Hybrid Working - Where Does Your Organisation Stand?
What, why and how can we continue 'business as usual'.
Author(s): James Palmer, Emma Meecham Jones
TThe Coronavirus pandemic posed a new threat to industries far and wide, bringing into question the practicality and safety of everyday operations.
Initially, what ensued was a frantic and immediate transition to work from home, extreme social distancing regulations and in many unfortunate circumstances, complete business shutdown. With no certainty as to the longevity of these new working conditions, a lot of company focus was centralised on simply 'keeping the lights on', a phrase that took on a whole new meaning as the year of 2020 trailed on...
However, what this unprecedented situation did propose, was the opportunity to re-evaluate business operations and employee behaviour, leading to a change in working environment, for many, forever.
Whist some companies, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, brought into question the effect on workforce productivity and practicality of working from home, therefore requesting full time office and site attendance towards the latter end of 2021, the majority have developed wholly new policies that prior to the pandemic, would never have faced consideration.
As a result, organisations were unprepared. Widespread IT infrastructure was not adequate or appropriate to move forward towards a digitally focused future.
So, how can you build an effective, "flexible" and "hybrid" working environment?
To bridge the absence of inter-personal communication, you’ll need to make sure your IT infrastructure is strong and capable enough to allow consistent, uninterrupted, online communication and collaboration.
It'll need to be FLEXIBLE: allowing stakeholders to connect to the network whenever and wherever they are situated. The traditional 9-5 routine is no longer the blanket standard; therefore, connectivity also needs to extend to cater for differentiating working hours.
It needs to be SUPPORTIVE: there needs to be a balance between the needs of the employer and the employee. With the absence of a collaborative office environment, social and routine elements of a working day are lost. Employees working from home need to still feel connected to their company and supported in their positions, therefore organisations should explore tools available that allow the support of their workforce as well as productivity.
SAFETY & SECURITY are essential: concerning both employees and company data. Typically, organisational information and employee welfare could be managed and secured under one roof. However, with the introduction of hybrid working, this is no longer the case. Company information could be displaying from thousands of monitors across the country and beyond, proposing a huge opportunity for data breach and cybercrime. You’ll want to make sure your networks are adequately secure and robust to protect your systems from any such threat, essential to any wide scale remote working.
In terms of employee comfort and safety, the approach you take to hybrid working needs to be flexible enough to cater to the safety and anxiety of staff. Should the office environment propose a potential threat to health, employee choice to work from home must be considered as an option to maintain welfare, with the appropriate technology provided accordingly.
At Hardware, we have many solutions to achieve an effective hybrid working environment, connecting your business to its workforce efficiently and securely. Our specialist engineers can assess your current infrastructure and tailor a specific solution to your business requirements, from micro-networks to datacentres we have the equipment and expertise.
Prioritise your business efficiency and get in touch today if you think your system would benefit from an upgrade as a result of a changing time and a new 'business as usual'.
If you are looking for support please get in touch.