It doesn’t take much to realize that working at home is more than a lifestyle decision. It is a major responsibility.
I was grumbling to a co-worker when it occurred to me. I had been the victim of a computer surf by! Someone (likely a teenager to whom I am related) had “borrowed” my computer without my knowledge. During their stay, MySpace Search Service took over the default search bar settings on my web browser.
It took about 25 minutes to research instructions and reset the default search bar settings in Firefox. Even so, I was slightly irritated. My boys have their own space completely outfitted with a color printer and all the pens, pencils, scissors and staples they could ever need. And, they are not encouraged to use my work PC. Nonetheless, the incident had some redeeming value.
It forced me to consider the responsibility of managing my home office. Managing a home office is as much of a business issue as the management of any traditional office.
Particularly, if you participate in a Company remote work arrangement.
I know. You make smart decisions. You take all the right precautions to protect your computer, modem, printer, fax machine and other technology equipment. You have enough surge protectors, virus scanners, and remote data back-up software to defend the Pentagon. And, you have tech support on speed dial for reinforcement. But, have you considered how you and more importantly, your employer might address the following possibilities?
- System crashes
- Network downtime
- Worms, viruses and other security issues
- Natural disasters or fire
- Break-ins and stolen equipment
You can be sure that your employer has. Uh huh. I see you digging for that “Remote Work Agreement.” Read the fine print. They have covered their corporate butts.
Why not cover yours?
Even if you only work at home a day or two a week, you need a plan. Work with your employer to think through action steps. Outline a detailed plan to address not only procedures, but also liability for any and every potential mishap in your home office.
Think about it. A failed computer can cost thousands of dollars in lost data and productivity. What happens if you (or let’s be honest, your 4-year old) is at fault? Or, if your company network goes down, will you be paid for the lost time?
Don’t wait to find answers to these important considerations when you “cross that bridge.” There is a smart Office Manager in each of us. Embrace it!