Our working practices have changed dramatically over the past year. Even when we’re working from home, dealing with tech fails, pets, kids photo bombing our team meetings, and the endless craving for coffee/tea/biscuits (delete as appropriate) we’re still required to ensure we are keeping records of our work that are accessible when needed.
Here’s some simple advice for everyone that will help with managing work information when working remotely:
- The most important bit…make a record
- about the work you’re doing – focus on actions, decisions and the rationale (the why) which may be in any format including text messages, emails, letters, social media posts and more
- avoid using your private email, messaging apps or social media accounts for work if you can. If you do use your private accounts, any public record created or received in those accounts must be captured into an official government account within 20 days of creation or receipt (see Private Use Email Policy)
- Keep records …
- in an organised way, with easy file structures and titles
- if you have full access to all your business systems, keep records the same as if you were onsite
- somewhere safe and not easily accessible except to those who need them
- with good version control. It’s important to be able to identify the latest version versus older versions.
- but avoid use of USBs as they’re easily lost and may contain sensitive information
- Don’t throw records away
- unless you’re told by your business you can – make sure you follow the guidance from your agency
- Find out who the person is in your agency who can help with you managing your records – they’ll know exactly when you can get rid, what needs to be kept, and where things should be kept
- If you need further advice or support QSA is here to help – please feel free to shoot us an email email@example.com
- Bring the records back
- make sure you transfer the records into recordkeeping and business systems used by your agency once you have access to them or are back in the office
If you’re a records manager, feel free to use the information above to communicate about records and make sure to include a link to your agency’s Records Management Policy and Procedures for easy access by staff.
For some more tips you can also check out our Working from home video.