Hybrid office: everything else you need to know

July 1, 2022 Alex Dunlop

Man working remotely on the phone in a city

Did you know that nine out of ten organisations plan to implement hybrid working post- pandemic? It’s no wonder—after all, most executives report increases in productivity and more satisfied customers as a result.

Indeed, the argument for the hybrid office is clear. But to get the most out of a hybrid office environment, there are a couple of things you need to consider. Firstly, how up-to-date is your office infrastructure? And, once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to go hybrid, how secure will it be?

With that in mind, here are some things about the hybrid office you need to know.
 

How much bandwidth do you need?

Your bandwidth requirements need to meet your peak needs. After all, the number of people using your network at any given time will vary, as well as what they’re using it for. Video conferencing apps by themselves don’t require a lot of speed. It’s when you have multiple users all sharing their video/content in multiple meetings that you may have issues. While these collaborative tools are fantastic for enhanced productivity, they’re also bandwidth-hungry. Without a strong connection, they won’t work well.

There’s also the fact that different departments will have different needs. A service desk, for example, might prefer a wired connection to ensure constant connectivity, while the rest of your employees will function just fine on (and probably prefer) wireless.

So, take a look at your current connection. If you experience lags and you have jitter during straightforward video calls, it’s likely your hybrid office isn’t future-ready (yet).

How secure is your network?

When your employees were all on-premise, you maybe didn’t think too much about network security. But now that you have a distributed workforce, securing your network might seem like an overwhelming task.

You can start by installing an SSL VPN. This will provide employees with an encrypted connection to safely access your network from anywhere, anytime. It uses standard web browsers, so it doesn’t require the installation and maintenance of software on each employee’s computer. Since many of your staff will be off-site and out of your IT team’s
reach, this is crucial.

Moving your network to SD-WAN is another way to bolster security. It provides end-to-end encryption and makes it easier to manage multiple sites securely with centralised control.

That said, a secure network doesn’t automatically mean your data is safe. You have to consider your people too, which brings us to our next point.

How trusting are you?

You might employ the most honest bunch of staff. But, all it takes is for one person to slip up and your company could leak valuable data.

In 2021, a massive 85 percent of cyber breaches involved the human element. Since less than ten percent of these were the result of privilege misuse, establishing zero-trust policies would have helped prevent the majority of incidents.

Zero trust is a security framework that automatically assumes each request is unsafe, regardless of whether the request is from inside or outside the network. It demands you implement policies for identity authentication, such as IAM controls. It also provides security policies for devices, applying the ‘never trust, always verify’ model to every
member of your organisation.

In a hybrid office with employees distributed across multiple locations and using various devices, taking the zero-trust approach will ensure only authorised personnel gain access to your resources.

A hybrid office that works

If your staff are both on and off-site, then you’re already employing the hybrid working model. But that doesn’t mean your office is hybrid-ready.

Increased demands for bandwidth will mean it’s necessary to improve your connection. Moreover, a distributed workforce will create the need for you to rethink your security, both in terms of your network and the access you provide.

If this is a lot to process, there’s help at hand. Claranet will assess your needs and provide recommendations that will bring your hybrid office to the next level.

Alex Dunlop
Product Manager at Claranet  

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