Last month, Google announced that it would be extending work from home until the summer of 2021 – and it’s not the only one. Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter have all extended their work from home policies. It looks like, when it comes to remote work, we’re in it for the long haul.

So, where does that put us? In a lot of ways, we’ve adapted to remote work, finding ways to recreate the office environment as best we can at home. Video calls have replaced office meetings and messaging has taken the place of those deskside discussions. But there’s one area where our adaptation of the office to the home has fallen short: privacy.

In a lot of ways, privacy is a physical thing. It’s the closed door in the office, indicating a private meeting, the decision to meet in person because the meeting is important and sensitive. It’s also about trust. When you’re in the office discussing sensitive information or sharing confidential documents – whether business deals, health information, or HR materialsyou want that the information can’t be shared, whether by someone overhearing (on purpose or accidentally) or someone taking written materials outside of the office.

As remote work has become more and more widespread, it’s clear that privacy has taken a back seat. People gravitated towards tools like Zoom, despite significant security and privacy flaws, for convenience. Other common office collaboration tools, like Slack, also fail to meet the mark when it comes to privacy and security. It’s not that these tools aren’t necessary or useful. But when it comes to those truly confidential conversations, these tools don’t cut it because they do not offer the kind of encryption or privacy features that can ensure information doesn’t leave the conversation.

So how do we recreate the physical privacy of the workspace, remotely? The key is looking for the right security features. Any tool you use needs to be end-to-end encrypted, but encryption is just step one. Any communication tool you use for private conversations should have features in place that mimic the safety of a closed, private meeting – control over participants in the conversation, assurance that any materials discussed don’t leave the room and, when needed, the knowledge that you’re remaining compliant.

This is what we do at Vaporstream – we recreate the confidential office meeting, remotely. With us, conversations can’t be maliciously or inadvertently forwarded or copied and conversations do not remain on the device while still being archived to a secure repository for compliance purposes. As you focus on supporting your employees to be comfortable and productive while working remotely during COVID, we make sure that you can perform the critical tasks you need to perform without having to worry about security or complicated tech. Find out how we can support you during COVID-19 here.