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The Strategic Advantage of Supporting a Hybrid Workforce for Enterprise IT

Karen Gondoly

By: Karen Gondoly, CEO, Leostream

I’m always amazed and more than a little perplexed when I hear a tech CEO say that their workforce must be 100% back in the office.  “What’s the point”, I wonder? Are you just untrusting? Do you enjoy a hefty office lease?   

Maybe it’s because my company Leostream develops Remote Desktop Connection Management software or maybe it’s just because I like not having a commute, but I firmly believe that taking a 100% on-premises stance to your workforce is detrimental to the future success of your organization. In this (hopefully? optimistically?) post-pandemic world, your organization’s ability to support a hybrid workforce is a strategic advantage that should not be squandered.  

The modern meaning of “remote work” 

To start, perhaps we need to redefine what we mean by remote work. In the days when I literally ran in the median of the road so as to be as far from other humans as possible, remote work meant working from home. Today, that is not the point of remote work. Remote work is very simply work that is happening when you’re not in your office. (Coincidentally, I am writing this while on a plane.) 

Today’s world and work is busy and complicated, which simply doesn’t lend itself well to being tethered to an office. My best friend’s mother is ill; she needs to work from her home town to be near her. My colleague is presenting at a conference; he needs to keep up with work tasks between sessions. My old college roommate often travels to work sites; her company doesn’t want their data going with her. 

These are all remote-work scenarios. After you realize that remote work is so much more than working from home, you begin to see all the ways supporting a hybrid workforce can improve your organization. 

Modernize your Workforce 

Modernizing is a bit of a buzzword, but it’s one worth paying attention to. A modern workforce is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Supporting a hybrid workforce allows you to achieve those qualities more easily.  

You can hire from anywhere, not just the city center where your organization is located. You can provide access to computing resources that may not otherwise be readily available for your employees (for example, by providing access to GPU instances in a public cloud.). You can attract and retain talent, because some workers will only join an organization that supports remote work. 

If you do not support a hybrid workforce, rest assured that your organization will be left behind in today’s modern world. 

Increase Productivity 

And there’s no reason to be left behind because hybrid workers tend to be more productive. If, that is, you design your remote-work environment correctly. The key is to have remote access solutions and services in place that foster productivity for users wherever they roam.  

That may mean investing in a hybrid approach to your data center, and looking for appropriate workflows that can be moved to a public cloud. Leveraging the cloud opens up a literal world of opportunities for remote work, as you can typically find a cloud region centrally located to where your users want or need to roam. By providing a seamless, simple, and performant environment for users to accomplish their work tasks from anywhere, can lead to increased productivity. The key, is to do so without compromising security, which conveniently is another strategic benefit of supporting remote work.  

Ensure Security 

Increasing security may seem counter intuitive when you have a remote workforce, but let’s go back to my mention of a friend who travels for work. If your idea of supporting remote work is to give everyone a laptop, then corporate data can go missing with that laptop. If, instead, you build remote-work solutions, you can secure your corporate data in your data center or in a public (but protected) cloud environment and then give users easy ways to access that.  

You can also have greater insight into who is leverage certain corporate assets or accessing corporate data. An employee sitting in their office may have carte blanche to your internet, but a well-designed remote access solution allows you to implement access control rules and strict authentication to restrict and govern access to a more limited set of assets.  

Save Money to Make Money 

Now, let’s return to one of my initial questions. Do you like your hefty lease? Leostream decided to remain a remote-first workplace (really, it would have been hypocritical if we didn’t) and downsized our office. We now pay about 1/3 of what we used to for our lease. We still have a place where employees can work, meetings can happen, and company lunch can occur if that’s on someone’s mind, but we are no longer tethered to a vacant office. 

If you survey employees for their work-location preferences and develop schedules for different groups of users, you can reduce your required office footprint, which leads to real savings. That money can then be redirected to other initiatives or services that generate more revenue for your organization. 

Save the World 

That’s not only good for your organization, that’s good for the world. The industry is still determining how best to quantify these effects, but if you downsize your office, shrink your datacenter, and keep employees from commuting you lower your organizations carbon footprint and help move the world in a better direction.  

Green businesses can reap benefit that range from tax credits to reputation boosts, plus attract a workforce that is increasingly concerned with these initiatives. 

In Conclusion 

Remember that the title of this article is “The Strategic Advantage of Supporting a Hybrid Workforce”. Some users will always need to go into the office. Some face-to-face time is, without a doubt, still valuable. The key is to realize the benefits of supporting work from anywhere and then designing solutions and services that maximize those benefits. Doing so will set your organization up for success in our increasingly hybrid world.   

About the Author 

Karen Gondoly is CEO of Leostream, a vendor agnostic platform providing a comprehensive and scalable solution for organizations to securely deliver and manage remote access to physical and virtual machines hosted on-premises and in cloud environments. 

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