Still Working Remotely? How WFH Continues to Affect Information Governance


Many teams are still working remotely, and companies are sensitive to forcing staff to return to the office. However, as flexible as they try to be, organizations may struggle to manage content in a hybrid environment. Information governance (IG) teams are reacting by revisiting their SOPs to ensure secure access while mitigating risk in the framework of a long-term solution.


Since the pandemic, departments such as compliance have been pushed into reaction mode. In the past, when organizations procured new tech, compliance principles, such as controls, regular audits, and records management, were embedded in the process. Nevertheless, in a rush to set up remote work, IG is often bypassed.


This is problematic because IG has increased in importance, and WFH, by its very nature, has disseminated, structured, and unstructured data AND staff members. As it occurs to businesses that this is the new normal, improved flexibility is required when addressing these IG requirements. Read on for some suggestions.


Update policies as necessary


Organizations should review their current IG approach. Old policies may be inaccurate or put the organization in jeopardy of non-compliance since WFH requires exceptions to policy.


For instance, a policy may state that client contracts must be kept for seven years past termination. However, over the years, require exceptions related to who was the company signatory. For example:


  • Policy- Keep client contracts for seven years past termination

  • Exception One- If signed by the CFO, keep it for ten years

  • Exception Two- If signed by the CFO and CEO, keep it for 15 years


Once, these policies were probably easily managed when records were on paper and a records manager was in the office. Today, managing hundreds of record types with hundreds of exceptions would require a tool like Laserfiche to digitize and automate the retention schedule. The exceptions could be noted in a template field pull-down menu.


It should be noted that some organizations are simplifying their retention policies and rethinking their metadata strategy. This approach could drive automation of procedures so that documents can be stored in Laserfiche and employees will know where to find them.


Leverage Laserfiche for IG automation


Some problems may arise because employees don’t see the value in performing information governance duties. Your average remote knowledge worker may not know the ins and outs of records management and compliance. This is especially true of newer tools implemented during the pandemic.

Information governance policy automation with tools like Laserfiche is vital for organizations to maintain compliance. Many collaborative applications that organizations adopted amid the pandemic have APIs, enabling document capture from that tool or a shared network folder. Retention schedules and security controls can be automatically applied via templates, which will also speed up document search.

Communicate infrastructure and IG changes


One of the tenants of change management is strong communication. Employees should know why information governance matters. In addition to employee training, technology and compliance leaders should regularly update employees on information governance. Ideally, these details should be delivered through regular updates and associated with the organization's strategic goals and objectives. If a team gives a briefing or retrospective on a new project or system, they should address its information governance aspects. Additionally, leaders should inform what specific changes are required to maintain compliance and why. Employees are more likely to follow the IG processes if they understand why and the potential impact of non-compliance.



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