The cat is out of the bag when it comes to remote work. Approximately 83 percent of workers prefer a hybrid work model, where they are remote for at least part of the week. Many companies have realized that to keep their talent, they need to offer some type of remote work.
Evolving to a hybrid work model presents an opportunity for companies to update their voice and data infrastructures. Creating a positive and productive work experience will require updates to both onsite and remote infrastructure and devices.
The reality of a hybrid work model is that most or all meetings will need to accommodate video conferencing for remote workers. This will require changes to make the video conferencing experience reliable and seamless for everyone.
Many companies find they need to enhance their voice, data, and other A/V infrastructure at the office. Common updates include installing video and voice hardware in every conference room or expanding Wi-Fi access to more corners of the office.
For remote workers, companies are providing high-quality web cameras, lighting, and green screens to help workers look great and stay professional, while also allowing them to maintain a level of personal privacy. Some employers also provide backup connectivity solutions to ensure executive employees have a consistent internet connection, even if their home network is down. Companies may consider paying all or part of employees’ internet bills to support video conferencing in workers’ homes. With telecom expense solutions from eSquared, employers can reimburse a worker’s entire internet bill or a percentage of the bill based on their role and responsibilities.
In addition to web conferencing, companies with hybrid workforces will need to invest in robust voice and data solutions. VoIP, audio conferencing, and a right-sized wireless plan all help remote employees stay connected to their onsite teams.
With hybrid work, device health and maintenance is more important than ever. Every onsite and remote device must be regularly updated for maintenance and security purposes.
To accommodate remote workers, companies either deploy their own devices (called COPE—corporate owned, personally enabled) or ask workers to supply their own devices (BYOD—bring your own device). While eSquared usually recommends the COPE method because it gives companies greater control over how employees use their work devices, both COPE and BYOD strategies benefit greatly from a mobile device management, or MDM, plan.
With an MDM strategy and system, companies can remotely manage every device team members use for work purposes. From a single dashboard, it is possible to track devices, ensure compliance with security and other policies, and automate maintenance and security updates. MDM can cover laptops, tablets, smartphones, and any other mobile devices that may be deployed in the field. Adding MDM to its voice and data infrastructure can help a company ensure its hybrid workforce is productive and safe.
In addition to the security updates an MDM system provides, companies with hybrid workforces implement several other security measures. These strategies ensure that sensitive company data is safe from prying eyes and bad actors.
First, companies should require employees to use a virtual private network, or VPN, when they are accessing the company’s network. This step makes it difficult for bad actors to find and access a company’s network and sensitive data. Multifactor authentication makes it difficult for people to hack a company’s cloud-based applications and other accounts. Biometrics, such as a face or hand scan, is an extra layer of security.
Employee policies and training are other important factors in a hybrid work security plan. Companies should develop and implement policies for remote work in public places with public Wi-Fi, including coffee shops, restaurants, and libraries. Up to 40 percent of remote workers report using these public areas to perform work duties. Companies need to make sure their employees use VPNs, multifactor authentication, and other cybersecurity best practices when working in public.
Hybrid work isn’t the work of the future, it’s reality for many employees and companies. With updated voice and data infrastructure, MDM, and enhanced security strategies, companies can implement a productive and secure hybrid work plan. Partner with eSquared for turn-key mobile device, voice, data, and web conferencing support.
Copyright ©2023 eSquared Communication Consulting. All Rights Reserved.