The COVID-19 pandemic has caused companies to change how they think about the future of work. One of the ways to stay competitive and excel in a post-pandemic world is to move towards a hybrid model of work, one that blends remote and office work. A hybrid workplace has become the new norm, with at least half of workers worldwide currently working in a hybrid environment.
The term hybrid means to combine two or more things to create something new. Workplaces have been remote for the last few years, but with the rapid speed of technology advancements, it has become easier to work remotely than ever before. Hybrid work models embrace both the technology and flexibility of remote work, allowing employees to do their jobs remotely at some times, while other times they are able to perform their role in an office.
More businesses are expected to adopt a hybrid workplace in the future. This means organizations will need to consider various factors such as performance and security while setting up a hybrid work environment.
Does the hybrid work model benefit businesses?
On the one hand, hybrid work options benefit businesses and employees enormously.
Organizations that have made flexible working an option for previously full-time remote employees have noted an increase in employee engagement. Through the optimal use of Microsoft’s collaborative tools such as Teams, employees are able to seamlessly switch between remote and office work while maintaining their normal productivity levels.
In fact, the successful transition for many businesses to hybrid work environments has meant a shift in commercial spending, as more companies invest in technology to support remote workers and office employees. This allows for a more predictable spend and encourages IT budgets to focus on further improving performance and security.
Are hybrid environments more vulnerable to cyber-attack?
On the flip side, if your hybrid work environment isn’t secure, the convenience of operating a hybrid company means there is a greater potential for your systems to be vulnerable to cyber-attack. The flexibility of having team members able to switch between office space and remote sites needs to be maintained, without sacrificing the integrity of your IT environment.
Some of the bigger concerns are:
Optimizing performance and staying secure
Security should always be a priority for businesses. However, with the increase of hybrid workplaces, the challenge is to ensure the performance of employees working from the office or remotely is not affected while keeping business data secure.
This capability is lacking when using traditional access tools such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), as they slow down performance and create security concerns with their lack of data control or built in threat protections. A VPN can protect a user’s IP and encrypt their internet history, but they can’t keep users safe if they download malware or visit phishing websites.
VPNs are an access tool only, not a security measure and do not provide any security policy control, data control, or threat protection – all important measures for employees who may be accessing across various devices, locations, and applications.
A hybrid workplace is built around employees having secure and easy access to business data and information.
Enabling that means implementing security strategies such as:
The hybrid workplace is here to stay. Businesses making this digital transformation need expert guidance and knowledge to ensure their transition to a hybrid work model is secure while optimizing their performance. Talk to the network management experts at Technology Solutions today, to find out how your business can perform at its best and stay secure at all times.
It’s actually surprising to hear that at least half of workers worldwide are working in a hybrid environment. I assumed it was a lot less by now. Many countries have lifted certain restrictions which means many employees should be getting back to work, no?
In my opinion, in most fields, we could do well with a hybrid work model. Maybe 2 days at the office and 3 at home? I assume this would work in most industries, for most companies? Why spend more time at the office than is needed?
Every company should train their employees on the good practices of cybersecurity and how to avoid creating problems while online. Weak passwords, use of public WiFi shouldn’t be a problem anymore. We know how to get around them and all employees should know this and do it.
Now that the pandemic is seemingly slowing down we shouldn’t just race back to get back into our offices. As (probably) most of us have realized, some if not most of the work we did can be done from home. In many cases, it can be done in a much more efficient manner. We have more time for the things that matter most: ourselves, our family and friends. This hybrid work model must be implemented worldwide, wherever possible.