GUEST ESSAY: Here’s how ‘WFM’ tools can boost productivity — and security — of remote workers

By April Miller

Workforce management software (WFM) is an essential tool companies across industries can  use to organize their workforce, track employee work and performance, forecast labor demand, and create schedules for employees.

Related: Turning workers into security security sensors

Most, if not all, WFM software is chock full of features that makes managing a workforce more efficient and effortless for top management. What’s more, WFM tools can help reinforce best security practices needed as companies increase their reliance on a remote workforce and using cloud-based software.

One of the primary benefits of using WFM software is the reduced labor costs. Research shows that 75% of organizations using WFM software report ROI in less than a year. This is one of the main reasons why more and more companies are leveraging this digital technology — it’s the ultimate goal for any company to improve ROI and meet its bottom line.

WFM tools can and should be deployed in a way the supports and enhances cybersecurity. Protecting employee data from unauthorized users is paramount, especially during a time where threats towards cybersecurity organizations are imminent.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons why WFM software can improve productivity – and security.

Remote workforce risks

Keeping track of remote employees is becoming more relevant than ever before, and companies in the security industry are no exception. With WFM software that allows for easy audits, employers can pay closer attention to their remote employees and all of their activities more seamlessly to ensure security best practices are not being overlooked.

As more and more organizations adopt a hybrid approach to working in an office versus working remotely, this hybrid workforce opens up more vulnerabilities for potential cyberattacks. This is not a new phenomenon — hackers relentlessly seek to gain access to internal accounts, as well as insights into how to bypass security controls.

No industry is immune, not even security vendors. Just last year, for example, cybersecurity giant FireEye was the victim of a sophisticated attack using methods never before seen in the past. As hackers find more ways to exploit remote work vulnerabilities, we’ll likely see these types of attacks become more common.

Keeping employees engaged


As working from home has gained popularity, so has the subject of employee engagement. Ensuring an employee is engaged is a vital part of any business’ success. Research shows that engaged employees outperform their disengaged counterparts by almost 28%, and they perform at a 51% higher productivity rate. When every second counts in combating a security threat, this increased productivity becomes critical.

WFM software can increase engagement by helping employers detect stressors in an employee’s work and personal life without sacrificing the employee’s trust. Then, the employer can proactively help the employee and make them feel cared for. And while this is a best practice for businesses of any kind, monitoring engagement is especially vital for the effectiveness of cybersecurity organizations.

Employee engagement is becoming an IT issue. Studies show that disengaged employees are more likely to negligently leave systems vulnerable, and a disengaged workforce is more at risk for leaking sensitive information. Because 65% of all data breaches are caused by negligence, there’s no excuse for organizations not to prioritize employee happiness and engagement.

Insider threat protection

Just as negligence plays a notable role in security data breaches, insider threats also cause significant damage. Twenty two percent of data breaches are caused by employees with malicious intent, and studies show that 72 percent of millennial employees believe they are entitled to the data they help with.

By monitoring employees’ work activity, organizations can better ensure employees aren’t sending out classified information or using company data for non-approved purposes.

Plus, because WFM software allows for some flexibility and employees are able to achieve a work-life balance seamlessly, there’s no reason for them to get involved with any outsiders looking to perform malicious activities. It’s surprising to hear that more than 34% of businesses encounter insider threats annually, making WFM all the more important.

WFM software can increase operational efficiency within the organization. However, as with anything, the faster a process is, the higher the likelihood of potential human error.

Any organization implementing WFM software should remember to deploy the technology thoughtfully. Just as with any cloud-based software, WFM software has the potential to be exploited or hacked. Be sure to train any employees on how WFM software works and the ins and outs of this technology.

While speed is an essential part of a security business, so is offering protection from cyberattacks.

More companies across industries are making a digital transformation to reap the benefits innovative technologies have to offer. WFM software will help transform your organization in multiple ways to make operations more efficient, streamline routine tasks and manage employees so they can perform their best.

Consider using WFM software in your operations to reap these benefits, improve your ROI, maintain a competitive advantage – and strengthen security.

About the essayist: April Miller is a staff writer at ReHack Magazine. While she enjoys tackling topics across the technology space, she’s most passionate about educating readers on cybersecurity and Big Data.

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