A recent study commissioned by Kaspersky has found 21% of employees surveyed say they have pretended their devices were installing updates to avoid attending a call or meeting.
This is a plausible excuse, as software updates can disrupt workdays, with one-third (35%) of employees surveyed saying they have been late to a call because of updates.
Kaspersky says frequent meetings are often seen as an undesirable part of the office routine. Saying the transition to remote work and virtual meetings hasn't helped the issue, as people experienced fatigue from video calls and experience increased exhaustion at the end of the working day.
In addition to missed appointments, 37% of employees say they have lost part of their unsaved work or data when their PC or laptop restarted after installing updates.
According to Kaspersky, some employees see this device downtime as an opportunity to procrastinate, with 27% of respondents admitting that they have installed updates to deliberately waste time at work. Although it says employees generally don't like it when their work is interrupted, with 65% saying they would prefer updates happened outside of work hours to maintain productivity.
“Typically, updates are downloaded during working hours in silent mode and do not affect a business,” says Kaspersky's IT service and asset group manager, Egor Kharchenko.
“However, to apply them to the system, a restart is often required. Of course, some business matters can't be postponed, so usually a user can restart within a certain timeframe. As we can see, some people either miss such notifications or do not want to do this.
He says in this case the required restart may happen at an inconvenient moment, right before an important call or when writing a long email.
In an effort to make updates convenient for employees and IT administrators, Kaspersky recommends some changes IT departments can implement:
- Plan updates closer to the end of the workday, when devices are still on and can download required updates, but employees' activity is typically lower.
- If possible, use wake-on-LAN. This technology allows workstations to be turned on through the network, so updates can be downloaded outside working hours.
- Divide users into several groups, including a test group. Update them one by one, so the IT department can help everyone in a timely manner if something goes wrong.
- Inform the staff about the Autosave function available in some office productivity programs, it will automatically save all their changes.
- Install an endpoint protection solution with patch management features, like Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. Additionally, behaviour detection and exploit prevention technologies don't allow malefactors to leverage unpatched security issues.