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About Telework For Teleworkers For Managers For Organizations Technology Resources

For Organizations

Intent of Telework

Management Concerns




Service Quality

Program Costs & Savings

Office Routine

Is a Formal Program Necessary?

Building a Telework Program


Security is a major consideration, particularly for IT professionals. CDW-G, a major contractor of IT services to the US Government, conducts a large-scale annual telework survey; according to the 2008 survey, 42% of public-sector IT professionals and 27% of private-sector IT professionals indicate that security is their most pressing challenge. The next highest concern is productivity at only 20%.

Procedures, policies, and training developed to minimize risk should be required of all managers and employees, not just teleworkers.

There are two broad classes of security risk: information security and systems security:

Information Security: Rules about confidentiality and sensitive information should be the same whether the information is on a laptop, flash drive, DVD, or in a file folder. If information is so sensitive that it cannot go beyond the four walls of the building, then working with that information would not be appropriate for a teleworkers. On the other hand, if employees are accessing confidential information over the company network while at the office then they should be able to access it from the network while at home, provided certain precautions are in place.

In addition, standards may be implemented to ensure security of employer-owned computers that are removed from the workplace. For example, some organizations require that their PCs are not to be packed into luggage checked at an airport, or, visible in an unoccupied car.

Other standards may include clear rules that organization assets not be used by family members for non-work purposes. Also, many organizations have instituted standards for backing up critical information to minimize the impact of unavoidable loss.

Technology Security: The level of security required for teleworking depends on the level of technology, size of organization, sensitivity of the information, and other factors. This is discussed in detail in the toolkit's Technology section. In the simplest organizations should make sure teleworkers are using current antivirus software, have firewalls in place and take other reasonable precautions. There are other decisions to make involving the use of networks and network encryption, internet based services, file-swapping software (which often uses a third-party server), and other options.

A quote from Oregon State's website on teleworking helps put risk in perspective:

"Risk is an inevitable cost of doing business. The goal is not to avoid all risk or to avoid all loss. The goal is to avoid all needless and wasteful costs of loss. It is every manager's duty to manage risk. Telecommuting risks are controlled through ordinary good management. But, you have to identify your risks before you can begin to manage them."

In the Toolkit

Minimizing Risk

IT Security


On the Web

Excellent Resources on Equipment & Teleworking Security.

Oregon Telecommuting Risk Management Site

About the Telework Pilot Project

Site Map

Search only teleworktoolkit.com

This page was last updated on June 7, 2009