Managed Services | Planning | Tech Tips

Creating an Ideal Hybrid Work Environment

The utopian promise of a hybrid work environment is often marred with the reality of technical, communications, and workflow issues. The thought of checking your email while enjoying a cup of coffee on your deck and listening to bird songs is often interrupted by other members of the household squabbling in the background. The dream of skipping endless hours of a smog-choked commute is interrupted by not having access to the right company resources at home.  

The idea of a hybrid work environment is not new; however, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic increased the volume of remote workers overnight to work remotely. Largely unprepared for the massive shift in workforce management, organizations struggled to adapt. Technology and cybersecurity challenges coupled with poor planning; many organizations failed to create effective remote work environments. Slowly, companies returned to offices, often leveraging a hybrid model. At first, this seemed like a great compromise, but many of the old issues still lurk. It is not business as usual; we have now embarked on the journey of the new remote workforce. New generations are seeking new working models.  

Common, often legacy, activities limit remote workforces.  

  • Scheduling. When users choose their own on-premises/remote schedule, it becomes difficult to plan on-premises meetings or activities.  When the company sets the schedule, users often find it difficult to manage personal activities such as childcare or family obligations. 
  • Community. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real, yet many organizations don’t recognize or address it. When working remotely, hybrid workers often feel left out of the organizational community and inclusion.  
  • Technology. Cost effective, secure, and user-friendly solutions exist for managing end user devices, network resources, communications, and data management. Yet, companies still struggle with providing minimum resources to achieve goals. 
  • Convenience versus Security. The scenario of “Users want, IT denies” goes back to the beginning of the modern IT era. IT struggles between standards, regulations, security requirements, and fulfilling users wants and needs. This issue intensifies when IT management lacks business acumen to correctly address the issues. Users are resourceful, often finding ways around rigorous security processes.   
  • Missed Expectations.  When reality sets in, the ecstasy of becoming a hybrid user is eclipsed by misery. Rigid schedules, limited network access, restricted application usage, FOMO, struggling with phone and conference calls, too much noise and interruption at home grounds the fantasies of hybrid workers everywhere.  

The dream, the right, and the value of hybrid workers are a real issue that is part of our landscape. Organizations do not have a choice, and they must address the hybrid workforce (the workforce of the future); when they do, they will discover a new level of success.  

How to get it right?

The ideal hybrid workforce does not occur naturally, it requires intentional planning and foresight by organizations and participants. Your remote workforce is far more than just moving workers from a traditional office and moving them to an alternate location.  

Consider the following activities to create an effective hybrid workforce: 

Business Requirements  

  • Is the current role ideal for a full-time/remote worker, or does it require in-office interactions?  Consider realigning roles and job activities and design activities specifically for remote and hybrid workers. Take the time to interview managers and staff to create roles and activities that thrive in the new workplace.  
  • Are your current workflows and processes designed for an in-office staff? Consider creating workflows aligning your team wherever they work and purposely constructing activities that leverage remote workers. Include multimodal user interactions such as mobile devices of all sizes, communications, and multi-screen.  


  • Set (document) clear expectations for the role, include hours of operation, deliverables, communications, location, on/off camera expectations, what the company/worker provides, data connection speeds, and physical environment.  
  • Do not rely on traditional evaluation methods. Consider updating your evaluation criteria, peer reviews, one-on-ones, and skip-level meetings.  Refrain from letting the lack of personal interaction impact praise or improvement opportunities.   


  • Train your leaders (they are also remote) on creating and managing remote workforces, including hiring the right talent, communications, and evaluations. 
  • Embrace your remote teams and create inclusive activities to improve their organization involvement.  

Technology & Cybersecurity 

  • When the 2020 pandemic hit, many organizations expanded their remote access program. This quick solution was plagued with complexity, scalability, and security issues. Most organizations did not budget for the massive shift in their workforce.  
  • Consider resetting your remote worker technology program. 
  • Document the business requirements; workforce modeling, including workflows, resource requirements, and program evolution. 
  • Do not let regulatory and cybersecurity requirements limit your remote workforce. Instead, cybersecurity should be guiding and enabling your program within bounds. 
  • Consider new remote access methods; new technologies may simply be your solution, improve security, and cost less. Solutions like Always On VPN, Cloud Based VPN, Zero Trust Network Access, and numerous amounts of branded solutions may reduce complexity.  
  • Create a standardized list of equipment and resources for remote users to improve their experience while simplifying remote support.  
  • Provide remote management support, including direct chat, call-in numbers, and self-help libraries explicitly designed for the remote user experience.  

Optimizing the remote worker experience requires intentional thought leadership with contributions from the administration and remote workers. Create a program that leverages your remote teams to improve their effectiveness and job satisfaction.  

Connect with service providers specializing in remote workforce management. Service providers such as ISOutsource can support your technology, regulatory requirements, cyber security, workflows, and employee management activities.