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The future of work is digital and hybrid

June 16, 2021

Kim Bybjerg   

Vice President and Head – Continental Europe, Tata Communications

As the world continues to understand its ‘new normal’, many are beginning to return to offices on a part-time basis. This means moving from the recently adopted virtual first way of working, to a set-up that will resemble a more hybrid model. In this blog, Kim Bybjerg, Vice President & Head of Continental Europe, Tata Communications, provides the example of how organisations in France are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their employees as we navigate this new way of working . 

If you had asked someone in 2019 what they think the office buildings of the future would look like, many would have described something tall and multi-storey, with sleek design and state-of-the-art facilities for the employees. The 26,000 square meters of Chanel’s Crafts department at Porte d’Aubervilliers, and the flagship workspace of Orange to host nearly 3,000 employees on the banks of the Seine at Issy-les-Moulineaux, would somewhat describe this imagination.

But then came COVID-19. The pandemic that began in 2020 transformed the way we used to work. Remote working, which was previously an optional concept amongst the workforce, became a norm in many countries around the world.

“While organisations are evaluating the new mode of operations, hybrid working is certainly gaining popularity amongst employees and organisations in France.”

Digital infrastructure: a strategic asset for the hybrid workplace

Over the course of the various lockdowns, many organisations – some in a phased manner – have welcomed back their employees to the workplace, giving rise to the concept of ‘hybrid working’. In this setup, while the employees will have the option to work remotely, they won’t have a dedicated seat assigned to them anymore. Essentially, two kind of workspaces seem to emerge: that of the home, more individual; and that of the office which is more conducive to meetings and creativity with dedicated spaces / cubicles.

“With organisations now looking at hybrid working as a long-term solution, they need to strengthen their digital architecture as their new-age workforce will need to effectively collaborate with their team members spread across digital and physical mediums through video, voice, and messaging.”

All this while seamlessly being able to securely access enterprise applications from anywhere and on any network connectivity.

Essentially, these employees need a secure connected digital workplace which:

  • Ensures safe and secure access of enterprise applications, empowering remote workers to securely access critical business applications over their public internet by enabling zero-trust secure connectivity to cloud or data centres.
  • Safeguards and protects them if they need to work out of physical offices, with IoT connected solutions and messaging services to ensure that the organisation is able to monitor safety of their workforce and enable roster and alert-based operations across their facility.

 

The advantages of re-imagining the security perimeter

The year 2020 marked a turning point in the field of cybersecurity. According to a study by Proofpoint, 91% of French organisations have suffered a cyberattack in the past year.

This makes one thing certain: cybersecurity will become a key priority for organisations in the months to come. More organisations will phase out remote access virtual private network and adopt zero trust network access.

This approach helps strengthen the security of the hybrid work environment that we increasingly see taking hold across industries. This model, which rejects the traditional approach to cybersecurity centred on a given perimeter, will focus on verifying access from everyone – whoever they are, wherever they are, without impacting the employee experience.

The new workplace will completely change the way we operate. It will be an ecosystem of digital technologies driven by on-demand, scalable networks, and exemplary suite of collaboration solutions, enabling truly omni-channel digital experiences for employees.

To learn more about adapting for a post-pandemic world, read this blog on how businesses can build a digital foundation for success.