Remote Work vs. In-Office vs Hybrid Option: What's Best for Your Workplace?
If your company is like other organizations that relied on remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be considering a shift to a hybrid work model or in-office space to get more face time with your team. Whether you allow employees to work remotely or require on-site work, the decision affects everything from information technology to staff morale to critical infrastructure for cybersecurity threats. Before making this momentous decision, carefully consider the pros and cons of each option.
Pros of Allowing Remote Employees
While conventional wisdom says those working remotely aren't as productive as those who spend working hours in the office, research suggests that's not always the case. For example, one study published by Forbes found that remote workers spend about an hour more on work tasks each day than on-site workers do. The research suggested that hybrid workers are actually the most productive, followed by fully remote team members.
Remote employees, including those who spend part of their time in the office, often report enhanced work-life balance. Offering remote work can improve your company's ability to attract and retain qualified staff. Employees working from home appreciate that they can cut out the long commute and have extra time for hobbies and family.
Being open to remote working also expands your company's access to top talent. You'll find candidates from a much larger geographic pool, which makes it easier to select someone who's the right fit for the role.
Advantages of Hybrid Work
If you're not interested in allowing your teams to stay fully remote, many managers find that a hybrid work model offers the best of both worlds. You and your employees can save money and time without sacrificing the advantages of an in-person workplace. Teams get to know one another closely and build strong relationships even when they aren't in the same place every day.
Some find that the hybrid work setting creates issues by introducing a divide if only some employees spend certain days out of the office. On the other hand, it can also expand telecommuting to event management teams and other staff that traditionally need to be on-site at least part of the time.
The Case for In-Office Staff vs. Remote Workers
Despite the advantages of remote work for both employers and teams, an in-office setting does offer distinct benefits. Most managers cite these reasons for returning to an in-person or hybrid model:
- Enhanced interaction with colleagues that creates collaboration
- Stronger organizational culture, which improves engagement and productivity
- Fewer family and home distractions during the workday
- Easier access management for equipment, technology assets, facilities and other resources
- A structured routine that accounts for time differences with clients and other productivity considerations
Often, employees who want to move up the ladder appreciate the chance to log face time with top executives and other leaders. Speaking of senior leadership, they largely prefer an in-person or hybrid environment. In a 2021 survey conducted by McKinsey & Co, 75% of C-suite staff told researchers they'd like to have workers in the office at least three days a week.
Emotional issues can also arise for fully remote employees. Some people report their work-life balance suffers since they don't have clear boundaries between home and office. Others say they struggle with loneliness, fatigue and burnout. It's important to ensure all your staff members have access to mental health resources.
On the other hand, it costs much more for businesses to operate office space than it does to invest in a remote workforce. When you move teams to the virtual space, you eliminate expenses like rent, maintenance, utilities, furniture and many more.
Tech Security Measures Support Remote, Hybrid and In-Office Teams
Regardless of whether your business provides remote work as an option for your employees, you'll need strong tech security to ensure access while making it near-impossible for bad actors to steal sensitive data. When workers aren't apprised of the need for strong security measures, or when these measures aren't in place, your company is vulnerable to data breaches, distributed denial of service (DDS) attacks and other costly cybersecurity challenges.
Security becomes even more complex in a remote environment, since your office IT staff doesn't have direct daily access to endpoint devices. It's especially important to be aware of these needs so you can prepare for potential dangers and plan the right threat response:
- VPN (virtual private network) technology. This allows remote staff to log into the secure company network rather than exposing business data to the risks of a vulnerable home or public network.
- End-to-end VPN encryption. Otherwise, malicious actors can intercept login information, IP addresses and other private data.
- Multifactor authentication methods. For example, you can require users to receive text messages with a code they need to enter for system access. Many companies even use high-tech biometric authentication methods like face and fingerprint scans.
Haycor Computer Solutions can create the secure online environment your teams need to thrive in both office and remote settings. We'll protect your systems from both known and unknown threats so you can focus on your core business objectives, covering external cyber-attacks as well as insider threats. In addition, we always have our eye out for new vulnerabilities so we can keep your users safe.
Connect with us today to learn more about how we can shield sensitive information from digital attacks on your remote, in-person or hybrid working environment.