Riskiest locations for flexi-work revealed

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Technology has allowed us the freedom to work from anywhere at anytime, but could your weekly meeting held at the local cafe be putting your workplace at risk? Seven out of 10 Kiwis say yes.

According to new research from global workplace provider Regus, New Zealand workers are putting business privacy at risk when working outside of the office, with cafés topping the list of unsafe locations for business privacy.

The results showed that 70% of businesses reported cafes are where the privacy of documents and conversations are most at danger closely followed by airport business lounges (62%) and onboard flights (61%).

Additionally respondents said the most common activity they believed put company data and information at risk is conversations on mobile phones – with 76% stating this is most likely to expose confidential business information to potential competitors. Snoopers reading printed documents over peoples shoulders (61%), and open laptop screens (57%), were also reported to be activities that were most likely to expose private company information.

Regus New Zealand Country Manager, Nick Bradshaw, told HRM Online he was surprised that seven out of 10 Kiwis are concerned about the privacy of business discussions and documents in cafés.

“For me this is really a function of the changing way in which we are working. Thanks to mobile phones, tablets and laptops we can now work anywhere, we’re free from the office so in reality a lot of us are working in public places,” he said.

He added flexible working is great for business but it is important that staff are aware of their responsibilities.
 
“Include information and data security in your formal flexi-work policy, and remind staff to be wary of their business documents. If you don’t have formal policies in place, the least you can do is to provide a mix of physical and technological resources for employees to ensure information is safeguarded,” he said.
 
Bradshaw said the key message to get through to staff is to be mindful of where they are and what content they could be revealing.
 
"Workers should be aware of their location when taking a sensitive client call or checking important emails or documents commuting and in between meetings – you just never know who’s listening,” he said.
 
Top risk spots for business privacy New Zealand
1. Cafés 70%
2. Airline business lounges 62%
3. On board flights 61%
4. Hotel bars and lounges 40%
5. On board trains 22%
 
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