The risks of hiring digital nomads
Posted on 31st January 2023 at 11:01
The term digital nomad strikes an imposing image. A man riding across the desert on a camel, or a travelling barefoot bard striding barefoot from town to town, both carrying a laptop or a smartphone. Digital nomads aren’t merely remote workers as most companies would understand them.
A remote worker usually stays in one or two places, working either at home or in the office depending upon the contract. A digital nomad is likely to work anywhere there is a wi-fi connection. One day working in their nearest coffee shop, the next on the train, or in a restaurant. Where it is easy to set up a traditional remote worker at their fixed location, a digital nomad poses other problems.
Physical security risks of hiring digital nomads
As much as it is great that your digital nomad has the freedom to buy their favourite latte, or sit in their local library to work, there are risks that cannot always be controlled. It’s not necessarily that their wi-fi is insecure, but the fact that these buildings are often filled with other people.
You could be working hard on a secure network, sipping your coffee; but are you aware of who is standing behind you? For digital nomads, you don’t necessarily need to hack them or send phishing emails if they are out in the wild working with their laptop screen open.
If you are going to give your staff the freedom to move around, then make sure they are aware of the risks. Ask them to sit, where possible, with their backs to a wall, and mind who else is milling about. If someone comes to speak to them, make sure they know to close their laptop screen or lock their computer.
Be aware of insecure wi-fi and connectivity
Public wi-fi isn’t always secure. Since the rise of the digital nomad, there has been an increase in cyberattacks happening on those working out in the wild. If a wi-fi is hackable and one of your workers is sitting there enjoying a croissant whilst they work, then your whole business infrastructure and data might be at risk.
Realistically, it is a simple fix. Providing your workers with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to grant them secure access to your data is an effective way to make sure that you’re keeping your business data secure. These aren’t entirely fool proof, however. They can be vulnerable if not configured properly. Make sure your IT Support set up the VPNs for your workers, and they are sure they are configured correctly.
Communication problems with digital nomads
Finally, one of the problems with hiring digital nomads is all down to communication. If they are commuting from place to place, you may not be able to get hold of them quite as quickly. Connectivity might be poorer on the trains that they are working on. Those who are using data to stay connected might find it drop momentarily, or the premises they are working in has a drop in connection.
Make sure you have numerous ways to contact them, be it by phone, email, or even apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. If they are aware that they can be contacted by various mediums, you should be able to ensure business continuity.
For more information about setting up your remote team, call us on 01327 300 311, or email on [email protected] with your enquiry.
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