After a year and a half of global chaos, the world is finally showing signs of relief from the pandemic. Though many countries are still fighting the virus and managing restrictions, vaccine distribution is pointing to a return to normalcy in the near future.
As the world is slowly opening up, business leaders are navigating how to address the new expectations of the post-pandemic workforce. The last year forced many business leaders to adapt to remote environments, putting a new emphasis on cloud managed networks uand upgraded digital infrastructure. Though many businesses were able to handle this in the short term, it appears that opinions seem to vary on whether or not this can work beyond the pandemic. This topic is highlighted in detail in Extreme’s recent Extreme on Extreme virtual discussion, where Lidia Garcia and John Abel converse about how cloud has rapidly transformed the business world over the last year.
There’s certainly a case to be made for both sides. Traditional office environments provide all the necessary networking cloud infrastructure on-premise, which provides greater network control and security for employees and digital operations. Some employees feel more productive outside of their homes, or simply enjoy the atmosphere of being in an office with the company of other people. Office environments have been around for a long time, so it’s not surprising that many workers want to return to familiar ways.
On the other hand, remote working has been a godsend for some, providing a much more convenient way of doing business without the hassles that arise from in-office working. Employees working remotely no longer have to deal with commuting to work, and are often more productive due to the extra time they save by managing tasks at their own pace. From the employer's perspective, some businesses may experience significant cost savings through the reduction of office resources, like real estate, energy, etc., making remote environments cost effective. However, many businesses still don’t possess the networking and cloud requirements necessary to fully dive into a totally remote workforce.
Everyone seems to have differing opinions on how to move forward, so hybrid work environments pose a win-win solution for both sides. Employers with the proper tech resources may be able to provide a work culture that permits some employees to work from home, some in the office, or a mixture of both. Though this solution seems simple as a concept, it would likely require a massive infrastructure overall to manage scattered employees across various locations. Along with that, serious security measures must be implemented to drastically reduce the possibility of cyber-attacks and to keep private information secure.
Enterprise-level cloud managed networking may be the most logical solution for the anticipated hybrid workforce. In order to properly handle employees in multiple locations, employers should structure their network so individual employees are network endpoints. By doing this, employers have better visibility and security over hybrid environments, so that at-home networking is as easy to manage as on-premise networks.