This may be obvious, but just about every employee’s desktop PC should have already been replaced with a laptop. Of course, this gives the best ability to flex between working in the office or at home (OR wherever else). Each person should also have a headset or earbuds and all the associated travel chargers and adapters. Ideally, a standalone monitor, or two, for home will help alleviate strain from working on a laptop’s smaller screen. An external camera will also compliment this kind of home setup.
The in-office options for individual desks, ‘phone booths’, or ‘hoteling space’ should mimic the home layout. Everyone should be able to simply dock or plug in their laptop to work in one of these spots. Open collaboration space can also suffice for some but is not ideal for solo work or those who need to spend most of their time on calls.
Speaking of collaboration, meeting and communication tools must be carefully chosen to make sure that both in-office and at-home team members can equally engage in a hybrid fashion. There are several software options – two of the most popular being Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace. As an example, Microsoft offers Teams Rooms for hybrid meetings, presenter view (like a TV reporter), and virtual whiteboard. Couple these features with Teams Calling for phones, and employees can seamlessly move back and forth between working at home, office, or almost anywhere. Plus, the ability to also use most of these tools on a smartphone gives even greater flexibility.
And finally, there is cybersecurity. The hybrid model has opened a whole new world of opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit. Home networks are often not as secure as an office environment, so organizations should be sure to have a multi-layer, continuous approach to cybersecurity. This includes end-user training, secure access, email security, network security, and data protection. Working with a professional outside IT provider that has specific expertise in providing managed security services is a must-have for the best business cyber risk strategy while also enabling employees technology efficiency in the new world of hybrid-work.