November 10, 2021
The inevitable end of furlough has led many back into their offices. However, from our perspective this working practice seems to be on new terms. In fact, the term ‘hybrid way of working’ is frequently being mentioned. Employees are demanding flexibility. They now appreciate the benefits of being able to work from home, even if that is just for a few days of the week. Equally, they also want opportunity for team interaction, face-to-face meetings and catch-ups with clients.
While for many this is simply a question of pick up your laptop, mobile and go; for others it’s not that simple! Findings by www.webex.com suggest that 57% now expect to be in the office 10 days or less each per month, with 98% believing future meetings will regularly include remote participants. This debate about home working over being office based is also proving to be a generational one. According to Chief Executive, Andrew Carter of UK’s Centre for Cities older workers are preferring to work remotely rather than visit the office at all. The social implications of which are potentially far reaching, but from an IT technology perspective this can cause complications. We are certainly finding this to be the case in environments where desktops have traditionally been used by a business. By a desktop we are meaning a separate screen, keyboard, mouse and a box with all the essential technology in it. Often these boxes are placed underneath, beside or on top of the desk. As a result, they can be cumbersome to move but it is important to note this type of kit is generally designed to be put to regular use in a single location. Not moved around! At the height of the pandemic and the initial lockdowns, several employees with the agreement of their companies took their desktop computers home. This meant that whatever happened if they were home bound then they could at least work.
The challenge now is that some of these team members are wanting to work 2-3 days at home with the balance in the office. And for obvious reasons it is not practical to keep lugging around the various elements that make up a desktop computer. The easiest answer could be to migrate these users over to laptops. However, from our experience this is also not always practical, particularly for those that work in a design or high technology environment. Here they often have professional CAD (Computer Aided Design) workstations with some serious power behind them. The very nature of these units means they are frequently used by designers, artists, animators, architects and engineers. Therefore, they are also often specifically built for their needs using licenses particularly for them. This equally leads to complications if they forget to switch off or log-out of the machine they have been working on at home, as this can mean they do not then have a license for them to effectively operate in the office.
So how can you create a hybrid way of working or encourage hot desking when this is the level of equipment required to enable them to do their job? There is no one perfect approach, particularly as every environment and the way things need to be used vary depending on the nature of the business. But there are technological solutions that can be established and set up to make it work. Practically, many of the clients we have been working with to make this work for them and their teams, believe this dynamic way of working is here for the long-term. Therefore, they are wanting to do it right and create a stable, effective solution.
If you find you are facing this kind of challenge, or just want to talk through how you can make your technology work better for you and how your team now want to operate, then give us a call. We are always happy to have an initial chat to figure out the best IT solution to make it work properly for everyone.