As we continue to navigate through these unpredictable times, many businesses and working professionals have opted for the hybrid office model. As remote work becomes increasingly the norm, how can your IT team help prepare the rest of the company's operations?
After a year of working through a global pandemic, everyone knows that work is forever changed. Remote work was just a hot topic that some were privileged to explore pre-pandemic. Now it has morphed into what is now called hybrid office work. Regardless of how much you know about this new concept, IT for the hybrid office is a likely concern in your future.
Pre COVID many predicted an increase in Internet usage and number of users. But when a worldwide pandemic came and forced everyone to adjust seemingly overnight, the Internet was heavily leaned on for nearly everything.
Online shopping and grocery ordering went from a luxury, to almost a necessity for many. Students on spring break returned to school not at their desks but from their bedsides. Businesses that could, allowed their employees to safely work from home, many accessing workplace data via virtual private network (VPN).
The structure of your company IT department has likely gone through drastic changes in 2020. More employees than ever are working remotely, causing a dramatic shift in your IT considerations. How we live and the new trend that combines home life with office life will continue to change how we plan the structure and infrastructure of our business.
As we near the end of the year and reflecting back at 2020, it is safe to say that it has not been easy for any of us to monitor our stress levels. Aside from the ongoing pandemic, there has been one natural disaster after another. From blazing fires across our natural landscapes, snow storms and hurricanes, it all can make us feel overwhelmed. And now that our workspace blended into our living space, it has made it more difficult to separate the two. Cue the anxiety.
However, there are ways to manage our stress-levels in order to remain productive and not focus on what we cannot control. It's a simple practice, but not always easy to execute-gratitude. In the simplest terms gratefulness is an adjective used to describe our emotional state towards an act of kindness. Being thankful, expressing positivity towards those who are in our lives.
So how do we remain grateful, especially while we are working from home?
The typical office environment has remained basically unchanged for decades — until now. As a result of the cataclysmic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office environment of the future will now undergo a series of drastic changes. Many are guessing what those changes will entail, but nothing is guaranteed. What is certain is that some form of hybrid office structure will become the new normal.
Prior to the pandemic, some companies allowed employees to work remotely. Now, an increasing number of companies have found numerous benefits in remote work arrangements, and many plan to keep this form of teleworking in place. Remote tools have allowed work to continue during the health crisis, but they cannot replace human interaction to solve problems, develop relationships, perform training, and create ideas.
What will this hybrid office structure look like moving forward? We believe it will combine the traditional office environment with the remote workforce. Accordingly, companies will face some of the challenges below.