Working Remote – Pants not optional

| By:
Alyssa Fleming

We have moved to more virtual meetings than face-to-face meetings over the course of the last year. Many of us dress down compared to typical office wear. Perhaps it is jeans or maybe it is even pajama bottoms, but in case you are wondering--pants are not optional!

Work from home routine

Conference rooms have been swapped out for living rooms and home offices. Our attire has also made a shift. While scheduling a podcast recording the other day, one of the participants joked about if they had to wear pants for this session. While they were kidding, a good point was brought up. What should we be wearing while working from home?

Are we saying formal wear is required? Absolutely not. If you feel most comfortable in formal wear, we will not get in your suit-wearing way. But the takeaway is to wear comfortable and appropriate clothing while working from home. Many have rocked what we are calling a wardrobe mullet. Professional on the top and comfortable on the bottom – much like a regular mullet.

The Today Show discussed this very topic in an article earlier this year. They discussed with fashion and psychologist experts to talk about the best way to dress for success from home. If you are not interfacing with people that day, dress down. When you are having virtual face time with partners, coworkers, etc. dress as you would in the office. The main point is to build a stable routine. A routine will not only increase productivity but also help with mental health. Whether that means getting dressed at 8 a.m. every morning in business attire– or grabbing that cup of coffee before logging in, make it a habit. If you feel most comfortable in jeans, wear them!

Now if you do not have to dress up or dress down, dress for your mood! Colors have an incredible impact on you. Warmer shades remind us of activity and usually get our blood pumping. In contrast, blues or blue greens have been known to be more relaxing. If you have a big meeting, go ahead and break out your favorite red top. Red is a power color and has been connected to confidence. It is truly amazing that the seemingly small decision of what to wear can impact your entire day.

So, what does this have to do with managed services providers (MSPs) anyway?

Are you wearing pants under your desk?

We often ask partners if they are wearing pants under their desk. Now before you call human resources, let us explain. This phrase defines the issue of what the client expects you to manage versus what is being managed in regards to the client’s network. You might not have said you were responsible for the network infrastructure, but you also did not say you were not responsible. This scenario would be called not wearing pants under your desk. You can read more on this topic here.

So, while the topic of getting dressed has come up more frequently than we ever imagined this year, we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you to get those pants on, both figuratively and literally!

This is especially important when it comes to cybersecurity.

While adapting to the work-from-home lifestyle, one of the biggest roadblocks MSPs have had to face is the issue of cybersecurity. With the quick shift to remote work, companies need to protect their assets more than ever.

Our partners have let us know that ransomware and business email compromise (BEC) are huge issues that their customers are facing. According to Crowdstrike, there were more ransomware attacks in the first half of 2020 than in the entire year of 2019.

In Scary Stories from the SOC, we highlight some of these real-life cyberattacks as witnessed in our SOC and what could have been done to prevent these issues from affecting TSPs like you.

What’s more - our State of SMB Cybersecurity in 2020 report found that 91% of small-and-medium sized businesses (SMBs) would consider switching to a different MSP for the right cybersecurity services.

The conclusion to draw from all this is that cyberattacks are not going anywhere and it’s highly likely that your customers assume you’ve got them fully protected. Don’t get caught with your pants down - the time to have an honest discussion around cybersecurity is right now.

Whether it starts with establishing a risk-first security culture or educating your customers about healthy cybersecurity practices, there’s no time to waste. Just take a step towards getting started and make 2021 the year that security - ant pants - are required.