In 2020, we saw some major changes in the business world. One of the most drastic was the switch to full remote work. More than a year later, the workforce is finally starting to return to the office, but not at the same capacity as before. A growing number of organizations are embracing a hybrid working environment.
Working from home provides a variety of benefits for both businesses and their employees, but the physical office is still a necessity. A hybrid work model is a compromise that allows the physical and virtual workplaces to coexist. However, transforming your organization to a hybrid-friendly environment takes a little work.
For a hybrid model to be successful, you need to adjust the way you think about your business. Your staff is now going to be partially separated between virtual and physical environments. It’s vital that you find a way to give both parts of your team what they need to perform at their best. A few things you should consider when creating a hybrid office include:
The more work locations, devices, and communications your business has, the more your organization’s exposure to risk grows. You need a solution that keeps your employees secure, but at the same time doesn’t compromise your remote working network’s flexibility or efficiency. One of the best ways to maintain security when employees work remotely is to implement something like Cisco Meraki, a service that provides best-in-class security.
Just like the employees in your office, your virtual staff requires support. However, the needs of your remote workforce are likely to be different from the other half of your team. If you’re not familiar with the requirements of your virtual employees, it can be difficult to accommodate them. It may help to conduct a survey that asks each employee what they need to be successful.
When employees aren’t able to physically interact with their coworkers, culture becomes more important than ever. Company culture refers to the attitudes and behaviors of a company and its employees. It’s evident in the way your team communicates with each other on a daily basis. With a strong company culture, employees understand what’s expected of them and the behaviors they should exhibit.
When it’s time for your remote employees to visit the office, they probably aren’t going to know where everything is. You want to make it as easy for them to navigate the building as possible. This helps your virtual team be more productive when in the office while also making them feel included. Creating something like a map that lays out the entire office would be a useful resource for them.
Some tasks can be done independently, but many others require at least some amount of coordination between your employees. Getting joint projects done would be nearly impossible without collaboration, but the people who are working from home won’t be able to simply walk over to their coworker’s desk.
The solution is collaboration tools. Applications like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Asana, Salesforce, and so on allow both halves of your workforce to communicate and work together on projects. Using these tools helps maximize efficiency, engagement, coordination, and management.
The point of industry IT regulations is to encourage better cybersecurity practices across the sector. However, achieving and maintaining IT compliance is often difficult. Regulations tend to change as the threats shift. It also doesn’t help that new rules are always being added.
As difficult as it may be, compliance is necessary. Depending on the stipulations in your industry, switching to a hybrid work environment could cause your IT infrastructure to fall out of compliance. Before integrating the hybrid model into your business operations, make sure your remote team has everything they need to keep themselves and your company compliant.
As Knoxville, Tennessee’s leading small and medium-sized business IT provider, we have the solutions you need to make a seamless transition to a hybrid working environment. We keep you protected by leveraging Cisco Meraki’s seven-layered firewall to thwart potential cyberthreats. Our experts also work with you to develop IT strategies that save money and keep you compliant.
Contact us today to learn more.