Industrial action will encourage secure home working, SecurEnvoy survey reveals

More than half of London workers believe the threat of future strikes will encourage employers to enable staff to work from home.

More than half of London workers believe the threat of future strikes will encourage employers to enable staff to work from home, although only 11% were affected by the public sector strike last week (30 June 2011), a study has shown.

The move would be a popular one, with most of the 65% who already had facilities to work from home, saying they enjoyed it, and only 28% saying they would prefer to be in the office.

Nearly 80% said their bosses trusted them enough to remain at their home desk and get their work done. But 48% admitted getting distracted at home.

That still leaves 52% putting in more than a full day's work, by using the time saved from travelling and being more productive.

The study found most people working from home do so securely, with 49% using a password to log on to their computers, and 44% using a password and two-factor authentication.

Employers are at last waking up to the need for proper IT security for home worker staff, with 89% further protected with a secure connection when communicating with the office, said security company SecurEnvoy, which commissioned the survey.

"A few years ago, when we did a similar survey, we were shocked to discover very few people connecting to work environments securely. This time that's no longer true, the results are far more reassuring as there appears to have been a sea change for computer security," said Andy Kemshall, chief technology officer of SecurEnvoy.

He speculated that the spate of high-profile hacks by groups like LulzSec and Anonymous against brands like Sony, X-factor, M&S, Marriott and RSA is raising awareness.

"Who knows if there is going to be more industrial action, but if there are, these could have a wider benefit for the general public by helping more people get IT installed at home to empower them to embrace home working," said Andy Kemshall.

This flexibility can be enriching and, with 52% admitting they are just as efficient, if not more so, from home, anything that encourages increased productivity has to be a good thing, Kemshall said.

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