The Citrix Smarter Workplace Report 2021
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Volume 1: Demystifying hybrid work

Learn how to design a hybrid work experience that avoids the constraints of the past and puts technology to its best use.

Principles for a hybrid work world

Hybrid work has never been done at this scale, or with this sense of permanence. In this report’s inaugural year, we’ve compiled eight guiding principles that can help your organization operationalize hybrid — and capitalize on the immense potential that this work model brings.

83%
of global employees want a hybrid work model.

01

Assess hybrid needs

Learn how to assess where your IT meets the needs of your hybrid workforce, and where it falls short.

IT is the key enabler of hybrid work. We’ve come a long way with enterprise technology in a very short time frame, but there’s room for improvement. Digital tools designed to make work easier are actually making it more complex, and security protocols are slowing down IT teams and employees alike. For IT to be effective in a hybrid work world, organizations need to move away from a blind trial and error approach and develop a rich understanding of employee and organizational needs before implementing new tech.

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71%
of workers using communication and collaboration tools say these tools have made work more complex.

You can have the best technology in the world. But before you can identify — let alone implement — a tech solution, you have to understand how your employees stand to benefit from it.

Donna Kimmel
Chief People Officer
Citrix

02

Make a plan

Learn how to prioritize investment of time and resources as you address the IT needs of your hybrid workforce.

Your needs assessment will likely unearth a wide range of IT challenges spanning different teams, departments, and roles. Clearly, not all feedback can be addressed at once, and rushed implementation could create more problems that it solves. It helps to prioritize needs in a strategic way, tackling the biggest ones first. Implementing a digital workspace is a good place to start. Digital workspaces provide a scalable, dynamic home for all work resources, giving you a centralized platform for addressing employee needs across your organization.

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71%
of employees want a single destination to understand and manage work.

69%
of employees say they don’t have that type of solution in place.

03

Embrace digital

Learn how to drive digital transformation that allows employees to work from anywhere.

The pandemic has shifted digital transformation into hyperdrive. In the era of hybrid work, digital transformation faces its latest challenge: the prospect of permanently distributed teams. To succeed in the hybrid era, companies must not only be strategic about the technologies they adopt, but also work to create a digital-first culture that reaches deep and empowers employees to get the most out of their digital tools.

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$6.8 trillion
Total global investments in digital transformation between 2020 and 2023, as estimated by the IDC.

70%
of digital transformations fail, largely as a result of issues related to people and culture.

04

Streamline apps and IT

Learn how to tackle app sprawl to create consistency, bolster security, and make work simpler for everyone.

Over the past year and a half, organizations have introduced a slew of new apps to better equip employees to work from anywhere. While many of these apps have boosted productivity, their sheer numbers are making work more complex, threatening to wipe out productivity gains and compromise security. The good news is that app sprawl isn’t inevitable, even as IT demands increase. By collaborating with employees and IT teams to streamline apps and implement centralized workspaces to house them, organizations can embrace digital transformation while simplifying workflows for everyone.

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33%
of workers touch 10–20 different communication and collaboration tools each day.

I really believe in upstream strategies. We need to try to prevent before we start looking to cure.

Jennifer Moss
author of The Burnout Epidemic, on Remote Works, a Fieldwork by Citrix podcast

05

Customize workspaces

Learn how to personalize, automate, and adjust workspace experiences according to vertical, team type, and individual role.

Consistency across locations and devices is critical in a hybrid model. Still, that doesn’t mean every employee should have an identical experience in the digital workspace. Different verticals, teams, and individuals need different tools to do their jobs, and modern employees expect their employers to deliver them. Luckily, many digital workspace solutions let you use intelligent software to customize workspaces and adjust permissions with a newfound precision. In doing so, you can position yourself to retain and attract talent amid rising resignations, and get ahead of security issues that come with more complex team structures.

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21%
higher profitability is reported by companies with high levels of employee engagement.

More than ever, people expect their employers to be more responsive to their needs. That means delivering a digital workspace that can be personalized to accommodate unique needs and working preferences, while creating equity among hybrid and fully remote workers.

Meerah Rajavel
Chief Information Officer
Citrix

06

Level the playing field

Learn how to build workspaces that benefit both the in-office and distributed workforce — ensuring everyone receives a shared experience.

In many ways, the shift to fully remote work at the dawn of the pandemic created a more level playing field. Zoom meetings, for example, have helped upend traditional power dynamics by giving everyone equal space on the screen. But as hybrid work becomes the norm, new concerns about inequality are surfacing. For hybrid to live up to its potential, organizations need to enact the right combination of technology and policy to ensure that no employee is at a disadvantage because of their location, and all employees can reap the benefits of more flexible models of work.

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Leveling the playing field requires thinking differently. We must provide a safe place for all employees to have a voice — synchronously or asynchronously. This requires pairing the right technology with behavioral change.

Traci Palmer
VP, People and Organization Capability
Citrix

07

Heighten security for all

Learn how to enhance security without limiting flexibility as employees increase their work locations and number of devices.

As organizations rushed to get remote models up and running in early 2020, many enacted stopgap security measures. Unfortunately, many of these measures have fallen short. More endpoints mean more potential points of compromise, and the data reflects this, with ransomware and phishing attacks on the rise. The transition to hybrid work presents organizations with a golden opportunity to blow up those imperfect measures and adopt technologies that make work easier and safer for employees and IT teams alike. From zero-trust network access to user behavior analytics, organizations must educate themselves on the best ways to protect their workforce while ensuring security doesn’t get in the way of productivity or flexibility.

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47%
of organizations saw an increase in cyber-attacks in the past year.

88%
of data breaches are caused by human error.

In the new world of work, the traditional security perimeter has all but disappeared, and we’re already seeing that security attacks are on the rise. Security teams will need a new mindset to keep their applications and their data safe, as well as protect their people.

Safi Obeidullah
Global Head of Value Advisory
Citrix

08

Start an open dialogue

Learn how to detect and respond to shifting needs as your hybrid work model evolves.

Many business leaders struggle to get a reliable picture of what’s working in their IT stack and what’s not, especially in this time of rapid change. That’s where employee experience comes in. Employee experience — the sum of employees’ perceptions of their experiences working within an organization — provides a metric for monitoring IT challenges and triumphs. Measuring employee experience starts with something deceptively simple: establishing an open dialogue with employees. While the path ahead won’t be linear, keeping the lines of communication open can help ensure your organization is always moving forward.

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74%
of executives anticipate significant ROI from an improved employee experience.

Business leaders must acknowledge that good, even great, work can happen outside of office walls, as well as within them. They must build employee experiences that provide workers with flexible virtual and physical environments.

Abhay Rajaram
Chief Customer Officer
Wrike, a Citrix company

Hybrid work: A future-proofing strategy

As the pace of technological change accelerates, the world will continue to experience sweeping changes in the way people live and work. By transitioning to a hybrid model grounded in dynamic technology and a digital-first culture, you’ll build much-needed flexibility into the core of your organization. Download the full report  to get the insights you need to future-proof your organization.

Not all change is created equal. Transformational change means creating the future as we go. This introduces ambiguity — so if you’re feeling that, you’re on the right track. Push forward rather than back into what’s comfortable.

Amy Haworth
Senior Director, Employee Experience
Citrix

Give your employees secure access to all the tools they need to work — from any device or location. See how with Citrix Workspace.