Hybrid Working: How Enterprises Can Successfully Handle the New Normal

  • October 21, 2021

Numerous organizations across the globe are constantly striving in an attempt to bridge the gap between yesterday when the vast majority of employees were physically present at the office to execute their day-to-day chronological tasks and the latter day when an effective vaccine (a mandate health precautionary measure to an outcome of an unexpected sudden global outbreak) will make it possible for these workforces to return to the traditional offices.

Hybrid Working
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In the meantime, however, remote work will cement its position as an emerging part of today’s workforce, and it’s undeniable. Numerous conversations between organizations and their workforces about the future of embracing hybrid work environments might often end up expressing the hope for “the best of both worlds.” While this is not an easy feat, the challenge is to have the company’s footprint – and its employees – in two distinct but interconnected environments.

Hybrid work model – what is it, and in what way does this differ from traditional work modes?

The hybrid work model, as its name implies, empowers the workforce in an organization with the freedom to choose the workplace based on their own convenience – be it work from home or office.

On the other hand, there may also be a possibility wherein a batch of the workforce can alternate to work remotely occasionally and occasionally come to the office.

As opposed to traditional work modes, and instead of focusing on the workplace location of the employees, hybrid workplaces (or more precisely, Hybrid models) emphasize the quality of employees’ work and their output, as well as comfort and safety.

What are the views on embracing hybrid models by an organization?

Hybrid models are a contentious topic among various industry experts. Some decried the move as impractical or not sustainable, but a Stanford study found it to increase workforce productivity by 13%.

Organizations are just beginning to brainstorm and formulate how to undertake a more permanent mix of remote and on-site work for all roles that don’t require physical presence on-site. 

According to a McKinsey report based on a survey of 100 executives from different industries and geographies, approximately nine out of ten organizations anticipate combining remote and on-site working in the future.

Although nine out of ten executives believe that hybrid models will become more prevalent, many are unable to envision how the transition will be made-and; over a third of these executives indicate that their organizations lack alignment on a high-level vision. One-third of organizations have a comprehensive vision, but only one out of ten have implemented that vision.

Is the Hybrid model strategy worth it?

Numerous organizations often seek ways to eliminate excess office space and utility expenses to achieve cost savings. Although these might seem like compelling reasons for organizations to offer employees off-site work options, they aren’t counted among the most important ones.

According to surveys that have examined the impact of hybrid work cultures, companies have benefited greatly from changing work cultures. Below, we will examine some of the benefits of switching to hybrid work culture.

1. A reduction in costs:

In cases where a more significant percentage of the workforce in an organization opts to work remotely, the maintenance and operation of a physical office will shrink by a considerable amount only to the extent of limited workforces opting to work in the traditional office. Organizations may also opt to downsize their offices’ infrastructure with limited workforce capacity to only those limited preset number of employees provisioned to choose the option of working from the office and save considerably on rent.

It is even estimated that office supplies like stationery, snacks, and drinking water will be reduced drastically, saving a massive chunk in revenue expenditure figures. Organizations will also be saved with the additional expenditure of buying new devices and deploying them among workforces for chronological task execution for the ones who opt to work from home if the organization enables the motion of Bring-your-own-devices (BYOD). With the saved funds, organizations can invest in and fulfill the long-awaited demands for procuring new devices and purchasing the latest technologies.

2. Enhanced productivity – courtesy of the right technology:

There is a higher likelihood that meeting rooms and office environments will provide better technology to facilitate team collaboration than the average home office. Mainly, traditional office environments are equipped with technologies facilitating video conferencing possibilities, tools for decent audio and video abilities, and an IT department to assist the workforce in troubleshooting concerns as and when required.  

The tech situation at remote working can be frustrating: frequently, remote workers have laptops with webcams and limited audio drivers, resulting in low-quality video calls with limited functionality compared to traditional office meeting settings with no IT team on standby. 

