What are some of the hybrid working trends? Do they matter? Are there advanced security solutions to cater to these changing business needs? Read on to find out how both security and agility can be achieved.
During the pandemic, businesses saw remote working as a last resort to maintain operations. Back then, remote working was supposed to be a means of business continuity. Fast forward to 2023, remote and hybrid are ‘normal’ ways of working. Hybrid working has transitioned from being a perk/benefit to an employee right. Businesses are facilitating these new ways of working by demonstrating a lot of agility – by onboarding new tools, technologies, platforms, cloud-based apps, and more. Investments in agile and productivity tools like video conferencing, employee well-being and engagement, productivity and collaboration, project management, internal communication, etc. have gone remarkably up.
These trends are unlikely to fade away anytime soon. Office workers prefer remote jobs and here’s a study that clearly indicates this. About less than 20%2 of the jobs posted on LinkedIn had a remote job option, yet it received more than 50% of the total applications.
One McKinsey study3 reported that 71% of people who prefer hybrid work / remote work models are likely to switch to another company if their current workplace discontinues / replaces the hybrid / remote work model with a full-time office model. But why? When you look at the results from this Cisco workplace survey4, the reasons why workers like hybrid working are straightforward. Here’s what employees say when asked why they prefer hybrid working:
These metrics are vital to business since they also contribute to work efficiency. Therefore, businesses will pay attention to adopting or accelerating hybrid trends to offer a better digital experience, enable efficiency, and improve collaboration.
As businesses adopt digital initiatives to have more speed, they also have a responsibility to look out for resilience. A report published by McKinsey ‘The State of Organizations 2023’ highlights that resilient companies generated a Total Shareholder Return (TSR) of 50%7 more than companies who were less resilient. Naturally, resilient businesses withstand and handle disruptions better. Businesses are banking on robust cyber defense solutions to build resilience. However, having security solutions is one part, the other part is to also develop a cyber security culture in the agile working environments. After all, humans are the weakest link in cyber security.
A 2022 report8 on employee behavior by Gartner claimed that about 82% of data breaches can be attributed to unsecure employee behavior. Therefore, businesses need to also emphasize on training and educating the teams (phishing simulations, training modules, etc.). However, awareness isn’t enough. The same report stated that despite understanding the cyber risks, employees engaged in risky behavior such as using the same password for multiple platforms, opening an email attachment from an unknown source, sharing sensitive information, and more.
This signifies that it’s not only agile working ways or digital transformation that increases the cyber risk. Employee behavior could also be a risk factor. Such security challenges can be minimized eventually with the right tools and training. It’s also important to mitigate any existing vulnerability or risk(s) while evaluating new security solutions to support digital transformation. Security assessments help businesses find gaps and potential risks.