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The Challenge of the Hybrid Workforce: Part 1

In this blog series, we look at some key challenges facing the new way of working, and what we can do to help. Welcome to the hybrid workforce.
The impact of the global pandemic is being felt in many ways around the world. Some big changes took place overnight, from how we shop, how we communicate, to how and where we work. Challenging traditional workspace locations and concepts, the hybrid workforce raises many questions. With big changes come big challenges.

I had a dream

Once upon a time, employees were all based in an office. People commuted to work every day; they had desks and computers. The physical office was seen as critical to success, culture, and productivity. Working from home was a distant daydream, an impossible and unlikely situation often frowned upon by companies. A mere 22% of employees had achieved the longed-for luxury of home working.
Fast forward to today and it is a very different story. COVID-19 forced many companies to ask the majority of their teams to work from home. With flexible schedules, no daily commute, fewer distractions, and a better work-life balance, things were looking up. Working from home was even dubbed the "cornerstone of the post-pandemic future of work." However, is working from home really the dream of the future?

The reality

Throwing workers, IT teams, and offices into chaos, working from home was finally an enforced reality. The overnight shift brought many complex and concerning problems with it. For employers, a remote workforce is not smooth sailing. Losing centralized control causes complications. Security risks increase rapidly; IT resources become strained and connectivity issues take center stage. This large-scale work-from-home experiment happened seemingly overnight, and it has not been easy for employers to navigate.

Y Soft | Working From Home Challenges
For employees, wearing pajamas all day and working from the couch does get boring. The lines between work and home life become blurred and virtual meetings can be tedious and exhausting. Not being in the office has had a negative impact on mental health. For the most part, working exclusively from home is taking its toll.

The best of both worlds

What was initially an exciting adventure has become a serious challenge for most employees and employers. However, we can learn from it and take advantage of the best of both worlds.
Splitting time between remote working and in-office is a likely scenario for many businesses going forward. IBM reported that 81% of remote workers wanted to work from home at least some of the time. Further to this, 92% of employees surveyed want a combination of office and home working after the pandemic. Workers are already operating from a mixture of company headquarters, remote offices, and home offices all over the globe. Remote work has earned a permanent place in the employment mix.
The hybrid workplace provides flexible and seamless collaboration from anywhere. Improving employee experience and productivity, the benefits are clear. Having an agile and flexible workforce creates a better environment. It also improves mental health and expands the talent pool. The hybrid workforce is here to stay.

The challenges

The shift to working across multiple locations requires a change in the experience people have when working from home or in the office. For it to work, employees require feature-rich, intuitive collaboration tools to message, meet, call, share content, and collaborate from any space. With distributed teams, a lack of communication, security concerns, training and on-boarding challenges, and burnout are more pronounced. Four core challenges which we will be looking at in future blog posts are:


  1. Busy tech support just got busier
  2. Ensuring access to secure, reliable cloud-based solutions
  3. Zoom, doom, and the digital detox
  4. Removing the security risk

Welcome to the future

There is no doubt that COVID-19 shook up how and where we work. Companies need to foster a hybrid work culture that supports both onsite and remote teams, keeping employees fully engaged while maintaining seamless flexibility. The office of the future is wherever your workforce is. Make sure you’re up to the challenge.
I’ll be exploring these hybrid workforce issues over the next 4 articles. You can get a head start on how our solutions support the hybrid workforce here.

Part 2: The challenge of the hybrid workforce: Busy tech support
Part 3: The challenge of the hybrid workforce: Cloud-based solutions that work
Part 4: The challenge of the hybrid workforce: Zoom doom, the digital detox, and the rise of print
Part 5: The challenge of the hybrid workforce: Print Security

Bruce Leistikow
Bruce Leistikow is a previous senior member of Y Soft's product marketing team.
View all posts by Bruce Leistikow

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