitor their employees through methods such as virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and monitoring employee emails or internal communications." That trend is likely to continue, experts say, if productivity slips. Aternity, an enterprise work analytics company that measures workers' use of computer applications, has found that American workers are spending 18% less time on business applications. Aternity said that this "productivity" calculation is based on the number of hours spent in business applications from 3 million employee devices at more than 500 companies. Contrary to what some employees may fear, companies are not keeping close tabs on what websites their employees go to, experts say. "That's not a primary concern," Teramind's Sutton said, especially as employees do more online during shelter in place, such as ordering grocery deliveries or helping their kids with remote schoolwork. Here are the top five things employers are monitoring remote employees for, experts say. What hours are employees working? "A lot of employers are just wondering if their remote employees are working from home," Ian Pratt, global head of security for HP, said. Forrester principal analyst David Johnson has found the same thing when working with companies that want employee monitoring during the pandemic. "Most of them have been asking about how to ensure their employees are putting in the time when they're working remotely," Johnson says. Companies may have reason for concern. Aternity found Americans are consistently starting work later in the day as they work from home — beginning work between 30 to 60 minutes later in June than they did in March. "Checking an employee's hours is a pretty basic management need," Teramind's Sutton says. Are employees being productive? Initial findings that remote employees are more productive have shifted, as Aternity found. "Many employees are working less and less as they get better at completing projects at home," Sutton says. That presents a new challenge for companies, he says: If employees are wrapping up projects in record time at home and then shutting down, is that an acceptable use of their time? Aternity found workers are balancing family needs — like helping kids with remote school work — rather than conferring with colleagues and picking up more assignments as they might in the office. How employees use their time and whether they need to pick up more work at home may be a management issue as quarantine work continues, says Forrester's Johnson: "Managers are having genuine conversations with their people to come to agreement together about what work will be done." Is someone zoning out or watching Netflix? While companies may not care which sites a remote worker is surfing, they may be concerned when they appear to settle in for long periods, experts say. It's less about what an employee is doing online at home than how long they're doing it for, Teramind's Sutton says. "Is someone watching YouTube videos? Are they asleep? If an employee is online but inactive, that raises questions, because a manager might not be able to tell what's going on." Long periods online with no visible productivity raises red flags that might require investigation, experts say. If it happens once, a manager can probably just ping a worker to check in, but if it happens regularly, that's an issue. Are workers stealing data? Data theft is spiking. Most employees say their information is less secure when working from home, a report from email-security firm Tessian shows. And half of employees believe they can get away with riskier behavior while remote. During times of layoffs like these, data theft is a serious concern. Research shows that 60% of data theft is carried out by employees identified as "flight risk," or who may be targeted in layoffs. More than 80% of employees considered to be a flight risk take data with them, during the period from two weeks to two months before leaving a company. Simply leaving a work laptop open with confidential materials on the screen is a remote-work risk, especially if an employee lends a family member their computer to complete a quick task or look something up. These issues may be what employers watch for most, Sutton says. Is someone forwarding company email outside the organization? Forwarding emails outside the company can also be considered data theft and is a very risky practice as far as cybersecurity goes, experts say. Any protections within company email systems, such as phishing-protection and filters of malicious links, are absent from personal email, and sending company information to non-employees could be a serious breach. Sutton says many firms watch for this, and companies such as Tessian help employers to set up alerts that pop up for email senders when they're about to forward a message outside the company. Teramind's Sutton says his firm urges companies to be transparent about employee monitoring, and to discuss any tools a company is using so employees are aware and understand what is being measured. When employees understand their performance is being measured as it might be in the office, they often don't mind monitoring tools. "Perception of this industry has changed past an early Big Brother concern," he says. Other experts still bristle at the idea of employee monitoring. "Tracking tools that monitor what your employees are doing build a mistrustful relationship between management and employees," Andrew Filev, the CEO and founder of Wrike, a collaborative work-management platform, said. "In the end, they hurt productivity."SEE ALSO: Remote employees are increasingly leaking confidential company information Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
The coronavirus crisis is driving employees out of the cities and into remote areas where bandwidth is low or nonexistent. Google, Facebook, SpaceX and others all have a dog in this fight.
