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The hybrid work model is the new normal.

Think About It

The hybrid work model is the new normal for many sectors, and now is the time to stop treating it like a temporary solution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we are in the middle of a revolution as many companies are re-imagining their workplace strategy. A less centralized approach allows for social distancing and offers the flexibility and work-life balance that employees crave while realizing cost savings, improved efficiencies, increased workforce opportunities, and more.

The hybrid work model is the new normal.What is the Hybrid Workplace?

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, many workplaces abruptly shifted to remote work. There was a clear distinction between working in the office versus working from home—and it happened almost overnight. The timeline for transitioning back into the office has not been clear-cut and will probably never be fully realized. As the pandemic lingers, many companies and employees see the benefit in shifting to a model where employees commute to the office, but they may also work from home. Who works where and when varies by company, but the one constant is that a company’s entire workforce is not usually all onsite simultaneously. In short, there has been a shift from traditional offices with rows of workstations to a more flexible model that gives more freedom to the worker.

Who Benefits from Hybrid Work?

If there is one thing we’ve collectively learned from the last 18 months, it’s that we are more adaptable than we realized. Faced with a challenge, we all stepped up and, in the process, discovered that a more flexible workplace model makes sense—with or without a pandemic. In fact, 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model, according to a 2021 survey from Accenture. Workers have more control over where, when, and how they work, which can help promote wellbeing, increase productivity, and reduce turnover.

And looking at productivity for those with concerns, a 2021 McKinsey survey shows that 58% of business leaders saw productivity improve with a shift to hybrid, while 37% say there was no change from a traditional model.  Additionally, a hybrid model that also allows for fully remote workers makes remote talent acquisition a possibility. This aspect means your firm may be able to add the best candidate to your team, not just the best candidate in your geographical location.

While the hybrid model is here to stay—and most of us prefer it—it’s not without its challenges, particularly regarding technology.

5 Technology Elements to Consider

Here are five areas around which your organization may be experiencing growing pains while transitioning to a permanent hybrid model.  I share the challenges and corresponding solutions for each topic for decision-makers to consider.

  1. Collaboration

Collaboration is going to look different moving forward. Your technology will need to support a fluid mix of in-person and digital teamwork, provide access to resources for onsite and remote workers, and create meeting spaces that allow employees to seamlessly work together no matter their location.

Challenge: Replace in-person meetings and team collaboration.

Solution: Zoom, MS Teams, and similar solutions to create a connected experience.

Challenge: Remote Access to file and application resources.

Solution:  Virtual workspaces, VPN, and SaaS file tools such as Egnyte, OneDrive, or Box

Challenge: Reduction and simplification of communications.

Solution: Zoom, MS Teams, and other similar collaboration tools have allowed organizations to converge legacy telephone with voice, video, chat, and digital meetings and whiteboards into a streamlined and unified experience for employees.

  1. Cybersecurity

A shift to hybrid means that security professionals will simultaneously need to protect all fronts. In a hybrid setting, cybersecurity is more of a challenge than securing all onsite or all remote workstations.

Challenge: Increased network vulnerability from devices shifting from onsite to at-home or even unsecured public networks.

Solution: Zero-Trust Access/Networking, combined with VPN, Virtual Desktops, and SaaS applications to help control data and access.

Challenge: Heightened vulnerability to phishing emails as workforce because decentralized.

Solution: SaaS-based training tools such as KnowBe4 to keep employees trained and tested on company policies and how to recognize threats while not in the office

Challenge: Need for active monitoring 24/7 as employees work offsite at all hours of the day.

Solution: Next-gen SaaS-based security solutions to provide continuous monitoring and alerting.

Challenge: Device management

Solution: Cloud-centric management tools such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly Intune), JAMF, Addigy, and other MDM tools to enable zero-touch deployment and remote configuration management for corporate devices.

  1. Design of Office Spaces and Technology

As the work model changes for employees, so does the office layout. Workspaces will need to become more flexible to accommodate workers who shift between the office and home. Technology and operations will need to align to provide more hybrid meeting and shared spaces and less traditional cubicles and dedicated space. Decentralizing headquarters might be ideal for some businesses.

Challenge: Office plan with a workstation setup that provides flexibility for when, where, and how office workers want to work.

Solution: Hot desking setup and scheduling with standard hardware configurations allow employees to leverage laptops to work at their preferred location and time.

Challenge: Increase meeting spaces for hybrid work meetings to allow for both in-person and digital collaboration.

Solution: Upgrading meeting rooms to leverage Zoom, Teams, and similar digital tools for full digital meeting support.

Challenge: Consider whether satellite offices work as opposed to one larger location.

Solution: Reducing commute time for employees to optimize productivity and working time with colleagues.

  1. Productivity

Standard operating procures for productivity and how managers evaluate efficiency and output will need to be updated for the hybrid environment.

Challenge: Managers may need technology solutions to gauge productivity.

Solution: Data analytics or management tools to help track and monitor employee engagement and productivity.

Challenge: Workflows and Automation

Solution: Leverage automation capabilities within products and platforms to help reduce manual tasks and improve workflows to drive employee efficiency and promote an increase in productivity.

  1. IT Support and Operations

One challenge for IT managers with the hybrid workplace is technical support. Your organization will need to address workers’ need for IT support both at work and home and at all hours of the day. Not an impossible task, but the 9-5 M-F support model won’t be practical for businesses going all-in on the hybrid work approach.

Challenge: A hybrid workforce working where and when they want is a challenge for technical support.

Solution: Robust device management and remote access tools for IT teams or a trusted MSP partner to provide effective around-the-clock support to both onsite and remote employees.

