The Importance of Privacy Screen for Today’s Workforce
September 23, 2019
In this technology-driven era, working remotely is becoming increasingly more common. People are able to work from home and on the go, in places like airports, planes, trains, and coffee shops. While working on your device without a privacy screen already poses a privacy risk when in the office, that risk becomes exponentially higher outside the office. With an easily-visible display, complete strangers are able to view or take photos of private company and client information without your knowledge or consent. This information includes credit card numbers, social security numbers, financials, addresses, phone numbers, and more. Various serious issues may arise from this type of exposure, which can be easily prevented by simply attaching a privacy screen to your device’s display.
To begin with, privacy screens help protect a company’s privacy when employees take their work outside the office. Depending on your profession and role, it is likely that you have confidential company data stored on your device. If this information gets into the hands of a competitor or ill-intentioned party, the outcome can be detrimental to your company and perhaps even your employment. By using a privacy screen, you and your employer can feel reassured that any company data on your device will be concealed from prying eyes when working outside the office.
In terms of client privacy, privacy screens are essential from an ethical standpoint. Clients put a great deal of trust in a company when providing their private information. To ensure that you are not putting your client’s privacy in jeopardy, it is important to take all precautions necessary to protect any data you have stored on your devices. By using a privacy screen, you and your client can feel secure knowing that only authorized parties will have access to their information. Without this measure, your client is at risk of issues like identity theft and financial fraud. Not only would the consequences be dire for your client, but they would also harm the reputation and reliability of you and your company.
In addition to the ethical expectations, there are also often company policies, client contracts, and federal laws surrounding confidentiality that employees must adhere to. If employees infringe upon these rules or agreements, their actions may lead to disciplinary action, lawsuits, government sanctions, loss of their license or job, and more. Attorneys, for example, must keep most client communications confidential in compliance with attorney-client privilege. Violation of this law can lead to disciplinary action, including potential disbarment. Doctors, financial analysts, and government employees are just a few other participants of today’s mobile workforce who have their own respective set of client privacy rules they must follow. By taking the simple step of attaching a privacy screen to their work devices, employees in these fields can avoid termination or a wide range of serious legal issues when taking their work on the go.
As a result of the aforementioned privacy concerns, it has been found that employees are actually less productive than they would like to be when working outside the office. In 2012, the Ponemon Institute published its findings from a study it conducted to learn whether privacy screens, or lack thereof, affect employee productivity. This study, named the Visual Privacy Productivity Study, found that employees were 50 percent more productive working in public when their mobile device or laptop had a privacy screen attached to the display, as they felt more secure knowing that their visual privacy was not at risk. Thus, while one of the primary purposes of a remote workforce is to increase employee productivity and availability, a lack of proper privacy measures is causing the opposite outcome. Given the study’s findings, it is evident that privacy screens are key to increasing employee productivity. With increased productivity comes a larger financial gain for the company, which likely far outweighs the cost of investing in a privacy screen.
Today’s remote workforce is already big, but it can become even bigger with something as simple as the use of privacy screens. These filters not only help current remote and mobile employees feel more comfortable working outside the office, but they can also open up new opportunities for remote work in fields that previously only allowed strictly in-office work due to privacy concerns. Given how inexpensive most privacy screens are, and how easy they are to install, they should be a staple product that all companies and employees take advantage of.