With a hybrid working model, employees may maximize the value of their office days by using the best tech capabilities for vital customer calls, meeting with the board about important decisions, or – why not? The team can even brainstorm together. This makes it imperative for them to deliver the best output possible, boosting productivity and company profits.

3. Enhanced employer-employee relationship

Trust between employers, managers, and employees within an organization is an essential (and challenging) characteristic of a healthy, productive work environment. When employees opt to work remotely, hybrid work models enable them to prove to their managers that they are just as productive when they invest their time and brainstorm in the office without leaving a sense of judgment in between.

As per the latest employee engagement research, 81 percent of employees say that trust in leaders is the most important factor in employee engagement, followed by the relationship an employee has with their supervisor right away.

By the way, you can create an employee handbook that would work as a “corporative Bible” and contain all written rules of “employer-employee” relationships. It helps employees follow the rules and know their flexible work model standards.

Flexible work models also improve peers’ loyalty to a great extent by empowering the employees to be transparent and open with the freedom to complete their tasks and collaborate with their respective teams at their own pace. Employees will also feel more at peace if they’re given the freedom to balance personal tasks and errands they may need to run during work hours rather than feeling like they’re constantly being scrutinized by management for everything they do outside of work. 

Employees are thus more likely to be respectful of the entire organization, while management also benefits as they don’t need to micromanage or constantly check on their progress. Additionally, employees who feel respected and trusted are more likely to remain engaged at work and in the organization for extended periods.  All in all, this can reduce a toxic work environment.

Hybrid Working

Hybrid work models: What are the concerns and solutions for organizations?

This hybrid work model might seem significant on paper, but it is also fraught with risks and implications. Among the significant groups affected by this trend, IT administrators are the most alarmed. It is almost impossible for organizations to track workforce activities in a remote working environment; this certainly poses a possibility of concern for the organizations to safeguard sensitive data & documents, corporate-liable devices monitoring, and the management of remote workforces and their output.

Since the working environment is changing so rapidly, it becomes imperative for IT administrators to adopt reliable strategies to manage a large number of remote workers effectively and securely. Despite this, the traditional approaches to device management and data security, such as simple passwords, cloudless security, and compliance-only security, are becoming outdated and are no longer sufficient to address the current work model scenarios. The IT administrators must be outfitted with new tools and technologies or find other methods to handle their deployed corporate-liable devices and remote devices so that the remote workforces contain corporate data in a secure, convenient, and safe way.

Outsourcing IT services to external partners is the most straightforward solution to meet the rising demands. However, it is not without its concerns. How will an organization cope if the partner company cannot meet the expectations and demands as the trend further evolves? Is it a good idea (or secured, to be more precise) to hand over confidential & sensitive organization data to an outside party? If not, what are the alternatives?

What if an easy-to-use tool or a hybrid work software could empower the organizations embracing the Hybrid work culture to cope with all these concerns mentioned above easily? This tool is no longer a science fiction dream with the Scalefusion Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how adopting hybrid work models might pose several concerns for an organization – and how Scalefusion’s (UEM) empowers them with the best way to address these boulders efficiently.

1. Management of remote workforces and mobile devices

A strategy for managing all the devices such as smartphones, desktops, or laptops used by the employees by an organization that utilizes a hybrid working model is to ensure that these devices are easily deployable and can be managed remotely.

It’s currently complicated for the IT admins to set up a virtual meeting room and assist the employees opting to work remotely with troubleshooting errors or diagnosing the devices as and when required by the employees since they won’t be able to physically inspect those devices.  

With Scalefusion UEM, organizations can seamlessly provision devices through easy-to-follow deployment methods, including: 

  • Google Zero-touch deployment for Android devices 
  • Apple’s DEP (Device Enrollment Program) 
  • Samsung’s KME (Knox Mobile Environment)
  • Windows Autopilot 

In addition, Scalefusion facilitates additional functionality that helps the organizations to: 

  • Update apps and operating systems automatically and remotely.
  • Facilitates rapid device troubleshooting through remote cast and control features.
  • Allows remote deletion of noncompliance devices as well as dis-enrollment.

