Working from home used to be the exception to the rule, but that quickly turned in 2020 when working offsite spiked from 19% to 62%.
Businesses had to scramble to meet demands for this new trend, doing whatever they could to stay in business without following a structured plan. Companies were forced to evolve and the paradigm of working remotely has finally been embraced. It’s apparent now that the future of work combines both onsite and remote work, and businesses that create a cohesive hybrid workplace will be at a competitive advantage, reaching new levels of resilience. But what does a hybrid workplace require? Here are some tips that can help you create a next-generation workplace:
Continuing the Digital Transformation Journey
Digital transformation is all about removing the workforce’s reliance on physical processes, which and is a key component of remote work strategies.
Most businesses have taken on some form of digitization, starting with moving all communication and meetings online. Although virtual meeting fatigue is a very real feeling, applications such as Microsoft Teams have added several features within the last year with full-time remote workers in mind.
Many businesses have optimized workspaces with DaaS (Desktop as a Service), such as Microsoft Virtual Desktop, which simplifies access, supports heavy workloads, and offers top-level security. Choosing the right ERP system (e.g., Spire, Acumatica, or Epicor) can digitize processes, streamline data (from customer information to warehouse inventory to financial records), and be accessed onsite and remotely.
The bottom line is that digital transformation is a journey, and it’s important to understand which technology will equip your business and its employees for the future. If you have any questions regarding collaboration tools, IT infrastructure, ERP platforms, or cybersecurity, please contact a consultant for a free consultation.
Embracing the Benefits of Hybrid Work Models
Hybrid workplaces aren’t an option for every industry, but we’ve witnessed jobs that we thought were impossible to do remotely have now been proven otherwise. Even sectors like healthcare and manufacturing have found alternatives to operate remotely, whether that’s using remote sensors or smartphone apps to replace in-person support staff.
So whichever shape your company’s hybrid work model takes form, generally the benefits of embracing a hybrid workplace are the same:
- Hiring and Retention: With more relaxed parameters about location, businesses can now expand their pool of candidates
- Cost Savings: Reduce spending on office space, equipment, and travel
- Resilience: Flexible work environments offer resilience to future disruptions
Determining Your Hybrid Work Model
Hybrid workplaces undoubtedly offer flexibility and benefits, but what does that look like for your company? It’s important to visualize how your hybrid work model will look like moving forward. Some key questions that will help you determine what you need are:
- What types of activities are better done in person (e.g., training, weekly team meetings)?
- What technology needs to be in place to create a seamless work experience between remote and onsite workplaces?
- Is there any training to be provided to employees ahead of time?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of your hybrid work setup?
Try to cover all angles when hammering out the details of your hybrid workplace, and it’s important to clearly outline expectations for employees to ensure a smooth transition.
Things to Keep Top of Mind: User Experience and IT Security
There are two key areas that frequently need to be reassessed in a hybrid workplace: (1) user experience, and (2) security.
When we discuss user experience in this scenario, it’s not about the customer/client experience (although that’s important too), but about evaluating remote working and accessibility from an employee’s point of view. Is the company technology supportive or alienating? Productive or clunky? To provide an efficient, safe, happy work environment, assess how your business can better meet the needs of your employees. You can always discuss your questions and concerns about IT infrastructure, DaaS, Service as a Software (SaaS), and CRM with a consultant.
Security should always be top of mind, especially since security threats have become more prevalent than ever. Just like striking a balance between onsite and remote work, security needs to balance convenience with safeguarding company assets. It’s not efficient to change company passwords daily and it’s important that security parameters extend to all employee devices — so what’s the best IT security solution? There are several options, including Cisco Duo Security and Meraki, that offer different packages to cater to your needs. For more information about IT security or for a free security assessment, please contact a consultant.