As businesses face the reality that in-person models of work are not returning quickly, they grapple with issues ranging from community to information security to worker’s desire to stay working remotely for the long term.
A remote work ‘community’?
An amazing thing happened during this pandemic. Technology in the workplace started delivering on its value beyond current expectations. This is obvious when we consider productivity and the connection to work. But, what is truly amazing is how technology is now what keeps us connected to our “work community.” Video, chat, messaging interfaces – even those frustrating project management systems. They keep us connected to other humans in ways we haven’t seen before. Dion Hinchcliffe at On Digital Strategy wrote that “At the top of most organizations’ priority lists right now is how to keep their workers productive and engaged. Except for in-person businesses and essential workers, the workforce has largely been physically disbanded until the pandemic comes to an end, one way or another. In unprecedented fashion, technology has suddenly become one of the single most important tools in moderating the effect of shuttered offices, physical distancing, and remote work from home.”
Information security in a remote setting
If employee engagement and collaboration wasn’t a big enough challenge for technologists to deal with while employees are remote, the pressure on information security has amplified since the start of the pandemic. According to Tech Republic, “half of the organizations recently surveyed by Tessian were hit by a security incident while employees were working from home.” It’s a staggering amount of nefarious activity, and experts say it’s only on the rise. Employers are scrambling, not just with getting security technology and infrastructure in place, but in releasing and updating work from home guidelines that better ensure data privacy and info security.
Will they want to return?
As someone that has worked largely remote for more than two decades, I’ve long known how liberating it is to have control of my schedule and zero commute time. It seems that both the workforce and employers are starting to get that feeling, too. Jessica Powell wrote an interesting Opinion piece in the New York Times that will get you thinking, Are employers prepared if the cubes never get filled again?
What if you are better off without the office?