The “new” office…It’s anywhere!! And what does that mean for compliance?

If we have learned anything in the past couple of years it is that most staff can work remotely without any major issues. As a matter of fact, when companies asked their employees to return to the office they were met with more opposition than I think they anticipated. We learned that we don’t need to be in the office to work as a team. We learned that even though a Zoom or Teams meeting is not the same as being in person, that we can still convey the information that we need. It is, like anything else, change that was the hardest part to get used to.

So when corporations decided that it was safe to return to the workplace, they were surprised when employees said “no”. Gone are the days of traditional office meetings where everyone crowds into the conference room to decide work through next years numbers. Now we have half the staff in the workplace and half of them working remotely so we are at least partially leveraging technology to conduct every meeting.

So the question that your business lawyer may ask you is, what does that mean for compliance? How are we making sure that employees are using our data securely? Part of what was our traditional work product is now being produced and used outside of our brick and mortar walls. Employees are aware of this and often companies will have policies that discuss remote work practices.

Some practical strategies for business are: (1) work on getting remote work policies in place; (2) create standardized practices for work whether it is in the brick and mortar office or remote; (3) focus on the quality of the work produced by the employee (some people are just more effective in one or the other arena); (4) be mindful of the need to have secure remote logins to ensure the stability of your technology and; (5) understand that the “office” has taken on a whole new meaning for our workforce.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Dragseth is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in Contracts, Business, and IP law. She is a member of various leadership and business councils. She currently resides in Louisiana where she has her own private law practice and also works for the State. Her offices are located in Perkins Rowe you can reach her by calling 225-888-0015 or carolyn@dragsethlaw. This article in not intended as legal advice. Ask us about our “part time in house counsel” program.

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