Securing office documents with a locking document bag is top priority when working at home.
It is hard to imagine how locking document bags are relevant in your life right now as a work-from-home employee. And yes, it is weird to think about something as random as locking document bags right now, but if you finish reading this story, I promise you that everything will make perfect sense.
First, let’s start with yet another random thing: Professor Robert E. Kelly.
Ask someone – anyone – today if he or she knows who Professor Robert E. Kelly is. Maybe you’ll end up at the receiving end of a confused stare or a bewildered gaze. Who is Professor Robert E. Kelly anyway?
The world remembers him as the well-dressed man wearing a dark blue blazer, a crimson tie, and what is arguably the best display of self-control. His poise under pressure was put to the test when his adorable children barged into his home office just as he was in the middle of an interview with BBC discussing the political condition in the Korean peninsula.
In hindsight, what appeared as a blunder became a hilarious postscript about the challenges of balancing and separating work and family time.
Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on our cute children bailing us out when something unfortunate happens at home that affects work. In the case of Professor Robert E. Kelly, his children’s intrusion of his workspace while he was working did not damage his reputation or his employment.
But what if a slip-up at home has repercussions at work? What if some accident at home brings you and the company a truckload of problems?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This proverb rings true when it comes to carefulness when doing work at home.
Always remember Murphy’s law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
New Normal: Working at Home
Work-at-home allowed us to continue working amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. The concept is simple, but many people – nay, households – are not ready.
If you want proof, Google “work from home fails” for a laundry list of how people are failing when working from home.
Sure, you are a different animal when you are at home compared to who you are at work. It will take time (not to mention practice, patience, and more hilarious, implicating, self-deprecating videos and stories) for everyone to acclimatize to the concept of working at home and turn on that personality that is supposed to be turned off when at home.
To avoid any costly or unfortunate error resulting from the inevitable intersection of work and family in a work-at-home setting, you must be aware of what scenario can potentially result in a major blunder that can cost you your job.
Start with the Basic
If you find yourself working at home, expect your workspace at home to be filled with office or work-related items – company computer, miscellaneous necessities, and an assortment of paperwork. Office clutter will find its way to your house.
With this in mind, your first conscious effort all the time should be this: secure and protect company property, particularly that one very, very valuable thing: office document.
What Could Go Wrong?
If you are careless in your handling and safekeeping of important company documents while working at home, a lot of bad things can happen, and things can go bad fast.
There are a lot of things that kids can do with loose papers snatched from your desk while you were in the kitchen making a sandwich. They can cut them up using their scissors from the art class and make confetti. They can fold these papers a hundred different ways as they practice origami. They can turn your 20-page confidential financial report into a sketch pad or transform your year-end business report into a coloring book.
It’s not just kids. You can do as much damage. Being at home means you are more relaxed and prone to being careless too. So do not act surprised if you accidentally spill your coffee or soda on important office documents you failed to keep away.
And if you have a dog at home? You’ve seen what happened to the sofa, the footwear, the newspaper, and the chew toys, right? Office documents don’t stand a chance once your playful dog gets hold of it.
Well, I do not expect you to buy a filing cabinet to secure office documents you have in your possession right now. That is excessive.
Locking document bags – now these are a sensible choice. Look it up. Buy one. Or buy a locking document courier mail bag if looking like a postman compliments your fashion sense. Be an adult and have useful things. You will need locking document bags so that you have something you can use to secure important office documents. If you buy one of those fire resistant document bags, you can absentmindedly (and perhaps drunkenly) throw office document on a fire pit, and not one inch of the paper is damaged when your sober self realizes the following day what you’ve done at the height of inebriation.
Somewhere in that heavily-worded job contract that you signed is a fine print that says you will get fired if you jeopardize, endanger, damage, or tamper with office documents. You should know by now that failure at so simple a task of securing office documents may cost you your job. Companies are cutting employees loose in the effort to stay afloat amidst the economic downturn. I don’t think it is worth the risk trying to find out if your bosses have a sense of humor enough to let you go unpunished after committing a blunder while working from home.
You can only hope you are as lucky as Professor Robert E. Kelly in a BBC interview.