Sponsored
As a result, some businesses still hesitate to take on work-from-home arrangements.Yes, even in today’s new normal.Most of the companies who prefer an office-based workforce are put off by this lack of managerial oversight.Separating the wheat from the chaff is only one of the many challenges one has to face in running a remote team.There’s a lot of conflicting information as to whether virtual professionals are worth hiring or not.Read on to learn what remote workers can deliver in terms of productivity.Better PerformanceThey tend to go above and beyond what’s expected of them by both their employer and clients.The most prominent study relevant to assessing the performance of online employees was conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom and Ctrip founder James Liang in 2012 to 2013.Over the course of 9 months, 16,000 Ctrip call centre agents were observed as to how they fared when working from home.The results showed that 13.5% saw an increase in performance, of which 9% were working more minutes per shift attributed to fewer breaks.Furthermore, 4% handled a higher number of calls per minute due to a quieter working environment and fewer distractions.Additional HoursRemote workers are often willing to work longer hours than they normally would to do more.Looking at data on a Remote Collaborative Worker Survey by CoSo Cloud unveils that 23% of employees are amenable to extending their work hours.Additionally, 52% are less likely to take time off even when they are not feeling well.Thanks to the flexibility offered by working from home, people are likely to spread their work throughout the day and log 4 more hours a week compared to their on site colleagues.A recent survey by Airtasker found that remote staff worked 1.4 days more each month compared to their office-based counterparts as well.Greater CollaborationRemote workers make the extra effort to communicate and connect with their team to achieve common goals.Leaders worry that subordinates won’t cooperate when they’re not speaking with each other in person.This helps them achieve better work-life balance and make them happier in their role.
3
Many people have found themselves working remotely from home as a result of the pandemic, forcing them to adjust to a new workflow that, in many cases, involves taking over the kitchen table or bedroom closet. It is apparent that remote working, when possible, will be a long-term reality for many people, meaning it’s time to accept fate and create … Continue reading
Sponsored
The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is the current scenario with which companies find themselves and is one of the greatest challenges for HR professionals.It is the workers and their daily tasks that mark the operation of a company, from the finance intern to the national sales manager, each one has a role, achieves objectives and represents value for the company.Promote remote activities among small random groups.Those responsible for human resources must be aware that it is an exceptional situation, and when it ends they need everyone to be as committed as when it started, they will also need an extra to be able to resume a rhythm of work damaged by the stoppage of many operations.For example, create remote weekly yoga meetings, or meet them to see a movie and then comment on it, propose a simple cooking class, or even create hour-long sessions with entertainers who virtually entertain the little ones, giving that respite to part of your workforce exhausted from having to reconcile work with children.Create a weekly # to comply and promote it on the internal social network or even on the company Linkedin Aren't celebrities challenging each other?
