HomeEmployee ExperienceCultureHybrid working is here to stay, so says HR

Hybrid working is here to stay, so says HR

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Managing workforce mobility in the current work environment is key, and HR and industry leaders have a role to play in optimising their systems to empower workers.

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In recent years, businesses have had to adapt to the working arrangements to support their employees.

The IT industry, in particular, has seen a significant shift toward hybrid working however, this has brought several challenges that must be addressed through a holistic approach led by both managers and HR.

A 2024 Gartner report found that while 41% of HR leaders believe employees’ connection to culture is compromised by hybrid work, 56% also admitted their technology solutions and strategy do not match their business needs i.e. those supporting communication and digital transformation.

HR managers must foster a sense of connectivity among workers regardless of their physical location by providing the IT support necessary for employees to work productively.

Clinton Groome, CEO at Espria, confirms there has been a noticeable shift in companies’ work structure and in order to remain competitive within the business sector, attitudes towards hybrid working must change.

“Many companies might wish to mandate an office-centric approach to working but this can overlook the numerous benefits of hybrid work such as greater opportunities for employee flexibility, opportunities to reduce overheads on premises, and increased employee engagement and productivity,” he says.

“A thoughtful hybrid working arrangement can retain employees and attract great candidates for whom hybrid work is preferable. Resisting this new work format may lead to talent loss that hinders long-term competitiveness in what will inevitably become a more virtual workforce.”

Crafting the right strategy

Groome goes on to discuss the importance for organisations to develop a strategy that supports employees by providing the right IT to enable productivity.

“Without adapting to flexible workers, businesses risk losing the opportunity to grow their teams. A critical component of a successful hybrid workplace is having the right tools in place to deliver frictionless service for devices connecting remotely,” he says.

This includes providing hardware resources and platforms for hybrid workers, such as conferencing and team messaging which can encourage a sense of community and real-time idea sharing, as well as optimising networks for remote access through cloud-based solutions.

“This can reduce IT costs, ensure operational efficiency (such as accessing files) and encourage collaborative efforts across different work locations,” says Groome.

These investments, however, also come with security challenges and businesses ensure their teams are trained on the new technologies and establish well-defined remote work policies to maintain consistency and a clear understanding of the risks of phishing and social engineering.

By implementing robust data protection measures and strengthening remote access security through VPNs, businesses can mitigate risk from attacks and ensure peace of mind for both hybrid workers and managers.

“Hybrid working is here to stay and the need for reshaping IT to support employees is clear. HR and company leaders have a vital role to play in helping their remote workers to thrive,” says Groome.

“By implementing tools to address employee concerns, businesses can foster a positive culture and a workforce that is not only secure and efficient, but more productive.”

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