Approximately a year after COVID-19 first emerged, vaccine manufacturers have released clinical trial results showing promising levels of effectiveness, fueling optimism even as case counts across the U.S. continue to rise. Once a vaccine eventually gains approval and becomes widely available to the public, there’s hope that we can safely end lockdowns and stay-at-home advisories.
However, in many ways, the world won’t instantly (if ever) revert to its pre-pandemic state. One of the changes that a vaccine probably won’t undo is the normalization of remote work. Just over half (55 percent) of American workers surveyed in May 2020 said they preferred a mix of remote and on-site work, according to the article “How working from home works out” published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
As businesses consider their long-term plans beyond the pandemic, many are leaning toward hybrid offices, according to the BBC article “Why the future of work might be ‘hybrid.’” This approach appeals to some employees because it allows them to collaborate with their colleagues in person part of the time while skipping the commute and logging in from home on other days.
To ensure an optimal experience for both on-site and remote staff members, though, companies looking to maintain hybrid offices must adjust their approach to IT. Here are five types of technology that can help your business keep employees connected and productive despite different locations.
1. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
UCaaS platforms (a.k.a., cloud phone systems) deliver multi-channel communication capabilities via the cloud, so they’re ideal if you want to facilitate collaboration between staff members in various locations. With a cloud phone system, your team can get in touch with coworkers, attend meetings, and make and take calls from various devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.
2. Zero-trust network architecture with a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
Due to the vulnerabilities created by remote work infrastructure, leveraging advanced cybersecurity solutions is a must if you’re planning on maintaining a hybrid approach to work. A zero-trust network – which requires verification before allowing anyone to access resources – makes sense if you want to balance accessibility with IT security. Our Office Anywhere solution utilizes zero-trust architecture and a SASE to offer a secure end user experience for distributed teams.
3. Remote IT support capabilities.
At one point, your remote team members will inevitably run into technical issues and need help. It’s wise to prepare for those problems ahead of time and make sure you can remedy them quickly and effectively with non-disruptive remote support. If you partner with Stratosphere Networks for managed IT services, our techs can remotely access and troubleshoot PCs and laptops and fix issues without bothering end users.
4. The Microsoft Office 365 suite.
Microsoft’s cloud-delivered business apps – such as Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint – have all the features necessary for sharing files and information as well as collaborating from different locations. The Office 365 suite is a smart investment for any business seeking to promote productivity in conjunction with a hybrid work model.
If you’d like to learn more about any of these technologies, don’t hesitate to contact our trusted advisors. We’ve helped clients successfully implement and leverage all the IT solutions listed in this article, and we’d be happy to assist you in creating secure and efficient hybrid offices. Just give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.