2
Twitter was hacked in mid-July through a social engineering scheme that targeted employees, which resulted in world-famous people's accounts tweeting a bitcoin scam. The attack shows key areas of vulnerability for companies with remote workers, cybersecurity experts say.  Stopping social engineering scams that come in through email and giving cybersecurity pros better visibility into attacks are critical to stopping scams, experts say. Microsoft rolled out new tools Tuesday that address visibility into insider threats and other remote work issues. A former White House chief information officer says the Twitter hack should "chill us to the bone" – but worries that companies won't make the needed changes.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. After a scammer tricked a Twitter employee into providing access to high-level controls of the social network, it opened the door to an earth-shaking hack of the accounts of world-famous people in mid-July.  Few companies' computer systems are as public as Twitter's real-time feed, but many could be hacked in a similar way, experts say, due to a combination of factors intensified by remote work. While there are still some missing details and Twitter is not commenting beyond its blog post, here's how security experts say companies can protect themselves from a hack like Twitter's  – including new tools released Tuesday.   Don't click that odd link  Twitter, like many companies, has a remote workforce this summer, and isolated employees can be especially vulnerable to scams, experts say. Twitter wrote on its blog that "attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme."  That kind of attack often takes the shape of a phishing email that convinces the user to click on something that looks work-related, says Ed Bishop, chief technical officer of Tessian, a cybersecurity company that focuses on how people engage with email.  "Social engineering in a remote world is all around trying to think through the mindset of the user: What emails would they be expecting? What we're seeing is impersonation of services that are common with work-from-home situations," he said. For example, a remote worker might be more likely to click a link to a video conference that looks like it comes from a coworker, even if it's unfamiliar. "In the office you might ask a neighbor, 'Hey, are we using a new video call tool now?' But you can't do that now, so maybe you are more likely to click," he said.  When in doubt, don't click on a strange email or respond to it, Bishop says. Ask your coworkers or IT team about the email if it looks like it was sent internally. If an email feels suspicious but appears to come from a client, customer, or other contact, look up an email address for the supposed sender and start a new thread or contact them via their website. (Get more guidance from Tessian on helping your employees avoid phishing here.) "Remote workers are more vulnerable to phishing because we are all a little more unsuspecting and distracted at home," said Oren Falkowitz, cofounder of Area 1 Security. "Phishing comes in many forms, not only email." Beware the human element — and avoid it through education Twitter wrote that its hack was kicked off by "the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information."  The human element is often the key to major hacks, says Ryan Kalember, executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint. "People continue to be the primary focus for threat actors. There are administrative tools on the backend at Twitter, and most organizations, that humans have to have access to and when they get compromised, it can result in fairly massive consequences." Even if a company has robust cybersecurity tools in place, the human beings that work there could still make the company vulnerable.  "Even the most sophisticated technologists, like those at Twitter, often overlook the human component of cybersecurity," says Anthony Grenga, vice president of cyber operations at IronNet. "Twitter employees had the ability to 'take over' accounts using an admin panel. Even though an insider may not have malicious intentions, opportunity – bribes, layoffs, conflict of opinions – may tip the scales."  And the employee may not even be aware they did anything wrong, Tessian's Bishop says. "You can absolutely be socially engineered and not have a clue that you've done anything.  How should companies avoid this hazard? Empower, educate, and empathize with employees. Companies should regularly train their employees on how to spot phishing emails and on other security hygiene practices — and make sure they're empowered to speak up if they sense anything fishy. A new empathetic approach is needed now, too, when dealing with remote employees, who are working away from the office and under the stress of a pandemic and economic downturn. New email tools and training may be needed that are tailored to this specific moment.  Attacks can move fast Another important aspect of the Twitter hack was the inability to spot it early. "We became aware of the attackers' action on Wednesday, and moved quickly to lock down and regain control of the compromised accounts," Twitter says in its blog. But they didn't move quick enough:  Hackers were shopping their access to Twitter controls on the darkweb in the days before hacked tweets spilled into the world from Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and many others who were cranking out phony bitcoin tweets. B ut Twitter isn't alone in being a day late to discover a hack. Only 58% of companies can determine vulnerable assets within 24 hours following news of critical exploits, according to new research from the cybersecurity firm Balbix. "Cybersecurity teams are struggling with a lack of visibility into major risk areas," Balbix said, noting 89% of cybersecurity professionals identified phishing as one of the biggest security threats, yet, only 48% said they are able to continuously monitor such threats with cybersecurity tools. Insider threats – an employee who is knowingly or unknowingly assisting in a hack – can move very quickly, says Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at RiskIQ, a company that makes cloud-based cybersecurity software to detect threats. "When access to the account of a Twitter support member was gained, it gave the bad guys instant access to everything," he says.  