Hybrid Working Environment

Historically most companies primarily had their staff based within an office or across multiple office and locations as required. The requirement for remote accessibility to systems was usually limited to mobile workers, site-based users, or on the occasional snow day when normally office based colleagues could not get to the office safely. However, the COVID pandemic was a massive shock to UK businesses with the legal requirement to stay at home and work from home where possible. Businesses had to adapt, and the length of the pandemic has meant many companies now have now either the ability to work from home if required, whether that is due to illness, enforced work from home, or snow days.


Some businesses have seen this flexibility as a big cost saving benefit, being able to close smaller (or bigger) offices whilst retaining staff through home working permanently. Others moving to a more flexible solution where users are part time in the office, part time from home, allowing better work / life balance for those who travel daily to work. Also, some businesses have demanded colleagues return to the office full time where possible, with remote working available for extenuating circumstances like lockdowns, snow days or illness.


It is widely accepted this hybrid working environment is the new normal, at least to some degree for most users. Partially as it is the only way to project business interests through the ability to function should another lockdown ever occur, and partially as colleagues and potential hires now know it is possible – so flexibility to some degree is a desirable thing to have for hiring and retention of staff across most office-based roles.


The one thing every business needs to ensure is in place with a hybrid environment is that their security is as good it possibly can be. The truth of the matter is that every member of staff being in managed physical locations is the safest for data security, with the ability to firewall and strictly control access whilst minimising external risk factors. Much of this security can be replicated through software on end user devices, however there is still the use of home internet connections, other users and devices on those connections, or the human element. Good antivirus, software firewalls, VPN access to on premise data sources, and the use of multifactor authentication for cloud services are all a must.