The “Great Remote Work Experiment” is nearly at an end. Once the pandemic is finally in the rearview mirror, however, businesses are going to have to grapple with the question of what to do now that remote work during COVID has illustrated that going into an office isn’t an absolute necessity for many types of knowledge workers. Some organizations, citing the value of face-to-face collaboration, intend to return fully to the office, while others, citing the cost of commercial real estate and the proven effectiveness of virtual workspaces, may never go back.
The majority of businesses will opt for something in between.
From an IT perspective, this creates a new set of challenges, including optimizing network infrastructure for a host of unprecedented security and connectivity needs, all while ensuring a coherent and seamless employee experience.
Key to getting a hybrid experience right is balancing the unique demands of the business with the now increasingly diverse expectations of employees themselves. Channel partners have the expertise to advise organizations on hybrid work infrastructure and can serve as the catalyst to ensure that businesses stay nimble, keep up with the pace of change, and prepare their networks for the future of work.
As the roadmap to a standardized hybrid work model continues to develop, here are a few ways that channel partners can help businesses get ahead, while remaining sensitive to employee expectations.
Rethinking How Partners Integrate
One of the fundamental differences between remote and on-site workplace strategies is the level of IT standardization. For example, when an entire workforce is based out of an office, everyone is working off the same networks, connections, and systems–each with its own standard set of security measures. Traditionally, when channel partners deploy a new integrated technology or solution, they build their integration playbook from that set foundation.
When all, or at least some, employees are remote, the number of variables—personal devices and networks—changes considerably. This makes it much more difficult for a channel partner to account for a single infrastructure standard. As the last year has taught, however, employees largely want to maintain their level of technological autonomy. Therefore, channel partners need to be deeply ingrained in customers’ architectural infrastructure from the get-go. With greater transparency, they can better understand where gaps exist among different endpoints and make recommendations accordingly.