IT teams managing remote workers may need new tools to find threats. Microsoft just released new products Tuesday to help achieve this: New tools and training   On Tuesday Microsoft rolled out new "insider risk management" tools to its Microsoft 365 users, including data-loss prevention for employees' laptops. "Remote work, while keeping employees healthy during this time, also increases the distractions end users face, such as shared home workspaces and remote learning for children," the software giant said on its blog. "The current environment has also significantly increased stressors such as potential job loss or safety concerns, creating the potential for increased inadvertent or malicious leaks."  Twitter vows it is "rolling out additional company-wide training to guard against social engineering tactics to supplement the training employees receive during onboarding and ongoing phishing exercises throughout the year."  Training may not be enough, says Chloé Messdaghi, vice president of strategy at Point3 Security, which tries to make cybersecurity risk personal to employees through discussions and empathy-based exercises. "This should reinforce for most companies that the phishing situation is really something that people aren't taking seriously enough. No matter how much training you do, the human element is still there and many people are still apathetic when it comes to the cybersecurity of their company because they've never been directly affected by it."  That apathy is dangerous, says Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer and CEO of cybersecurity consultancy Fortalice Solutions, who says the Twitter hack "should chill us to the bone." This is not just a Twitter problem, Payton says. This should be a wakeup call for all companies, she urges: "We're all in this pandemic together. We ignored all the past wake up calls to our detriment. The question is, are we hitting snooze again?"Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline
Microsoft, VMware and Citrix have emerged as the strongest players in the work-from-home tech market which continues to grow amid the coronavirus crisis and the shift to remote work, according to a survey conducted by William Blair. The trend is also benefiting four 'hot private vendors' — Aviatrix, HashiCorp, Morpheus Data, and Clumio — which are getting upbeat reviews from clients looking to strengthen and expand their work-from-home networks, analyst Jason Ader told clients in a note. The hottest IT deals are clearly focused on building and expanding work-from-home networks, with an emphasis on collaboration and video conferencing tools and security, Ader noted: "Anything related to work-from-home [is] closing fast." Click here for more BI Prime stories. Demand for work-from-home tech is getting hotter due to the coronavirus crisis, providing a big boost to Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, and four "hot private vendors," a Wall Street analyst said Monday. The massive shift to remote work has heightened the need for cloud and collaboration technology, and IT resellers have been increasingly turning to Microsoft, Citrix and VMware, a William Blair analyst wrote to clients, citing its recent quarterly survey of 107 resellers. Analyst Jason Ader also highlighted four smaller tech players — which he called "hot private vendors" in the market shift to remote workplaces — which have also been attracting the attention of corporate customers. They include: Aviatrix, a cloud networking company; HashiCorp, a cloud automation company; Morpheus Data, which offers cloud management tools; and Clumio, a cloud-based data backup company. "All saw a step up in mentions as customers accelerated their digital transformation initiatives," Ader told clients in a note. The hottest IT deals are clearly focused on building and expanding work-from-home networks, with an emphasis on collaboration and video conferencing tools and security. "Anything related to work-from-home [is] closing fast," Ader wrote, referring to the speed of deals.  Microsoft has enjoyed a robust position in this trend as the second most dominant cloud platform and with its host of cloud applications, including Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Citrix and VMware, for their part, are leading providers of virtualization software which enables businesses to access and run disparate computer systems, reducing the need for network hardware. Meanwhile, the pandemic continues to hurt companies that sell products for private, on-premise data centers as businesses focus more on strengthening their cloud-based networks to support remote workers. William Blair said there has been "a customer shift from tactical to strategic planning as the timeline stretches out for a safe return to the office." Got a tip about Microsoft, VMware, Citrix or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @benpimentel or send him a secure message through Signal at (510) 731-8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop. Claim your 20% discount on an annual subscription to BI Prime by clicking here. SEE ALSO: $15 billion cloud security company Zscaler is a 'freight train' as its stock soars more than 145% this year, says a Wall Street analyst who just boosted his price target SEE ALSO: Citrix and Microsoft are teaming up to help businesses reluctant to send employees back to the office: 'It's going to be a rough environment until there is a vaccine.' SEE ALSO: The CTO of $6.8 billion AI startup Automation Anywhere explains why the hot startup is hiring despite the pandemic, including jobs that pay more than $200,000 a year Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
