How Hybrid Work Stresses IT Costs
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people conduct business, from the closing of physical offices to remote work. Advanced tech and reliable IT infrastructures allowed most organizations to embrace the new working model and become productive. In the U.S. alone, about 42% of the labor force worked from home full-time in 2020, while 32% work partially from home. But with most employees returning to the office, organizations have shifted their conversations to hybrid work models.
Hybrid work has become an alternative for people who prefer working from home, although they can return to the office. Generally, it is a solution for organizations looking to bring back an in-house workforce despite the pandemic. So, what exactly is hybrid work, and does it affect IT costs? Read on to find out.
What Is Hybrid Work?
In a nutshell, hybrid work is a working model that enables employees or professionals to work from different locations: in a physical office, in transit, or at home. It is a concept that combines a mixture of in-house and remote work, letting employees choose when to come to the office and work from home. Since it provides a transitional model between full-time remote work and returning to the office, most organizations are using hybrid work as a solution to welcoming employees back to the office.
Today, the hybrid work model appears unique for every organization, but the concept remains similar. This means companies that integrate hybrid work into their working models will face different challenges depending on technology training, policies, and management. With that, here are the key benefits of the hybrid work model.
- Increased productivity: Hybrid work enables employees to work more flexibly while capitalizing on their strengths, boosting productivity. Generally, it allows organizations to encourage a culture of remote working and completing critical tasks in a physical office, letting the team create a balance of collaboration and creativity.
- Enhanced employee satisfaction: The hybrid work model provides autonomy which promotes employee satisfaction. Companies that offer extensive autonomy and decision-making opportunities for employees on where, when, and how they work help promote employee satisfaction and culture.
- Increased possibilities for continuous learning: With more and more organizations being performance-driven, it becomes difficult for employees to learn more efficiently. Hybrid work lets employees explore different working environments outside of a physical office and get opportunities to learn. The hybrid model tends to eliminate back-to-back meetings and employees spending several weeks in the same working area.
- Improved mental health: Hybrid work encourages work-balance, crucial for any healthy working environment. This enables employees to find a way that works best for them, reducing stress and preventing burnout.
- Better collaboration: Virtual meetings and remote working capabilities have made hybrid work possible since employees can more efficiently communicate and access crucial company data. This helps build work relationships while enhancing collaboration between employees and customers.
How Hybrid Work Affects IT Costs
The hybrid work model entails augmented collaboration tools, hybrid-ready meeting rooms, virtual whiteboarding solutions, and other elements to run smoothly. However, it remains a new model of working that relies on technology, meaning organizations require additional resources to support the framework. Research suggests that companies that integrate remote and hybrid work into their operations experience an increase in IT costs.
Besides, several companies were technologically unprepared to adopt remote working, primarily after barring in-office work in 2020. This prompted a mix of remote and traditional office resources as an alternative to cutting down on operating costs. But switching to a hybrid work model represents a monetary upside for companies looking to embrace the new working framework for their employees. Although it limits the number of employees within a physical office, it burdens the IT department.
Like remote work, hybrid work taps into cloud services to facilitate remote access, allowing employees to work from anywhere or when they are away from traditional offices. It is an effective way to build a seamless working environment while utilizing the latest technology to run processes within an organization. But with cloud services and other associated resources, hybrid work is expensive for small businesses with constrained budgets.
According to IDC, about 90% of companies will implement hybrid work in the coming year, meaning the need for more resource allocation to existing infrastructure. This means startups and small businesses have to spend more on streamlining their operations with hybrid work. Therefore, hybrid work can be stressful for fast-growing businesses looking to embrace it and become part of today’s business environment. Here are other factors that make hybrid work stressful for growing businesses.
- Security concerns: Using public cloud servers can be risky, especially when an organization lacks reliable security in place. Insecure data exchange and communication remain a concern that requires additional resources to secure systems and networks to facilitate hybrid work.
- Technical IT skills: Installing workloads, cloud environments, and configuring an infrastructure can be intricate for most organizations. An organization may hence require more resources to outsource technical IT support when integrating hybrid work.
Implementing Hybrid Work Cost-Effectively
Since hybrid work has become part of modern businesses today, determining how much it really costs depends on specific industries and business requirements. However, organizations can cut down on the costs of integrating hybrid work by utilizing software tools that bring value. Generally, the cloud is a critical tech stack, enabling companies to access cloud-based tools and applications ideal for hybrid work. Besides, cloud services allow organizations to scale up or down quickly, crucial for a hybrid work model.
Because most organizations work with different employees, it is vital for IT admins to monitor the usage of resources for each employee. Limiting access to specific tools on the cloud helps reduce the number of licenses, ultimately reducing costs associated with hybrid work. For instance, incorporating cloud governance models helps control the usage of cloud tools and applications, including financial modeling strategies and cost management solutions.
Another effective way to cut costs when implementing hybrid work is to centralize systems around the desktop as a service model. This helps reduce spending on security software and devices, enabling businesses to embrace hybrid work more cost-effectively. The intent is to prevent businesses from backing into business revenue to finance a hybrid work model, but reinvest directly into IT.
At Parkway Tech, we understand the challenges most businesses face when integrating hybrid work into their workforce. Although it accompanies various benefits, especially with most workers considering remote work ideal, it can be costly for any IT department. Our experienced and skilled IT experts will help you get more insights into hybrid work and achieve more at reduced operating costs. Contact us to learn more today!