The makeshift work-from-home situations that companies put in place in 2020 when the pandemic first hit, were initially meant to be temporary for many. But two years later, the business world has realized remote work and hybrid offices are here to stay.
83% of surveyed employees prefer the ability to work from home at least part of the time. A majority of employers are adapting to this major shift, with 83% saying that they plan to put more flex work opportunities in place permanently.
94% of surveyed employers said that productivity has been the same or higher with remote employees.
The surprising twist for many employers that had previously feared allowing employees to work from home would tank productivity was that it wasn’t impacted. The vast majority of companies reported productivity being the same or higher after the move to remote work.
So, now companies are settling into the hybrid office, where employees work both remotely and on-site, for the long run. This means that temporary measures need to be replaced by permanent solutions that support and foster an optimized hybrid team.
If you’ve been facing this shift at your organization, here are several tips for building a hybrid office that works in the long run.
Equip Remote Employees as You Do On-Site Employees
If you’re relying on remote employees to use their own devices or office equipment, then you’re not setting them up for success. You should equip remote teams with the same resources that you do for on-site workers.
This includes providing them with:
- Printers (if applicable)
- Paper & office supplies
No matter where your team is working, employees should be equipped accordingly if you want them to be as optimized remotely as in the office.
Invest in Good Virtual Meeting Hardware & Software
The virtual meeting has now become the default way that everyone meets. It’s vital that this interface be as smooth as possible to support meaningful interactions.
It’s important to keep teams connected to continue to foster a sense of company pride and teamwork. Using video calls is a way to do this when employees are working remotely.
But meeting virtually can be problematic if you are suffering from dropped audio, frozen screens, and other things that interfere with a smooth conversation.
Invest in decent headsets for your team. If you’re using a conference room in an office, then look for conference room equipment like soundbars.
Additionally, invest in a decent SaaS app for your meetings. Using something free instead of a paid service might cost you more in productivity time and frustration than you’re saving.
Use an Endpoint Device Manager
Security is a big concern when you must change a network from being in one place to encompassing many employee homes. Cybersecurity concerns reported by leaders at hybrid-working offices are home internet security (21%) and leakage of sensitive company data (20%).
Make sure to address device security by using an endpoint device manager, such as Intune in Microsoft 365. This provides you with vital visibility into those devices being used to access business data and allows you to apply blanket security policies to all remotely.
It’s also easier to grant or revoke access to your systems remotely when endpoints are attached to this type of system. This improves the security of the onboarding and offboarding process for remote employees.
Secure a Business VPN to Improve Home Network Security
Home network security was another concern reported by leaders dealing with the new world of remote working. One way to quickly increase the security of business data being transmitted over home networks is to have employees use a business virtual private network (VPN).
Once you sign up for a VPN account, you can assign employees as users. They can then download the VPN app on their devices. Once turned on, the app will route all data traffic through secure servers, encrypting those communications for security and privacy.
Use Managed IT Services to Secure & Maintain Both In-office & Remote Devices
We mentioned that you need to equip remote workers the same way as those that are in the office. This also goes for managed IT services that you have to maintain and secure computers.
No matter where business-use devices are being used – at home or in-office – it’s important that they are properly maintained and monitored for any threats.
Using managed IT for all employees’ devices also ensures that your team has the computer tech support they need, no matter where they are working.
Managed services include vital solutions such as:
- Patch & update management
- Proactive maintenance
- Real-time alerts for any issues
- Managed backup and recovery
- Flexible support hours
- And much more
Set Your Hybrid Office Up for Success
Connect2Geek can help your Treasure Valley area business improve the efficiency and sustainability of your hybrid office environment.
Schedule your free consultation to learn more today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.