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    Hybrid vs. Remote vs. In-Office: UEM for All

    1/3 of US companies currently don’t require anyone to be in office! Surprised? But what about the remaining 2/3? Well, some are fully remote, while some are hybrid. Such is the modern workplace scenario. Flexibility remains the key—62%1 of workplaces offer complete location flexibility, i.e., work-from-anywhere. But let’s break these stats down to the whole pie. 

    • Fully flexible – 33% (fully remote – 7%; employee’s choice – 26%)
    • Structured hybrid – 29% 
    • Fully in-office – 38%
    Hybrid vs. Remote vs. In-office Work
    Hybrid vs. Remote vs. In-office: How UEM Fits All

    While the debate of hybrid vs. remote vs. in-office will never cease, the lines between them will keep blurring. However, all these models have one thing in common—devices, whether employee-owned or company-owned. Whatever work model it may be, a startup with a handful of devices or a full-scale enterprise with thousands of devices must be able to manage them. It’s where Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) makes a strong case for omnipresence—hybrid, remote, or in-office. 

    This blog intends to establish the need for UEM in all three models of workplaces. 

    Understanding the Modern Workplace Environment

    Rise of Hybrid Work

    The concept of hybrid work has transcended its initial role as a response to global events, becoming a permanent fixture in the organizational playbook. Defined by a flexible arrangement that combines both remote and in-office work, hybrid models empower employees to strike a balance between autonomy and collaboration. The benefits are manifold, encompassing increased employee satisfaction, a broader talent pool, and operational flexibility.

    However, the road to a thriving hybrid work environment has challenges. Striking the right balance between virtual and physical interaction poses a managerial problem. Ensuring equitable access to resources for remote and in-office teams becomes crucial for maintaining cohesion. 

    Remote Revolution

    Remote work, once viewed as a temporary solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, has transformed into a relatively permanent option for many organizations. Its trajectory has been accelerated by technological advancements, changing attitudes toward work-life balance, and the necessity for business continuity. As organizations embrace remote work, new trends and challenges emerge, demanding a comprehensive understanding. Exploring these trends involves investigating the impact of remote work on employee engagement, collaboration, and productivity. 

    Resilience of In-Office Work

    In the face of the hybrid and remote work surge, the traditional in-office environment remains resilient. The office is not merely a physical space; it symbolizes collaboration, spontaneous interactions, and the forging of shared company culture. Thus, the benefits of working in an office will never fade away.

    Yet, the resurgence of in-office work comes with its considerations. Security concerns in shared spaces, the need for adaptable office layouts, and reimagining the purpose of physical workspaces are critical aspects to address. By comprehending the nuanced dynamics of the in-office setting, organizations can craft strategies that leverage the strengths of a traditional work environment while integrating the flexibility demanded by the modern, mobile workforce.

    The Crucial Role of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

    Security Concerns Across Environments

    Security challenges expand exponentially as the modern workforce becomes more mobile and diverse. UEM acts as a first line of defense against cyberattack threats and data breaches that could compromise sensitive information. 

    In the hybrid working model, UEM addresses the challenge of securing devices that transition between office and remote settings. It ensures compliance with data protection regulations and guards against unauthorized access. In the remote work model, UEM helps organizations address endpoint and device security concerns, safeguarding against threats that lurk beyond the traditional office walls. UEM tackles digital and physical security in an in-office setting, establishing protocols to protect devices within on-site workspaces.

    Read more about Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in the workplace.

    Balancing Control and Employee Privacy

    Implementing effective UEM policies requires balancing maintaining control over corporate devices and respecting employee privacy

    There’s a lot more to a UEM solution than just enforcing security protocols. It involves fostering a culture of trust by transparently communicating the scope of monitoring, emphasizing the protection of corporate assets, and clarifying the boundaries of privacy. Understanding the legal considerations surrounding employee privacy rights is essential. It ensures UEM practices adhere to regulatory frameworks while maintaining the security posture.

    Tailoring UEM Solutions for Each Work Environment

    How UEM Can Help Hybrid Work: Flexibility without Compromise

    The fluid nature of hybrid work demands UEM solutions that seamlessly adapt to the ebb and flow of employees between office and remote locations. Device compliance becomes an imperative, ensuring they meet security standards irrespective of their physical location. Cloud-based UEM solutions emerge as a powerful tool, enabling real-time monitoring and secured access to company resources from anywhere. 

    Balancing the flexibility of hybrid work environments without compromising security is key. Hence, UEM solutions become essential for organizations embracing the best of both worlds. For hybrid scenarios, the ideal choice for IT teams is a UEM that offers features in sync with the device and end-user requirements. For example, in a hybrid work setup, an employee may use a corporate-owned device when in the office. The same employee might use a personal device while working from home. Like the hybrid work model, the UEM solution needs to be flexible. It must offer seamless BYOD and COPE enrollment and device inventory management. 

    Securing the Remote Workplace with UEM: Beyond Office Walls

    The adoption of remote work has truly redefined office perimeters by dissolving boundaries. For organizations working remotely, efficient management and security of the entire device fleet is mandatory. Device and data security takes center stage, encompassing secure VPNs, two-factor authentication, and robust remote wipe and lockdown protocols. UEM solutions tailored for remote work must be capable of safeguarding devices beyond the traditional office space. 

    To address the unique challenges of remote work, UEM software should empower IT admins more than any other work model. Encrypting data at rest and in transit, monitoring for unusual device activities, and secure file sharing are necessary for fully remote workplaces. Another critical aspect is that the UEM solution must offer multi-OS support because OS heterogeneity is prevalent in remote work. 

    How UEM Can Help In-Office Work: Securing Shared Spaces

    While the in-office setting remains a bastion for collaboration, it brings forth its security and device management considerations. UEM software for in-office work should enable IT admins to implement robust encryption protocols, monitor network traffic, and ensure only authorized users gain access to shared devices.

    Physical device security measures take precedence in the in-office environment. Geofencing and location tracking are particularly important UEM features in this regard. Many organizations that operate entirely from the office have desktops as their mainstays. In such cases, IT teams would prefer a UEM provider with desktop management capabilities. Shared device management is also vital, especially for organizations where employees work in shifts and share the same device. 

    UEM Features Applicable to All: Remote, Hybrid, and In-Office

    Have you ever wondered what the pivotal connection could be between all three working models? No brownie points to get this one right! It’s the internet. Therefore, the concerns associated with internet usage are common for remote, hybrid, and in-office workplaces. So, here are some UEM features that apply to and benefit every organization—big or small.

    • Remote troubleshooting (because even in-office workplaces could be globally dispersed)
    • Conditional email access (CEA)
    • Application management
    • Content management
    • Update and patch management (apps and OS)
    • Web content filtering
    • Application allowlisting and blocklisting

    Choose Scalefusion to Manage Devices for All Workplace Models

    Hybrid, remote, or in-office—the choice is up to organizations based on what suits them the best. A comprehensive UEM solution like Scalefusion caters to all the requirements of modern workplaces, irrespective of the location. From security to productivity, Scalefusion provides equips and empowers IT teams with an all-encompassing suite of device management features.

    Speak to our experts and schedule a demo to explore how Scalefusion UEM fits into your work model and scope. Get going with a 14-day free trial!

    References:
    1. The Flex Index

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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