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Article on 'Workplace Transformation' from Sure

Posted: Thursday 8 April 2021

The case for flexible working in a hybrid environment has been a pandemic outcome to debunk all previous, myths, scepticism and biased opinions.

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The Building Blocks of Hybrid Working.

Hybrid working is defined as a mixed working environment where some employees work remotely and flexibly, whilst others are permanently office based. Within a corporate environment, it’s likely that teams will have a blend of people working in these different styles.

Before the pandemic, opinions on flexible working tended to be polarised: C-suite traditionalists felt that employees working away from the office would be less productive due to lack of focus, supervision and direction. Conversely, advocates of flexible working knew that knowledge-based employees were equally as productive when working away from the office, if not more so!

Research and analysis from enforced flexible working greatly supports the enlightened view on efficiencies, with over 90% reporting the same or increased levels of productivity. More than 80% of company leaders surveyed recently* said their organisations plan to permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, post COVID-19.

The hybrid blend of office based and flexible working is a paradigm shift that has been accelerated by the pandemic, and it has taken place before our eyes.

As organisations continue to evolve and refine their working practices, the technology building blocks for a secure, productive and sustainable hybrid working environment need to be put in place.

Collaboration tools
Employees working at any location should be able to directly communicate and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers. Effective collaboration doesn’t just happen, it starts with a platform of unified communications, based on cloud, wi-fi, internet and security solutions, delivered in a way that suits the organisation. Workplace systems must be securely accessible from desktops, laptops, smartphones and PDAs, irrespective of location. Voice and video calls, screen and document sharing, messaging, and presence, are all core components of an integrated collaborative environment. A great example of collaboration tools working together is when the “busy” presence indicator automatically changes when you’re on a Teams call.

Cloud Services
The hosting of business systems and information in a secure and accessible environment, along with business continuity protection against system failures and data loss are compelling reasons to invest in cloud services. Initial concerns around security and control have been overcome, and organisations are realising that legacy on-premise infrastructures are much more vulnerable than state-of-the-art cloud services. There’s an acceptance that one size doesn’t fit all, and the deployment of a bespoke hybrid cloud services that blend elements of datacentre, colocation, private and public cloud are vital for effective and secure hybrid working.

Networking & Connectivity.
The internet has changed the way we work, and life without connectivity is almost unthinkable. Reliable and secure networking is extremely important on both an employee and company level. One of the underlying positives of enforced homeworking has been higher levels of employee morale, due to the improved work/life balance and zero commute time. But, if staff can’t access a secure and strong internet connection, they can’t be productive. Our ‘always-on’ network has been recognised as critical national infrastructure for the islands, supporting vital connectivity and communication services. We connect people and businesses to the world through our state-of-the-art network via our dedicated points of presence (PoPs) in London and Paris, and onward routing to the Isle of Man, Dublin, and back. On-going multi-million-pound investment has recently upgraded the network capacity, resilience and security to new levels of excellence.

Security & Business Continuity
The on-going arms race between cybersecurity experts and criminals looking to profit from illegally gathered information is firmly on the boardroom agenda. The essential need to protect operations, customers, revenue and reputation is paramount, and organisations who fail to take the necessary precautions won’t be around for too long. Cybercriminals quickly identified the pandemic as a major opportunity to make money, with schemes and attacks that are ever more sophisticated. The internet is inherently insecure, and robust safeguarding measures must be in place to protect intellectual property and keep things running in the event of an attack. Hybrid working practices must adhere to strict security protocols to ensure safe working for all.

Service & Support
Service and support comes in all shapes and sizes, from fully managed services that monitor infrastructure and security on a 24/7 basis, to more basic help and support when you need it. We help organisations plan for the future, by anticipating needs and desired outcomes – based on capacity requirements, growth expectations and business trends. Our Professional Services consultants will help translate technical complexity into business enhancing solutions, and our advisory and design services ensure industry best practice and compliance standards are rigorously adhered to.

Sure’s modular ‘building block’ services for hybrid working cover all the core areas for successful design, deployment and on-going support. To discuss your specific requirements, email us at: Contactus@sure.com

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