Impact of Remote Work in GRC

Remote work in GRC

Remote and hybrid work culture has been one of the biggest changes in the post-pandemic world, as people look to balance their personal and professional lives. The downsides to this work shift are the increased security risks, difficulty in implementing uniform policies and procedures, ensuring equality, and meeting compliance. In other words, remote work has made GRC challenging for organizations.

In this article, let’s look at the impact of remote work on GRC implementation and how you can improve it in your organization.



In a traditional office setup, decisions were quick because of the face-to-face interactions. Any employee with a question or doubt could simply walk to the other person and get clarification. More importantly, people can sense others’ reactions and opinions through body language, and these aspects make decision-making a well-rounded and holistic process that considers everyone’s opinions.

In a virtual setup, the body language understanding is completely absent. Moreover, differences in time zones and the resulting impact on productivity make communication and collaboration challenging.

At the same time, leaders must formulate and implement policies and processes for smooth operations. This is where a virtual setup proves to be a major roadblock.

Policy Implementation

If decision-making is one side, implementing policies is another challenge in remote work. Employees working in different locations and from different backgrounds can interpret policies differently. Due to a lack of visibility into what others are doing, employees may need help understanding the purpose of policies, resulting in misunderstandings and discrepancies.



Cybersecurity is one of the biggest risks of remote work as employees can use different devices, even those with security vulnerabilities. Also, they can use potentially risky Internet connections to access work records. It is estimated that 60% of businesses faced a cyberattack on remote workers and the average cost of a breach has increased by USD 137,000.


Data privacy is another critical concern. Remote work can increase exposure to sensitive data if proper controls are not in place. Reports show that 68% of remote work devices don’t have an antivirus installed, increasing the risk of an attack. Similarly, employees could copy sensitive data or mishandle them accidentally or willfully, and this adds to privacy concerns.

Operational Risks

Remote work can disrupt normal business operations, especially if there is a lack of infrastructure to support remote employees. Also, getting permission to install applications can face delays and IT support may be limited too. These factors increase the risk of operational risks.


Regulatory Compliance

Compliance with regulatory requirements can be more challenging in a remote work environment. Regulations often require specific controls and procedures that can be difficult to implement remotely. Moreover, reviewing and updating compliance policies to reflect the remote work environment can be difficult, leading to potential compliance gaps.


Remote work can complicate the audit process, as auditors may need to access documents and systems remotely. Also, conducting audits can be difficult, especially if employees work from different locations and time zones. Furthermore, local laws and regulations add to the complexity.

Overall, implementing GRC in a remote work environment is difficult because of the above reasons.

Next, let’s see what you can do to improve GRC implementation in a remote work setting.

Strategies for Implementing GRC in a Remote Work Environment

You can take one or more of the following strategies for streamlining GRC implementation among your remote workforce.

Strong Cybersecurity Measures

One of the first things is implementing cybersecurity measures because it can profoundly impact your operations. Ensure that every device that connects to your network has antivirus installed and is patched. Also, enforce multi-factor authentication and role-based access controls to ensure only authorized employees can view sensitive data. Lastly, use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to connect to your network.

Data Privacy Protocols

Data privacy is a serious concern, especially if regulations like HIPAA and GDPR apply to you.  Implement strong data privacy controls to avoid paying heavy fines and the resulting lawsuits. Use encryption to protect sensitive data during transit and at rest. Also, provide secure communication and file transfer tools to ensure safe communication and collaboration options for your employees. Finally, conduct regular audits to assess data privacy implementation, and take the necessary steps when needed.

Regular Training and Awareness

One of the biggest issues is a lack of regular training and awareness, causing a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of policies. Provide ongoing training in cybersecurity and data handling to reduce cybersecurity issues. Also, make sure the training is accessible and understandable to all employees, and make them available virtually to enable employees to study at their own pace. Additionally, offer ongoing support to clarify policies.

Policy Implementation

Besides training, make sure your policies are well-documented. These documents must be accessible to authorized employees to refer to when needed. Also, update these policies to reflect the changing business environment. Moreover, make communication a central part of your policy implementation strategy to ensure employees are updated on the latest changes.

Leverage Technology

Technology can be a game-changer when used well. Invest in GRC tools and platforms that can streamline processes. Invest in cybersecurity tools, communication platforms, project management software, and any other technological platform required to manage GRC within your organization.

Audit Readiness

Conducting an audit can be challenging because the documents can be spread across devices. To avoid such complexities, make sure your organization is always audit-ready. As a first step, digitize all documents and store them in a central location for easy access. However, you must use security measures like encryption and access controls to safeguard them. Moreover, set a clear schedule at the beginning of the year and conduct audits on the prescribed dates to help employees prepare for them. Assign responsibility to every employee to maintain the necessary records needed for audits.

Culture of Compliance

When your organizational culture revolves around compliance, you can stop worrying about non-compliance and security risks. In such an organization, employees understand compliance and take the necessary measures to achieve it. Additionally, the management must take a proactive approach and lead from the front. Rewarding compliance and ethical behavior among employees can motivate employees to feel responsible for meeting GRC standards.

The above strategies can navigate the complexities of GRC in a remote work setting. Also, these steps will help ensure you remain secure, compliant, and well-governed despite the challenges posed by a dispersed workforce.

Final Thoughts

Remote work is here to stay, and you must adapt your GRC strategies to meet the unique challenges posed by remote and hybrid work environments. In this article, we discussed the possible challenges to governance, risk, and compliance, and how you can implement the appropriate strategies to overcome them. We hope this information is a good starting point to consider how to maintain GRC standards without compromising employee flexibility.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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