Change overload: How to scale and secure your hybrid workforce

Successful hybrid work strategy takes more than offering flexible work schedules. Learn how to build a scalable and secure hybrid work strategy to empower your flexible workforce as you grow.

ARTICLE | 5m read
July 8, 2021

After a year dominated by remote working, 61 percent of professionals prefer to adopt a hybrid work schedule once their offices reopen. However, flexible work models are still quite new to many organizations (only 7 percent of U.S. workers had flexible workplace benefits before 2020). This rapid shift can lead to change overload for both employees and organizations, creating uncertainties like how to implement strong security for a hybrid workforce and how to effectively scale the technology that supports your flexible workers.

These are not easy questions. However, if you’re going to build a resilient and future fit organization that thrives in changing times, developing a scalable and secure hybrid work strategy is critical. It’s time for business and IT leaders—especially of growing businesses—to embrace the exciting potential of hybrid work. In this article, we will explore why hybrid work strategy must be employee-centered, how to adopt hybrid work technology that’s scalable and secure, and why your hybrid work strategy needs to support employee wellness.

Centering employees in your hybrid work strategy

Employee choice is at the center of a successful hybrid work strategy, which goes beyond simply being open to where your employees choose to work. You also want to enable employees to choose how, when, and why work gets done—shifting work to be about achieving the best outcomes rather than merely a set number of hours. This hybrid work approach considers the whole of each employee, enlisting them as empowered partners who know their ideal working conditions and how to best contribute to your business mission.

This refocus on employee choice in hybrid work may sound like a surrender of manager control and organization, but that’s where employee-centered measurement comes in. Collaborate with employees to create structured ways to monitor and measure their own success by setting firm deadlines, quantifiable benchmarks, and clear output goals. With this results-focused model of hybrid work, your employees have a methodology to execute and measure their progress and managers can more easily track and evaluate employee success. This makes it much easier to scale your hybrid workforce as your business grows.

How to adopt the right hybrid work technology

As you look to empower your growing hybrid workforce with more choice, adopting the right technology is a must. Above all, your goal is ensuring the workspaces your staff rely on will provide a great employee experience wherever they work. This is essential to successful collaboration in your hybrid workforce, especially for smaller and medium organizations looking to grow. As Sireesha Mandava, the CIO of GreenPath Financial Wellness, describes in a podcast on hybrid work for SMB organizations: “With digital workspaces, the first and foremost thing is reliability and flexibility. We need to ensure workspaces have the best experience—when employees are dispersed, that’s the only way they connect.”

Beyond reliability, it’s also important your hybrid work technology ensures security without sacrificing usability. This is why Mandava encountered when adopting a new collaboration tool for her smaller organization: “You have to worry about data loss prevention, you have to worry about if those tools have single sign-on to make sure we’re not compromising on security.” In addition to single sign-on, another proven way to increase security while simplifying anywhere access is adopting FIDO authentication. This removes the need for employees to create and remember new passwords every few months, so remote workers can easily access the tools they need while strengthening access security.

Why your hybrid work strategy must support employee wellness

As you rely more on your hybrid workforce, it’s vital that your flexible work strategy prioritizes employee wellness to keep everyone healthy and productive. Your hybrid workforce has been through a lot—a striking 70 percent of employees said the pandemic was the most stressful time of their entire career, inspiring 35 percent to prioritize well-being in their work lives more  than they did before. In short, your hybrid workforce is still dealing with change overload that’s led them to feel exhausted from operating on surge capacity for too long.

Growing companies need to recognize employee needs, empower them to self-care, and fit these wellness goals into their hybrid work strategy. Encourage and train managers to empathize with employees to best understand their unique working conditions and stressors. Reserve whitespace time into daily schedules so employees are able to unplug and be mindful about their work. By making employee wellness a key value in your hybrid work strategy, you can keep morale and employee engagement high as you scale.

Building a hybrid work strategy for the future of work

Whether you’re an enterprise or a SMB on the rise, the success of your business depends on your employees doing their best work. That in mind, design your hybrid work strategy to maximize employee freedom to choose where, when, how, and why their best work gets done. By engaging your flexible workers as partners in the success of your organization, you can build a scalable and secure hybrid work strategy that empowers you to lead the future of work.