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Like so many Canadian companies, your employees are once again working from home, just as you were considering the options that vaccines could make possible. The silver lining is that it’s easier to make facility and network changes when there are fewer people around.
And like so many corporate leaders, you are probably trying to determine what the post-pandemic work environment will look like, so you can figure out what changes might be needed.
On April 6, 2021, Bloomberg published information from an online survey conducted by Robert Half, a global recruiting company. The survey suggested that 33% of Canadians currently working from home are reluctant to return to their pre-COVID work routine. 51% said they would prefer a hybrid approach.
This is consistent with other research conducted by The Q Group, in conjunction with Schulich School of Business grad students in Q1 of this year.
Workers state they prefer having more flexible hours, and being able to put commuting time and costs to things of greater personal priority. The number of people who said they got more done because home provided fewer distractions, was offset by the number of people who miss the camaraderie and network (a.k.a. advancement) opportunities provided by the in-office experience.
Interestingly: 100% of people in the TQG research cited the more casual dress code, in particular being able to wear sweat pants or PJs from the waist down, as a big plus.
On a more serious note, CEOs are trying to determine the best way to bring people back and how to keep them safe. Cross functional teams are looking at the best ways for bringing people back and/or establishing a hybrid work environment. Among the discussions:
- Incorporating mask compliance detection and thermal scanners (please see our blog post on this topic to learn more).
- Re-purposing and/or installing cameras and sensors to monitor room occupancy, enabling cleaning to occur as needed, and lights in heating to be adjusted according to use.
- What to do about the office footprint? Some advocate that the same space should be retained to allow for social distancing, yet others suggest reducing the footprint along with the open-office concept. Either way, new heat mapping will be needed.
- Ensuring that employees are able to connect seamlessly and securely, no matter where they are located, is a growing concern. In a hybrid situation, having good internal videoconferencing, with larger screen capabilities, becomes more important than it was pre-COVID. It’s not simply to replace travel (we’ve adapted to that), it’s to help emulate the sense of camaraderie that comes from larger in-person meetings. This is really important to team building – and videoconferencing just doesn’t cut it after a while.
A major part of this discussion, and key to the successful creation of an effective hybrid network: Work infrastructure, revised protocols and policies and more protection of the cloud as part of ongoing cyber security initiatives.
For IT professionals, determining the best way of continuing to provide secure access and a seamless experience is very much be a part of planning for the new hybrid workforce. To provide an outside perspective, would like to invite you to read the Moor Insights & Strategy whitepaper, Secure Access for the Hybrid Workplace.
“This paper explores key network infrastructure considerations that deliver This paper explores key network infrastructure considerations that deliver an optimal mix of hardware, software, and SaaS to support consistent, secure access across hybrid work environments, including Wi-Fi 6, 5G, wired infrastructure, security, automation, insurance, analytical tools, and SD-WAN. [The paper also provides Moor’s] opinion on Cisco Systems’ ability to deliver these capabilities, based on its broad portfolio, exceptional research and development investments, and deep experience supported by considerable number deployments across multiple industries.” ~ Excerpt from the Executive Summary
To download a copy of this paper, please click here
We’ve been working with business leaders and IT professionals in various types of organisations and manufacturing facilities to help them find the best way forward. We can also provide, install, deploy, and maintain whatever technology you need to effectively transition to your “new normal”.
To discuss how we can help you implement the best hybrid work solution, please contact us at [email protected] or (416) 429-0796 or 1.877.238.9944 (Toll Free).