Today there is tremendous demand for flexible working environments. However, many organizations are still extremely underprepared to support hybrid work in the long run.
In 2021, most organizations have started employing a hybrid work model. While full-time remote work is still popular among employees, most organizations see the hybrid work model as an ideal solution that will provide flexibility to their employees while retaining the advantages of in-person interactions. In fact, as per research from Pulse on behalf of Sungard AS of 200 North American leaders, found that approximately 89% of the respondents feel that a combination of remote and in-office work is an ideal setup going forward. Yet, even with a tremendous demand for a flexible working arrangement, most organizations are not adequately equipped to support long-term hybrid work.
Most organizations have built their security strategy to safeguard their onsite workers, their infrastructure still remains reliant on legacy IT or they have created a business continuity plan that revolves around pre-pandemic protocols. Thus, it is critical for organizations to reevaluate and refine their processes for sustaining a long-term hybrid workforce. Here are three strategies that they should adapt to achieve success with long-term hybrid work:
Secure the systems with the right approach
To keep their businesses afloat, many organizations rushed to adopt remote workforces during COVID-19. But, in their hurry to keep their operations running, many organizations failed to take the necessary security measures resulting in cybercriminals exploiting the situation. This saw ransomware attacks skyrocketing at a rapid pace.
Even with a tremendous surge in cyber-attacks, not much has changed since 2020. Many organizations still have vulnerabilities in their systems; they still have not taken the necessary steps to strengthen their security posture. As per industry experts, not many organizations are confident in their infrastructure security to operate in a remote environment for long-term success.
For organizations still operating in this manner, they should adopt a zero-trust security framework. This will ensure that access to specific data is limited to only those who require it.
With more sophisticated cyber-attacks on the horizon along with a predominantly dispersed workforce, organizations should ensure that their bases are covered both inside and outside the network.
Revamp infrastructure and technology
The COVID-19 disclosed just how many organizations rely on technology. But, most organizations still do not possess the right technology. Many business leaders state that organizations should provide or improve their infrastructure for establishing a thriving remote working environment for employees.
Most employees are overwhelmed by the number of work and home devices they want to manage. Therefore, organizations should streamline technology solutions to provide employees with a single system that they can use professionally and personally.
Organizations should understand that it is not only about ensuring that their employees have the right tools and devices but ensuring that they can access the workloads and applications they require at all times. This means modernizing infrastructure with high availability systems in place.
Infuse resilience in all relationships
At the start of the pandemic, many organizations realized they were massively under-equipped to face multi-faceted disruptions. However, going forward, they have no intention to stay that way. While they should certainly take some lessons from the pandemic, they should take steps to think broader.
Organizations should assess the business resilience of their vendors and partners. They should take precautionary measures to limit concentration risk since putting all eggs in one basket is not always ideal. Meaning, they should check that their vendors are geographically distributed or have diversified their supply chain, which will enable them to save serious headaches down if one of them experiences a disruption down the road.
The hybrid work model is here to stay. However, its long-term future hangs on whether the organization takes the required measures to support it. By addressing security, technology, and operational resilience, organizations will be better able to sustain a hybrid work environment full-time.