Challenge: Equipment management

Solution: Leverage remote management and monitoring solutions (RMM, MDM) to keep real-time inventory and audit of equipment for tracking and management.

Meeting the Challenges of the Future with Coretelligent

As we navigate the hybrid-work future, you can count on the IT professionals at Coretelligent to help your organization solve any IT challenges you may be facing to your key business processes with a wide range of IT solutions. If you have questions about designing hybrid work solutions for your company, reach out by calling 855-841-5888 or email  info@coretelligent.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

Chris Messer, Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, HeadshotAbout Chris

As Chief Technology Officer, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development.

Click here to learn more about Chris.

Apple Devices Hack 2021

Apple is advising all users to update their devices after researchers revealed a flaw across their OS ecosystem. This flaw would allow hackers access to install spyware on Apple devices (Mac, Watch, or iPhone) without users having to take any action, like click a linkThis spyware could then facilitate further malicious activity such as eavesdropping or stealing data from the infected device.

To address the flaw, Apple has released an emergency software patch for the iPhone, iPad, Mac devices, and Apple Watch via iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS 11.6, and watch OS 7.6.2.

As you can imagine, this is especially troubling for those working in industries that include access to confidential data. Coretelligent is advising clients to immediately update Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

How to Update Apple Devices

To update your iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Plug in your device or make sure it has 50% battery life or more.
  5. Tap “Install Now.”

To update macOS on Mac

  1. From the Apple menu in the corner of your screen, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Software Update.
  3. Click Update Now or Upgrade Now

Update your Apple Watch using your iPhone
To check for updates manually, use these steps:

  1. Keep your Apple Watch on its charger until the update completes.
  2. On your iPhone, open the Watch app, then tap the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap General > Software Update.
  4. Download the update. If asked for your iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, enter it.
  5. Wait for the progress wheel to appear on your Apple Watch. It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at help@core.tech or 855-841-5888.


Related Content → How to Protect Yourself from Cybersecurity Threats on Mobile Devices


One of the most popular measures that companies are taking to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is allowing for (or mandating) that their staff work from home (WFH). While the flexibility and efficiency that can result is often a significant benefit for employees and employers alike, this transition can be challenging if your business hasn’t prepared for such a contingency. Organizations that have thought through and documented a business continuity plan are now seeing the fruits of their labor. Others who are less prepared may be feeling some friction as they try to adopt this new approach under hurried circumstances. Here are a few ideas that can help companies and their teams survive and thrive in a distributed workforce model.

For Companies:

  • The first factor that companies should take into account is that people are used to, and in most cases prefer, being in a social environment. WFH is convenient, but it can be isolating, especially for long stretches. Providing employees with video conferencing capabilities can significantly improve their remote-work experience and help boost productivity. Using tools like Zoom (or MS Teams, BlueJeans, etc.) allows employees to feel connected, even if they can’t be with a team live. These solutions can also allow workers to continue to interface with clients in the same manner to help maintain rapport.
  • Create defined communication protocols so that people know when and from whom information will arrive, and over what medium. Regularly communicating with the remote team helps everyone feel connected and part of a unified experience. Even updates just to say “We’re still monitoring the situation . . . ” can help.
  • Ensure that employees have the right tools to access information and that these tools are scaled to accommodate everyone’s usage. Some examples:
    • If you are still using on-prem file services, do you have enough VPN licenses to accommodate all workers?
    • Do you have enough upstream bandwidth to allow users to access the data they need? This is especially important as many organizations have asymmetric bandwidth that is considerably faster for downloads than uploads (e.g. 100Mbps down, 25Mbps up). When everyone is outside of the office, the needs are reversed and this can become a bottleneck.
    • If you are using a VDI platform, do you have enough compute power to support your entire team at once? Do you have enough licenses for the number of simultaneous connections that you’ll need?
    • Do users have the required hardware at home to be productive for extended periods of time? If not, it may make sense to allow them to take items from the office such as extra monitors, docking stations, etc.

For Employees:

  • If you don’t work remotely on a regular basis, changing your entire workflow to accommodate this shift can be challenging. The first item to note is that your internet connection is your gateway to the world!
    • If you have a low-bandwidth connection (less than 50Mbps) consider upgrading. Your ability to access data will be greatly improved, and you’ll have better experience when using services that aren’t related to work, such as Netflix.
    • If it’s been several years since your service was installed, it may be time to request a new router or modem from your Internet service provider. This aging hardware may become a bottleneck to enhanced bandwidth and faster WiFi or may have reliability issues that will negatively impact your productivity.
  • Wireless is convenient, but a wired connection will likely be more reliable for data-intensive applications like voice and video. If you can’t get a wired connection to the area where your computer is located, try to work somewhere that has good wireless coverage. You may even consider getting a wireless repeater to bolster the signal strength in places like a basement office (or a rooftop deck if you’re lucky).
  • Everything that’s happening on your home network will impact performance. This is especially true on wireless networks. If you are trying to conduct a video conference while downloading a large file and streaming video content, you may see quality issues. Try to minimize usage to only what is necessary at a given time.
  • If you have others in your home that are also working remotely, the items listed above are more important as these issues can compound quickly when your home internet is being overworked. Try to coordinate with other family members to ensure that everyone isn’t on a video call and streaming Spotify at the same time.

While it’s rarely convenient to work through a crisis situation, knowing that you have the professionals at Coretelligent working for your company can help alleviate many of your concerns. If you have questions about how to securely configure remote work solutions for your company or the impact of cloud versus on-premise storage for remote workers, contact the experts at Coretelligent at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.