Prior to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic remote or home working had already experienced a steady year on year increase of approximately 5% across a 10 year period in the UK and europe. In 2018 European countries like the Netherlands had 14% of their workforce working remotely, Finland 13.3%, Luxembourg 11%, Austria 10% and many of the remaining EU countries 4% to 7%, whereas across the pond 43% of US employees worked remotely in some capacity. It is little wonder why, pandemic aside, the model reduces a vast number of business expenses, giving employees flexibility and a better work life balance which usually equates to better performance.
However in the UK, pre-pandemic, roughly 5% of the working population worked remotely, compare this to April of 2020 (a few months into the pandemic) and 46.6% of people in employment were working remotely, nearly a 90% increase. That’s a huge pivotal change in such a short space of time. Fortunately for many, due to the interconnected world we live in, the transition from office to home working was not too big an ordeal, although it did expose flaws to remote working.
As you can imagine data protection and security were high on that list of concerns. Accessing remote networks from home computers that are potentially shared with others in the household, (with or without any form of cybersecurity) can and did expose security issues.