As Covid-19 pandemic restrictions eased, employers are adjusting their home office policies. Some companies, including Airbnb, have done this doubled and have made significant commitments to remote work. Others, like Google, have started to get more and more personal hybrid office policies. This range, especially with the two tech giants, is an example of the different options that other employers are considering. According to a 2017 Gallup poll 43% of US employees worked from home all or part of the time.
Part of the reason for this difference has to do with how we’ve all adapted to work in the face of the pandemic. Some people benefit from the flexibility and productivity gains of managing their time and being free from the commute. For example at one Survey conducted by Boston.com in March, readers who prefer to work from home at least part of the time said they are more productive and have a better work-life balance. A February Pew Research study confirms these reasons, noting that more teleworkers are doing so voluntarily rather than out of necessity. And another Survey conducted by ADP found that 64% of workers would quit if asked to return to their offices full-time. However, before you consider moving to a more hybrid work schedule, consider these questions.
First, employers should put together a fair and flexible policy. Airbnb’s program, announced by founder and CEO Brian Chesky, seems well thought out: employees can choose where they want to work, literally anywhere in the world. They have the freedom to move within the country of their choice without affecting their compensation and can travel outside their country for up to 90 days at a time.
“I’ve always believed that you design the culture you want or it will be designed for you,” Chesky wrote in his memo. He also detailed the various tax implications of moving around the world while on the job and how Airbnb must be careful to set reasonable limits on those movements.
Second, only after that should employers migrate to a hybrid environment Build a solid foundation to support remote workers. Some of the remote programs were temporary and should contain the following items:
- Make sure your employees have the right equipment and a reliable and fast enough internet connection
- Provide support for corporate communication standards such as video conferencing and messaging
- Supervisors should be trained on how to manage remote or hybrid workers
- Businesses should conduct a full risk assessment and plan for potential trouble spots to support a hybrid working model
- Enhance IT and security support services to handle both remote and face-to-face situations
Keep an eye on the needs of your employees
Next, Organizations must deal with the unique circumstances of each individual and recognize their unique sources of stress. Some remote workers want to return to their offices, some don’t. (This could be a split between introverts and extroverts or other factors.)
In some cases, working from home can be less stressful (no commutes, fewer office distractions), but in others it can have the opposite effect. There might be family members that make remote work more or less desirable, and a company should have mental health counseling and resources. in one Survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 41% of returned workers say the stress they experience has worsened; 22% say it has gotten better and 37% say it hasn’t changed.
Don’t miss any security measures
Regardless of how your employer – and your employees – end up, It is crucial to have a fully worked out security strategy that fits your situation. As Jeff Williams, Global Head of Security at Avast, says, “You need to recognize that when your employees are working away from the office, you’ve relinquished a certain level of control over the environment in which they work. Depending on the allowability of your security settings, this can increase the risk of malware or a compromised system that an attacker retains access to entering the corporate network. What you don’t want is a machine that’s infected on someone else’s home network and creates a foothold for an attack when it connects to the corporate LAN.” He cautions that this can be particularly disastrous when Enterprises have a completely flat network without any segmentation to prevent the spread of attacks.
This means that hybrid situations – where employees move their equipment from home to the work network – need to do so have provided the complete collection of security tools.
Williams recommends using it in conjunction with strong passwords Multi-Factor Authentication; Sophisticated vulnerability management, VPN or other encrypted communication channels and data loss prevention tools. “It can also be worth doing a one-off computer hygiene check when people return to the office with their laptops. Each organization knows best what’s right for their environment based on the insight they have into the systems coming back to the office.”