As we continue to work remotely (or “WFH”), it’s important that we focus on what comes next. How should we prepare to move back into the office? What challenges should we expect, and what parts of the “new normal” are here to stay? In order to answer these questions, Onepath assembled an expert panel to go over legal considerations, real estate changes, and security needs. We also discussed BCPs, the turbulent economy, insurance, and possible strategies for keeping your employees and clients safe.

Cybersecurity Remains a Concern… Especially Phishing

Our webinar kicked off with the question, “What is your biggest cybersecurity fear while embracing the work from home era?” Overwhelmingly, attendees responded, “escalated phishing attacks.” Justin Daniels, Partner and General Counsel at Baker Donelson, agreed that the concern was necessary.

“Phishing attacks are the number one type of cyberattack,” he said. “And now, people are phishing using pandemic related (messaging). How are we going to look at this problem long-term?… First, you need to start using MFA to make it harder for the hacker to do anything if they get your password. Second, we need to have additional training for the workforce. We can send fake phishing emails to get people into the habit of scrutinizing emails more closely.”

“I think for phishing training to meet your goals, you need to make it a learning experience,” added William Propst, Managing Director at JLL. “Maybe whoever identifies the phish first gets a gift card… (you need to) find incentives to make it more fun. Because when I have to do training where I just watch slides, it puts you to sleep. I think video is important, where you watch real world scenarios but make it funny. It’s about being thoughtful about how you want to execute the content.”

As an example, Patrick Kinsella, CTO of Onepath, discussed Onepath’s recent Digital Hygiene Chronicles. The series consisted of three videos meant to increase awareness about COVID-19 related phishing.

“My daughter came in with a bottle of misspelled ‘Medicine’ and said she’d found a cure to COVID,” he said. My wife and I acted excited and took the medicine. It’s silly, but it works; we got over 60% of employees to watch the video to the end.”

The New Office Layout

Conversation then shifted to what the new office layout might look like. Propst believes that future setups will come with five main changes, some long-term and some short-term.

“Near term, I think we’re going to see that social distancing means empty cubes,” he said. “I (also) think you’re going to see large conference rooms mostly empty or with three to five people and everyone else on video conferencing. (Thirdly), we’ll see a lot more hands-on janitorial services during business hours. Additionally, I can’t imagine a receptionist without some gloves in the near-term. I don’t think we’re going to quite get to thermal screenings in the US, but there might be certain businesses that do… And lastly, we have to consider what we’re gonna do about elevators, especially if it’s a long trip up to the 30th floor. Long-term, how might that change the design of office buildings? Will we get away from office towers and move to walkable three to four story buildings?”

Preparing for Re-Entry

The webinar closed out with a conversation about re-entering the office. Daniels believes that companies should start preparing now. The sooner your company starts, the more time you’ll have to plan specifics and distribute information.

“The number one thing business owners should be thinking about is how to equip and support those employees now working from home,” he said. “A large amount of those employees might keep working from home for the time being. We should also be looking to Asia—they are 90-120 days ahead of us in this crisis, and they’re largely getting back to work. They’re showing us a roadmap of how to do this… (Furthermore), before making your own plans, ascertain what your landlord is doing for UV lights, security screenings, and common area amenities. Then, develop your own re-entry plan. Strategize around a staggered return considering the restrooms, dining, and social spaces. People need to start staying home when they’re symptomatic with anything. Finally, communicate your plan. There’s no such thing as too much information.”

If you’d like to watch the rest of our webinar, click the link above.