Coworking and commercial real estate landlords in urban markets have an elevator problem, industry experts say. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, few workers want to be crammed in elevators heading to the top floors with strangers and few employers want to expose them to such risk, the experts told Business Insider. Such concerns could give added impetus to allowing employees even after the pandemic passes to work from home or work from satellite offices in the suburbs, they said. The elevator worries could fade if the epidemic passes soon or could be accommodated by scheduling systems, they said. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Many commercials real estate companies — traditional landlords and coworking providers alike — have an elevator problem, industry experts say. No, the lifts aren't stuck between floors or forcing workers to wait interminable moments to get a ride to their floor. Instead, the problem has to do with the danger of crowding into elevators with strangers for long rides to the upper floors of high rises during a pandemic, the experts told Business Insider. And the problem could help spur some significant changes in the industry, they said. "People don't want to deal with elevators and tall buildings if they don't have to," said Tom Smith, a cofounder of Truss, an online office space marketplace. Employees aren't eager to pack into elevators while the coronavirus epidemic still rages, Smith and other experts said. And corporate tenants aren't eager to expose their employees to such situations. Some buildings have started to institute scheduling systems to spread elevator usage out over time, said Julie Whelan, head of occupier research for the Americas for real estate giant CBRE. But other buildings aren't well-equipped to do that, she said. "Elevators are absolutely a sticking point right now," Whelan said. The suburbs are looking more attractive Even before the COVID crisis, there was already growing demand for flexible office space outside of central business districts and closer to the less urban or even suburban places where many office workers live, Whelan and others said. Such offices are often in lower-rise buildings or on the lower floors of mid-rise towers, they said. The pandemic forced many corporations to allow their employees to work from home or other locations far from their primary offices. The general success of remote work during the crisis is likely to spur many companies to support employees working from home or from offices near their homes after the epidemic passes, the experts said. The elevator issue makes suburban office space even more attractive and is likely to add to pressure on employers to look for such accommodations, the experts said. Employees can access such offices by taking the stairs or just walking into them without having to go to a higher floor at all. They don't have to worry about cramming into an elevator or waiting for their appointed time to ride one. Being forced to wait for an elevator in a high-rise to "is going to frustrate people, because that adds to the commute time to your physical space," said Charlie Morris, leader of the US flexible office solutions practice at commercial real estate brokerage Avison Young. "Those people will most likely say, 'I'd rather just work from home or work from near home versus going and doing that.'" Unfortunately for many of the top coworking providers such as WeWork, their office spaces are primarily located in dense urban areas, not out in the suburbs. Such companies have already seen a sharp drop in occupancy at their mostly downtown towers, thanks to the pandemic. Memories are short To be sure, it's not certain that the elevator issue will have such long-lasting effects. Josh Freed, CEO of Proximity, a company that offers software and services that help coworking providers manage their spaces, is optimistic that scheduling systems for elevators will address the problem. People will just need to adjust their behavior and expectations, he said. "The elevator question is ... just going to end up being a solvable problem," Freed said. Others make historical comparisons. In the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, few people wanted to work in the top floors of skyscrapers. But office workers eventually returned to such spaces. If the US starts to get the pandemic under control soon or a vaccine is developed in the near-term, the concerns about elevators could likewise soon fade. People's memories are short," Whelan said. "And I think it really depends on how long we're stuck in this challenging time." Got a tip the coworking market? Contact Troy Wolverton via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop. Read more about the coworking market and remote work: The flex office space will never be the same. Here's how companies like Convene and Industrious are getting creative to win over remote workers. These far-flung US regions could become the next big startup hubs as techies abandon Silicon Valley and embrace remote work WeWork and other coworking offices will likely need to configure roomier spaces in a post-pandemic environment, as occupancy levels already start to slide Co-working spaces like WeWork are offering rent relief to retain tenants in the pandemic, but occupancy levels are already down 10 to 15 percentage points and things may get much worse SEE ALSO: The coronavirus is a 'nuclear bomb' for companies like WeWork. 10 real-estate insiders lay out the future of flex-office, and how employers are preparing now. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
More

Top