Home Working: How to Maintain a Calm and Efficient Environment
Given the situation we find ourselves in, many companies are now operating remotely in order to protect their employees and curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Most staff find themselves facing new ways of working. But how can you work effectively and efficiently in your own home? Here are some good practices you can follow to maintain positive energy and ensure you have a fulfilling professional life at home during this exceptional period.
Equip yourself well
Firstly, to be able to work efficiently in a home office, you will need the basic equipment of a laptop, or tablet, and a phone. The key requirements are to be contactable, to be able to use your usual daily work software (such as spreadsheets, word processing, messaging, business tools, etc.) and to have access to the corporate network.
You can use a laptop specially configured by your employer or it may be possible to use your own personal equipment, if you are already using that at home.
Maintain professional relationships
Employees need to feel supported more than ever during this difficult and unprecedented crisis. Even though managers are often busy handling the crisis themselves, it is still vital that they maintain contact with their wider teams. It is therefore a good idea to set up a quick call or, ideally, a videoconference – using Skype or Zoom – on a daily basis. The goal is to maintain those professional bonds.
Taking this one step further, perhaps you could participate in a weekly informal team meeting – at the end of the day, for example, in order to devote time to social interaction and to keep the team united and motivated.
Keep to a regular work pattern
To remain effective, you must set a regular work schedule. It is a good idea to define time slots that suit you and to make sure that those timings are communicated to the wider team.
With this in mind, it is also essential to take regular breaks – ideally at fixed times. This helps to refresh your mind and to maintain creativity!
Create a dedicated place of work
It is so important to create a dedicated work space in the home. This space, designated as a work-only zone, enables you to be much more focused and productive.
As well as separating your work space from the rest of your home, it is also vital to clearly define the boundaries between your personal and professional life, when it comes to your time. This is more important than ever when you are in the same location all day.
And, even if we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance it is really not advisable to wear your pyjamas to work! What you wear is actually really important, particularly in the interests of separating your personal and professional life. Of course, you need to feel comfortable, but you also need to wear something you would consider appropriate for making professional video calls.
Be on time and avoid distractions
Attendance and participation in online meetings are essential when you’re working remotely.
Being on time for these meetings is both courteous and demonstrates that you have an organized work schedule.
In order to be punctual and diligent, you need to stay focused. This means avoiding any distractions such as TV, household chores etc. to make sure you can maintain productivity levels and meet your work commitments and deadlines.
Currently, remote working is compulsory rather than optional. But thanks to technology we can turn this situation into a real positive. Perhaps in the future we’ll see more of a permanent shift towards remote working, an approach that is already a popular trend in the US and across Europe. So let’s make it work for us all now.
Data de-identification - why it matters in healthcare
Large amounts of healthcare data is generated yet goes unused due to privacy concerns. To address this, data privacy firm TripleBlind has created Blind De-identification, a new approach that allows healthcare organisations to use patient data while eliminating the possibility of the user learning anything about the patient’s identity.
We asked Riddhiman Das, co-founder and CEO to tell us more about data de-identification.
Why is data de-identification important in healthcare?
Blind De-identification allows every attribute of any given dataset to be used, even at an individual level, while being compliant to privacy laws, rules, and regulations by default.
Governments around the world are adopting global data privacy and residency laws like GDPR, which prohibit citizens’ personally identifiable information data from leaving the borders of the country. While great for data protection, data residency laws result in global silos of inaccessible data. TripleBlind allows computations to be done on enterprise-wise global data, while enforcing data residency regulations.
In the US, HIPAA compliance has relied on what is called the Safe Harbor method, which requires removing 18 types of personal patient identifiers like names, email addresses, and medical record numbers. The Safe Harbor method can be too restrictive with the data or can leave too many indirect identifiers, which puts the patient data security at risk. Getting de-identification wrong could make an organisation liable for a costly mistake.
What does TripleBlind's solution do?
With TripleBlind, data is legally de-identified in real time with practically 0% probability of re-identification. Our solution allows analytics on data containing personally identifiable information and protected health information with zero possibility of re-identifying an individual from the dataset. This allows healthcare organisations to access more meaningful data, creating more accurate and less biased results.
For example, a healthcare drug researcher in a rural, predominantly white area, would only have patient data that would reflect their local population. With TripleBlind’s de-identification, they could more easily leverage third-party data from another healthcare facility in a more diverse region, creating a more complete data set that more accurately reflects the larger population. This has the possibility to create more accurate diagnoses and better drug results for more diverse populations.
How can healthcare organisations use this in practice?
TripleBlind is blind to all data and algorithms. That means we never take possession of customer data. We only route traffic between entities, enforce permissions, and provide audit trails. The enterprise’s data remains under their control. TripleBlind does not host, copy or control their data, algorithms or other information assets, ever.
We facilitate a connection to an encrypted version of their information assets. Our technology allows the algorithms and data to interact in an encrypted space that only exists for the duration of the operation. Organisations use their existing infrastructure, so it’s not hardware dependent.