The preferred way of working by the majority is ONLY possible when enabled by modern technology. This article highlights today’s prevalent work model's dependency on adopting modern technology.
The hybrid work model is here to stay as skilled knowledge workers demand location flexibility. Secure, productive hybrid or remote working, however, is impossible unless effectively supported by modern technology. Many South African companies learnt this the hard way when suddenly faced with hard lock-downs during the pandemic.
According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of job candidates who currently work onsite would prefer to work in a hybrid or remote model, while 97% of hybrid or remote workers prefer working in these models. Source: Gartner. Attract Talent with Hybrid and Remote Work Models.
And it seems that most employees prefer a hybrid work model rather than working totally remotely. The vast majority (80%) of employees of SAP Asia Pacific Japan, for example, want a hybrid model, whereas only single digits want to be 100 percent remote. Source: McKinsey & Company. (2022) The future of (hybrid) work
Organisations risk losing employees by returning to fully on-site arrangements. They are having to adopt new ways of working, or face the consequences. There are fewer birthday cupcakes, happy hours, or team-building activities as post-pandemic workplaces are not back to their physical format.
Rather than fighting this trend, organisations are having to apply new strategies that make it easier to adjust to the hybrid work approach. And they can flourish in this new world by adopting and implementing the following trends and practices, many enabled by technological advancements:
One of the benefits of a remote workforce is the ability for organisations to hire employees from anywhere in the world. This makes it easier to employ top talent that is unavailable locally. A distributed workforce can create challenges related to isolation and communication issues, but by using the proper sharing and collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, these obstacles are easily overcome. As they are hosted in the cloud, they allow easy, fast access to files and file sharing, which ensures real-time collaboration.
The global shift to digitisation, increasing numbers of remote workers, and rise in the adoption of cloud technology have all caused cybercrime to become more widespread. A study conducted in 2021 [SP1] revealed that South Africa had the third-largest number of cybercrime victims worldwide. In the past, multilayered security was implemented to protect office corporate networks. Today, distributed workers with home networks need to be protected by these same layers and companies are having to reevaluate their cybersecurity strategies.
Organisations must ensure that data security policies are robustly implemented across all IT systems and solutions to protect sensitive user information. They need to be in a position to detect and prevent ransomware attacks and data breaches by using innovative technologies. In addition, the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a non-negotiable security measure for businesses today.
Sixteen percent of employers reported [SP2] using monitoring tools on the emails and chats from their employees' computers. This post-pandemic workplace trend is expected to continue as HR departments begin to use surveillance as a means of gathering health and safety information. However, if your business decides to use surveillance technology, you are required to take specific steps to protect the privacy of your employees so that you do not get sued.
The automation of business processes is driven by artificial intelligence (AI). Software programs take over repetitive and often tedious tasks by offloading them to automated systems. Having more efficient and agile operations allow businesses to be even more competitive.
Freelance work has been particularly successful during the pandemic. Some employers have replaced full-time employees with freelancers to save costs, while others hired freelancers to expand their businesses. Talent sharing has also emerged. Here, employees in industries most impacted by economic conditions apply their skills to other industries until their own industry has revived.
There is no doubt that hybrid work models give employees better work-life balance, make more efficient use of their time, allow them to better manage their working hours, result in less burnout, and increase productivity. However, these models must be supported by the most appropriate technology solutions implemented with high levels of security.
Keyrus is recognised expert in data & digital and can assist your organization with all your technology needs to settle fully into the hybrid ways of working. Our experts have extensive training, certification, and experience in a range of world-class technologies, from data security and effective online collaboration to automation and privacy. Our services include consulting, design, development, implementation, and training and we’d be delighted to discuss how best to use modern technology to support new work models for your business.