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Coronavirus and work from home

The British Safety Council is offering free online training for home workers as the UK seeks to adapt to coronavirus. As workers set themselves up to work from home, they will be adjusting to a new way of working and preparing to miss the social contact of their workplace, the safety body says. Hence the offer of courses: in –

– Remote Workers’ Health Safety and Welfare; and
– Mental Health: Start the Conversation, aimed at all employees.

A course on Managing Stress Within Your Team is aimed at managers looking after teams working from locations at a time of major national crisis. The safety body says that employers are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees, including those who are working away from the office.

Speaking from his home office the chief executive of the Council Mike Robinson said: “Across Britain people are making big changes to their work routine and millions of people are working from home for the first time. This will mean quite an adjustment for lots of people. Working away from the office has implications for workers and managers. Even in normal times it’s important for peoples’ wellbeing to make sure they are connected to their colleagues and their work if they are not coming into the workplace – at a time of serious anxiety in the life of our country keeping an eye on your wellbeing and your colleagues’ wellbeing will be really important.”

“It is our founding mission at the British Safety Council to ensure that nobody is injured or made ill through their work – and that includes people working from home in a national crisis. I hope by offering out our expertise for free with some accessible online courses people will see some real value.

“At times like these, every organisation needs to put aside commercial imperatives and focus on pulling together to do the right thing. We’ve made plans to protect our staff and customers and those are in place as I speak. Now we are focusing our energies on how we can support our members and any other employers by sharing our expertise at no cost.”

As more employees are asked to work from home, people need to be even more vigilant when it comes to phishing attacks, says Ed Bishop, Chief Technology Officer at Tessian. He says that hackers love emergencies and times of uncertainty, because people are scared, distracted, and vulnerable. “This makes them ideal targets.

“During this time, staff need to be aware that hackers will impersonate trusted individuals and brands to trick people into steal money, harvest credentials, or install malware on their computers. Bad actors may impersonate senior executives such as the CEO or the CFO, saying ‘as we’re away from the office, please send me your personal phone number as I need you to do something for me.’ In this case, I urge people to contact the person who requested you to do something – via an internal channel like Slack or an SMS – to confirm it was them.

“Similarly, as organisations rely on remote-working tools, hackers may also pose as popular web conferencing applications and trick staff into clicking links that will ‘activate their web conferencing accounts’. Be less trusting of any email asking you to take an action. Look beyond the branding of the email or the display name and examine the full email address of the sender, and any URL, carefully.”


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