First, look up your firm’s Business Continuity Plan.
Be sure you’re following the written policy and any written guidance provided by your supervisor or home office compliance.
Ensure your communications are properly monitored.
Once you’re sure that you’re in line with the written BCP, consider whether or not your firm has an internet phone service, and, if so, use it to its fullest potential.
Can you call out on a work line through your mobile phone? If so, use that feature when working from home. If you have an app that allows your firm to capture your texts, use that.
If you are not set up for text surveillance, don’t text or respond to texts from your personal phone. Clients may know you are working remotely and may reach out through methods, such as personal email or texts to your personal mobile phone. Always be sure to respond from the appropriate account and device.
Make sure that you’re protecting private client data appropriately.
Can you log in to your files remotely? If not, take caution when bringing home a drive or hard copy paperwork. Never casually toss out incomplete forms or notes that may have client information on them—be sure to shred everything properly.
If you have an external drive, is it protected with the best encryption? You might want to unplug it and keep it in your home safe at night or when you don’t need access to it.
Reach out to your clients to let them know that you are conducting business as usual as much as possible, and inform them know about any service changes or updates that will affect their accounts. Everyone is understandably worried, and will appreciate calm, measured and supportive responses.
Some of us feel more productive when working remotely, because there aren’t as many interruptions. Others may find it challenging because of the addition of children who put demands on time and attention. Regardless, it’s important to stay connected to staff and coworkers. Normally, you might pop in to someone’s office or by their desk. Be sure to continue to connect with your team—you can be confident that everyone’s efforts are aligned, and they will stay more connected to you.
To stay on track, be sure to stick to your usual office hours to ensure your work day has a start and end time. Take regular breaks. Step away from your home office set up and get outside when possible.
This is a strange time. Stay safe, and keep compliant while working from home.
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This blog is our ongoing effort to inform and educate FINRA licensed professionals about the evolving regulatory ecosystem in which we operate.