Security of routine
Our lives are structured on routine, a concept that provides not only an emotional sense of security, but also a cognitive advantage.
A conventional routine will involve a few hours’ sleep in each day, during roughly the same part of each day, and the intake of food and drink at regular intervals during the waking period.
Overlaying this basic, organic level of routine, we have more detailed structure, such as going somewhere on a regular basis – work, shopping, school, etc – and getting washed and dressed before we go. We perform other routine tasks before we go out, like preparing a packed lunch, turning off the lights, and locking the doors. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to remember to do these things, because neural pathways have become well established.
Routine is scored into the workplace: start time, where we park the car, what we do first, what we see and hear around us, and when we eat lunch. We know (hope!) that everyone will be dressed, and that we won’t be doing any housework until we get home. As for data protection procedures … we could do them with our eyes closed.
Working from home in lockdown
If your staff are working from home during the lockdown, they might well be doing the same job, but their routine will be shattered. Some individuals will create a new, equally effective routine. Without the supportive workplace structure, others will crumble.
Working at home, you don’t have to start at a particular time; you can work in your pyjamas; you can take a break at any time; if someone comes to the door, you can answer it; you can make a dental appointment for almost any time; you can eat when you like.
Let’s imagine it’s five o’clock in the morning, and you’re starting work. You’re still in your pyjamas/nightie/boxer shorts, and the cat’s nagging for food. The washing will need hanging out in a bit, but last night’s dirty dishes can wait.
When you sit down at the computer on a “normal” work day, you’re dressed, and the cat’s been fed; household tasks are out of the question because you’re out of the house.
On a “normal” work day, the rest of your life has to fit around work. At the moment, some of your staff might be struggling to fit work into their lives. Structure is a security measure in itself, and without the support of structure, workers may lose efficiency.
With a data classification system in place, you can ensure that your company’s data is stored appropriately, according to predetermined criteria. A classification scheme will allow you and your team to identify the storage requirements for material, based on, for example, a need for confidentiality, availability, or integrity.
Confidentiality of sensitive data is crucial for compliance. The consequences of violating a confidentiality policy are potentially disastrous.
Data classification is extremely useful for managing varying degrees of availability. Sometimes, easy retrieval is one of the most important features of an IT system.
The longer information is stored, and the more times it’s retrieved and re-stored, the more risk there is of data corruption. Integrity of data is, for some companies, a priority.
Data Classification in your business
During this difficult and uncertain period, when you might feel you’re losing control of your remote workforce, and your employees might feel daunted by increased self-governance, data classification is probably more important than ever.
Structure is important. It’s conducive to emotional security, good time management, and efficiency. Data classification is a sturdy structure within an IT system, and where some other structures might be shaky, data classification will hold fast.