Hybrid and Remote working is here to stay, according to everyone from economists, business analysts, and tech vendors. For the most part businesses have been taking to remote and hybrid working very well, and many employees have cited that they enjoy the balance of independence and collaboration that remote and hybrid working. With all this said, both types of working require having a well though out strategy, and there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed by any business looking to go remote, or implement hybrid working.
Many IT support companies, such as TechQuarters, have been helping businesses set themselves up for remote and hybrid work – it is a process that involves assessing the challenges, and figuring out what types of technologies and practices will overcome those challenges. Below are 5 common challenges that businesses may face.
Management and collaboration
If not equipped for the job, managing remote employees can be difficult. To start with, managers may find it challenging to manage remote employees if interaction between the two are hindered by location. This can lead to other difficulties – for instance, managers may find that they are unconsciously favouring in-office employees, simply because they are easier to manage and give feedback to.
Hybrid and Remote work can also prove to be a challenge for employee collaboration. Again, in a hybrid environment, in-office employees may unconsciously defer to one another, because they are both in the office and it is the quickest and easiest option.
The solutions to these challenges are simple; building trust in a remote or hybrid workplace is essential. To do this, frequent communications is a must – some companies, like TechQuarters, schedule daily meetings to keep people in touch. Ensuring that all employees are equipped with the right technology to facilitate easy and consistent communication is also important – as an IT managed services company, TechQuarters recommends Microsoft Teams, which is a unified communications platform that even supports telephony.
The Company Perimeter
There are certain security challenges associated with going remote or hybrid. To start with, businesses have to address the fact that their out-of-office employees will be accessing company data via networks that were not configured to protect it in the same way that the in-office network was.
A report found that 22 per cent of all network and data breaches were caused by human error or ignorance. Users might use the easiest solution, instead of the company-approved solution, to complete tasks such as sending files to colleagues, storing things in unsanctioned cloud accounts, and even emailing documents to personal email addresses. All of these represent significant security risks for a company.
With remote and hybrid working, the responsibility for protecting data is as much on employees as it is on the company. A business needs to establish strict policies and practices around how remote workers access company data.
Onboarding New Remote Employees
The onboarding process for new employees in a remote or hybrid working company must be carefully thought out, especially within the context of the IT that they will need.
First consider whether the new hire has much, or any, experience with remote or hybrid work. If they are not, then they may find it challenging adjusting to the new arrangement. To get them acclimatized to remote and hybrid working will require training them and familiarizing them with the software and tools the company uses to enable remote work.
Then there is a social aspect. Whether the new hire has no experience going into a remote work scenario, or if they’re going into a hybrid work scenario as an in-office employee, an extra effort will need to be made to introduce them to everyone in the company, as well as maintaining regular interactions with them, as this is the way to build a good company culture.
Another major IT support related consideration for remote and hybrid work security is network broadband. Remote workers will more than likely be using their own home broadband to access company servers and cloud accounts. Once again, this is one of the ways in which companies cannot guarantee network security in the same way that they can with their on-site broadband setup. The other difficulty is that it is unrealistic for an employer to be able to secure every single employee’s broadband setup.
The solution is fairly simple; implementing a reliable VPN client for all employees to use for work is a good way to heighten the security of remote workers’ networks. A VPN will encrypt traffic between a user’s device and the VPN server, thus creating a secure network.