Thompson noted that challenges remain when it comes to flexible work policies, such as managing on-campus parking costs and space considerations. However, the survey indicated that when it comes to remote work, the opportunities outweigh the challenges, she said.
How the University of Illinois Manages a Remote Cybersecurity Staff
Managing remote employees is one thing, but having a cybersecurity staff working offsite poses its own challenges. Taylor Judd, director of information security at UIUC, said the university received additional funding for cybersecurity, which increased the team’s staff from 14 to 50 people. Adding staff means collaboration and transparency between team members and other departments is more important than ever — and that can be difficult due to the very nature of cybersecurity roles, Judd said .
“As cybersecurity professionals, we tend to be very secretive,” he said. “We intentionally tried to break out of that mold, especially as a remote team. We have been very intentional about awareness, process development and standards. The need for collaborative projects is even greater in a remote work environment. How are you connected to the people in your data center? How are you connected to support services? How do you connect with your networking team? »
Rather than focusing on employee productivity at all hours of the workday, Judd said leaders should focus on what matters to them as an organization. For him, it’s customer service.
“Are tickets not only closed, but are they closed in a timely manner? » said Judd. “Honestly, I don’t care if a ticket is closed every day or not. What I care about is if it’s been open for two weeks or more and no one has answered it, because that’s a waste of customer service.
Using data to track performance can help identify gaps in coverage and productivity, and staying in constant communication with all team members ensures that managers don’t lose track of which projects everyone is working on.
The cybersecurity team also embarked on a three-month pilot of a 4/10 work schedule, where employees worked four days a week for 10 hours a day. A survey conducted after the pilot found that the schedule resulted in a 46 percent improvement in throughput, and employees reported better work-life balance and job satisfaction, Judd said.