Record Management Guidelines for Remote Workers

Posted  November 22, 2021  by  Jenny Green

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Record Management Guidelines for Remote Workers

In today’s data-driven world, when handling confidential information, you have a duty to take the necessary steps to protect it. Whether it belongs to your customers, employees, or pertains to your company, failure to ensure data is properly protected can lead to lawsuits, fines, and irreparable reputational damage.

Record management – or the process of overseeing the creation, maintenance, use and destruction of records – is critical to this. But this has become more complex in a hybrid world of work, and while many companies will have policies in place to manage documents that flow throughout the office, the same cannot be said for remote environments.

In response, its vital record management policies extend to all employees, regardless of where they’re working. Below, we explore some of the ways you can help remote workers to protect personal information, to ensure your business remains on the right side of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
 

How Long to Keep Business Documents in Australia?

Part and parcel of a record management policy requires an understanding of what documents to keep, how long to keep them, and what records to shred. This knowledge must be passed on to employees who are working from home. 

It’s vital for business leaders to keep up to date with the latest guidance from the Australian Government1.

Once the allotted time has passed to retain records, however, secure document destruction is key to ensuring old business records never fall into the wrong hands. This is where it pays to partner with a document destruction specialist, like Shred-it, who prides itself on its world-class paper shredding services and secure chain of custody. 

But beyond the managing and protecting of records, there are many different elements to supporting secure remote work – especially in a hybrid world of work with employees dividing their time between the office and home. Below are some of the other essential steps you can take to protect employees, anywhere, any time.
 

Essential Steps to Supporting Secure Remote Work

1. Prepare Guidelines 
Introduce a set of guidelines for remote working and the secure destruction of confidential data. 

2. Train Employees 
Educate off-site staff on the best practices for secure information management and destruction. 

3. Limit Access to Sensitive Data 
Check remote workforces have the right access to the right files on a need-to-know basis. 

4. Secure Digital Devices 
Ensure all files, devices and connections are password-protected with security settings and firewalls.

5. Secure Remote Working 
Encourage staff to use lockable storage to keep important and confidential documents safe off-site.

6. Secure Paper Documents 
If possible, ensure employees return paper documents to the office, for secure storage or destruction. 

7. Employ a Shred-it All Policy
Ensure all confidential documents are securely destroyed to prevent the risk of a data breach.
 

Stay Protected with Shred-it

By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to reducing data security risks and protecting records across remote and office environments. However, Shred-it can also safeguard remote workforces with secure, purpose-built bags to store all confidential documents when they’re no longer needed. 

Staff simply seal these white bags and return them when they’re next in the office, or arrangements can be made to collect the bags from their front door for shredding. Either way, we’ll securely shred and recycle the confidential information and then issue you with a certificate of destruction.

Shred-it protects what matters and what matters to us is the security of your business. By embracing a record management policy, educating employees, and adhering to remote working best practices – combined with our shredding services – you can assist your organisation to reduce the risk of personal information falling into the wrong hands.

Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, for services tailored to the exact needs of your business.
 
Source: business.gov.au
 
Disclaimer: This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.

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