Initially a short-term measure to deal with pandemic-related restrictions, hybrid working is now established as a permanent fixture in the business world. Gartner research has found that 96% of HR leaders will be adopting hybrid working within their organisations or have done so already.
As a result, businesses are having to think increasingly long-term about how hybrid working is implemented. Ideally, employees should feel just as connected, motivated and productive working from home as they would be in the office. At the same time, they should also feel positive about working from the office, and they should be able to collaborate easily with any co-workers, wherever they are.
Putting the right processes and technologies in place to make hybrid working a long-term success is therefore a top priority for many businesses in 2023. This blog highlights how the digital workplace can help address challenges along the way in three key areas.
Risk management and security
Hybrid working comes with a unique set of challenges from a cybersecurity perspective. It’s part of the reason that, according to Microsoft, as many as 80% of CEOs still feel uncomfortable with hybrid working as a long-term reality.
Employees need access to data and applications across many different devices, in many different places and across many different internet connections. This exponentially increases the potential attack surfaces that cybercriminals can take advantage of, whether it’s unsafe public WiFi, or a Bring-Your-Own-Device arrangement where personal activity ends up compromising corporate systems.
Technology like virtual desktops can help in this area by making data and applications accessible through the cloud, compartmentalising business information and activity on devices, and ensuring rigorous security is applied throughout.
Employee experience and business visibility
There are many challenges relating to employee experience and business visibility that hybrid working is posing, including:
- IT support – with employees spread out much further geographically, it can be more difficult to ensure that everyone can get the technological help they need whenever they need it, whether it’s logging issues or swapping devices.
- Collaboration spaces – without a fresh approach to meeting rooms, including better hardware and software, bringing office-based and remote employees together in meetings can be difficult. In particular, remote attendees often can’t be seen or heard adequately to be able to properly collaborate.
- Productivity paranoia – many businesses still don’t have trust in their employees to complete all their tasks if the manager is unable to monitor their work directly.
All of these issues can be solved by having the right hardware, software and IT Services in place, from communication platforms and video conferencing room kits, to proactive monitoring toolsets which can measure productivity and employee experience. Working out which are required and how to deploy them should start with an assessment of the current technological set-up.
Costs are rising and businesses are not immune to this. Consequently, companies are understandably being far more proactive in looking for efficiencies and improvements that can help them do more with less. That way, they can maintain their profitability even as higher prices for materials, equipment, real estate and energy continue to rise.
Additionally, it can also free up vital funding for innovation through automation, artificial intelligence, orchestration and other technological advances. But irrespective of the level of investment they’re able to make, understanding the starting point and where the biggest improvements can be made for a relatively small spend is vital to maximise ROI. It is also worth considering managed services as a way of innovating over a period of time and spreading the cost of doing so through operating expenditure rather than CapEx.
How SCC can help
Whatever the current position of your digital workplace, SCC can help you evolve it to the stage where it perfectly complements your long-term hybrid working strategy.
The process starts with detailed Digital Workplace Assessment, where we evaluate your existing technology and set out a roadmap towards your ideal end goal. This incorporates productivity, infrastructure optimisation, collaboration, document services, licence management, DEX and much more, so that you can work towards a comprehensive, flexible and secure technology stack for your business.
With this roadmap established, we can then supply and implement all the processes and technologies you need for your next-generation digital workplace. We can provide these on a managed service basis if you prefer, and can also deliver ongoing support to keep everything running smoothly for every employee, every day.