With recent studies showing that as many as 36.2 million Americans will be working from home by 2025, many businesses and corporations are looking to move their day-to-day operations to a hybrid workforce model.
What is a hybrid workforce model? In basic terms, it allows employees to work both in an office setting and remotely by home. During the COVID pandemic lockdowns, many people came to the realization that most (if not all) of their work could be completed from home. So why bother going back to the office at all?
A survey conducted recently showed that 39% of adults would rather quit their job if their employers wouldn’t consider a remote or work-from-home option. Many cite the reduced cost and time of commuting, others prefer the freedom of choice.
Part of the benefit of a hybrid workforce is that employees can still be required to come into the office. But how do bosses and managers figure this out? There are many different ways to manage this. Rotating schedules can be created, for example, for employees or teams of employees to come in one day a week or one week a month.
Another more flexible option would be check-in or presentation days. Managers or team leaders can have their employees come in on an appointed day. The employees present their latest work to the managers or team leaders. This provides a measure of accountability and also ensures that the employees are on the right track.
With a new way of working come new rules, guidelines, and systems. Employees may need additional training on how it will all work. It’s up to the company to give their employees the tools they need to succeed in a hybrid workforce model. Of course, this training can be completed remotely or in the office.
Part of this training should also include basic cybersecurity. Employees have to understand how to keep the company’s assets and information safe and secure. Common cybersecurity topics to cover include phishing, malware, and social engineering. 98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering, which is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.
- Updating Cybersecurity
Allowing employees to work remotely does potentially expose a business to a greater risk of falling prey to a cybersecurity attack. Some report cybercrime increasing 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the number of people working from home increases, then this trend will likely also continue to rise.
Obviously, there will be a greater need for beefing up cybersecurity when transitioning to a hybrid workforce. Requiring two-factor authentication, additional networks or using VPNs, network audits, and penetration testing are just some of the ways cybersecurity can be improved upon.
At the end of the day, there are countless benefits to switching to a hybrid workforce. Just for starters, the option to work from home is a huge morale boost for all employees. Working from the comfort of their homes makes life so much more enjoyable. Employees can save on commuting, childcare, and so much more.
In turn, this makes everyone more productive. Businesses can spend less on renting or leasing office space. Less power consumption and carbon emissions. With fewer employees in the office, there’s less chance of illness spreading through the office, which turns into fewer sick days taken.
Clearly, there’s a lot to take into consideration when shifting to a hybrid workforce model. Companies have to evaluate their operations to see what can and can’t be done remotely. The general attitude and climate of the business should reflect an easy transition and support of a hybrid workforce model.
However, the consensus is that the hybrid work model is here to stay. In reality, if a business can shift to that model, then they probably should at the very least consider it.