‘Hybrid working’ has fast become the new buzzword on everyone’s lips. This way of working has always existed but there’s no doubt that it has been fast-tracked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Attitudes to work have quickly changed and employees now want the best of both worlds going forward. 73% of employees want a more flexible approach to working, and according to the Institute of Directors, 74% of companies plan to support a hybrid approach to work. It’s become clear that whatever worked before Covid is now a thing of the past as more businesses move towards a hybrid working model.
Source: Microsoft Work Trend Index 2021
So, how do you unlock the full potential of this new way of working for your business? One thing’s for sure, technology will be key to ensuring that your staff can thrive and move seamlessly between work environments.
In order to achieve a successful hybrid workplace, it’s important that your IT is up to scratch and can support this new way of working. To help you get off to the best start possible, we’ve provided some top tips on how to get your IT on track.
1. Formulate an ongoing IT strategy
You may already have some form of an IT strategy in place, but it may require updating to take into account your changing IT needs in a post-Covid world. Your IT strategy will provide a blueprint of how technology will support and shape your company’s overall business strategy going forward.
Effectively it will help you determine what’s working and what’s not. For example, how are your staff currently using technology? What tools or software do they need to do their job effectively? Is your data secure? Once you start thinking critically about your current IT infrastructure, it will help determine what changes need to be made to improve processes and manage risk.
2. Have a business continuity plan in place
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we must prepare for the unexpected. As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. So, with this in mind, it’s crucial that your business has a plan in place that addresses the transition to a hybrid working world and the risks that it entails.
A business continuity plan will outline the procedures and processes that your business must follow in the event of an unplanned incident. This could be anything from a security breach to a service outage or any other potential threats. Continuity plans must include the technology needed to keep your business up and running, as well as addressing the human aspect of how your employees will work between the secure confines of the office and their remote working environments.
3. Keep your IT systems aligned with good operating practices and the latest technology
If hybrid working is to be a success, your business will need to invest in the right technology to ensure that staff can do their jobs effectively. The technology should enable communication and help connect employees, so they don’t feel isolated when working remotely.
Data security is also crucial, so your business will need to consider the use of VPNs for secure remote access, multi-factor authentication, firewalls, secure monitoring software, and encryption to prevent the unintentional or malicious exposure of sensitive corporate data.
4. Prioritise security
Regardless of whether your staff are working from home or the office, they remain vulnerable to cyber attacks. Cybercrime has flourished throughout the pandemic and cybercriminals have been quick to capitalise on any gaps in security to infiltrate networks or target employees with sophisticated phishing scams.
Hybrid working introduces a new set of security challenges so it’s important that your business encourages safe and secure ways of working when your staff are moving between locations. You will need to assess your current cyber security measures and see if they are fit for purpose in a hybrid working world. Staff will also need to be retrained on evolving threats and educated on the important role they play in defending your business from attack.
5. Partner with people that know your industry inside and out
A new working environment means new problems, problems that your internal team mightn’t have the knowledge or experience to solve. A managed service provider will take care of all your IT needs, letting you focus on your business instead of worrying about how to keep your IT infrastructure operational and secure during this period of change.
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in IT, which is why you should choose an MSP that understands the needs of both your business and the wider industry as a whole. This will help inform the technology infrastructure and processes that are needed to align with your overall business goals.
To find out how your business can successfully adapt to this new working environment, join us for a free webinar on ‘Hot desk or hot mess? Getting IT right in the new hybrid workplace’.
7th July, 10 am, IST.
Attendees will learn:
- What the future of hybrid work will look like for SMBs.
- How your business can benefit from the new hybrid working model.
- How to avoid the pitfalls of hybrid working and formulate an ongoing IT strategy as a small business.
- What solutions and processes you need to unlock the full potential of hybrid work.
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