Companies like Spotify, Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce have made announcements that they are moving towards a long-term hybrid workforce, allowing employees to work in the office and remotely. As decisions regarding returning to the office are made, more companies are likely to follow suit. The majority of companies have spent the past year building short-term remote work strategies and tech stacks like integrating video conferencing and file sharing tools; however, it’s time to switch to a long-term strategy that benefits employees and organizations now and in the future.
The switch to a hybrid work model consists of more than building on the existing remote work strategy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 17% of the US workforce worked remotely full-time, so in many cases, remote work strategies were built overnight. Companies scrambled to purchase video conferencing and collaboration tools without the time to fully vet all the options. As organizations take a more strategic approach to their remote and hybrid work strategies, it is time to invest in the tools and technologies that are missing in the current infrastructure.
- Virtual Collaboration: Likely, your organization invested in virtual collaboration tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Cisco WebEx to increase collaboration virtually. With a year of using these tools, further investments in your current tool or switching to an alternative might be necessary to future-proof your business. Additional collaboration tools include digital offices, project management, and file sharing.
- Cloud Technology: The pandemic greatly accelerated cloud adoption, which meant many organizations had to move quickly letting cybersecurity take a back seat to other concerns. As teams move to a fully remote or hybrid model, it is vital to invest in the proper security measures for the cloud. Also, businesses will continue to increase their investments in the cloud as it allows for increased flexibility, speed, and efficiency.
- IT Support: 73% of workers want to divide their week between home and in-office, and hybrid work is typically coupled with flexible work hours. This could mean later than normal start times to get kids to school and working later hours. IT teams need to reflect these changes in order to best support employees during any difficulties.