2. Keep an eye on employee productivity

Monitoring the workforce’s efficiency while they execute their day-to-day chronological tasks in a traditional office is very easy for an organization. However, keeping tabs on employee work time schedules is highly complicated when they are dispersed across the country and sometimes on another continent.

With the adoption of the Scalefusion UEM solution, organizations can:

  • Monitor, manage and configure/restrict the corporate-liable devices and Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to mission-critical applications & documents (either in Single app kiosk mode or Multi app kiosk mode).
  • Implement pre-determined corporate policies and configurations to eliminate distractions from unauthorized content during mission-critical task execution.
  • Track the live location of the dispersed workforce devices via the Location tracking feature to ensure that the remote and on-field employees across geographies are at the work location as defined by the organization. 
  • Configure the content filtering feature allowing for safe internet browsing and limiting employee access to unproductive websites.

3. Security of mobile devices

IT admins would also be alarmed by the concerns related to the security of mobile devices deployed among employees working in an organization carrying corporate sensitive data and information. How would the office handle the loss of the corporate-liable devices deployed to its remote workforces carrying these sensitive data? Who shall an organization hold liable if someone unauthorized attempts to access the device or steal or compromise the data in it? These risks are all taken care of with Scalefusion UEM. 

Additionally, there may be unforeseen circumstances when an enterprise’s deployed mobile device is lost or stolen and finding a reliable solution to mitigate the risk of leakage of company files might be a nightmare. The Scalefusion solution empowers the IT administration to perform a remote wipe on a lost or stolen device to safeguard the corporate data that lies on it from misuse or falling into the wrong hands of malicious actors. 

To ensure the corporate data is secure, Scalefusion UEM empowers the IT admins to: 

  • Remotely implement various restrictions and make the deployed devices fleet more manageable. 
  • Implement security features such as: 

    i) Passcode protection 
    ii) Blocking and whitelisting of sites with advanced profanity filters 
    iii) Securing device authorization with encryption 
    iv) Enabling and disabling specific resources that may compromise data as a precautionary measure, etc.

4. Analytics & Insights 

The introduction of a hybrid working model approach will require business leaders to be able to monitor their entire workforce, as well as evaluate things such as device uptime, usage metrics, and various other factors. It can be challenging to get an end-to-end view of an entire ecosystem when endpoints are scattered around the country or the globe.  

The solution to this is full-stack observability for all the tools you use. While tracking your IT systems only helps you detect anomalies, observability allows you to understand why those anomalies occurred and how to plug gaps in your IT architecture and application performance.

Most Mobile Device Management solutions available in the market empower IT admins with the ability to monitor the general health of the deployed mobile device while providing precise and real-time device inventory insights. As part of the feature providing Analytics & Insights, organizations can obtain real-time reports aligned to all the security compliance requirements of all enrolled devices through an intelligent interface for decision-making on operational efficiency for the organization.

Reporting tools, insights, and analytics will be integral to hybrid work device management strategies. By having a greater understanding of the device analytics and the overall health of what remote and on-site staff are using, companies will be able to make more informed decisions about their future investments.

As a final note…

The hybrid work model is becoming a significant factor in enterprise innovation, and enterprises will have to adapt as it emerges rapidly. In embracing the change, it becomes imperative for the organizations to take measures or adopt a reliable solution that can facilitate the ability to yield maximum use of its dispersed workforce without compromising sensitive and confidential corporate data. Using Scalefusion’s Hybrid Mobile Device Management Solution, all issues associated with the hybrid model can be addressed simultaneously.

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Ayush Maskara is a Content Writer at Scalefusion. A media science graduate, a photographer, a fiction author, a storyteller, fiction manuscript editor, and an avid self-help reader, Ayush has been penning the creative wisdom for six years and have stepped into the IT domain for further exploration and staying awake with technological trends across the globe.
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