Various phrases have been used to describe the scenario in which many businesses and organisations strived to enable their employees when the UK was first put into lockdown. A new way of working was used when the pandemic first hit, while organisations were finding their feet. Remote working was a common phrase but lacked the flexibility of the modern workplace we see today. However, the phrase that seems to be both consistent and accurate is Hybrid Working. Even Microsoft have adopted this phrase as an umbrella term to cover many of their cloud solutions; and this term is now widely accepted to describe the scenario that public sector organisations are striving to enable for their employees.
In fact, one public sector organisation surveyed it’s 30,000 employees and found that more than 80% felt that hybrid working is preferable. Psychological barriers have been lifted for many and organisations are increasingly embracing hybrid working.
What is Hybrid Working? Hybrid working, as described by Microsoft, is a mix of work styles across three dimensions:
Work Site – The physical space where individuals work.
Work Location – The geographic location where the individuals work.
Work Hours – The hours and days when individuals work.
In essence, employees are able to find an efficient split between working from home or in the office.
The move was, perhaps, forced onto many organisations when the UK was first put into lockdown. However, many of our public sector customers didn’t notice a drop in productivity, which then led to efforts being made to identify other possible benefits. The findings were mostly positive.
Benefits of a Hybrid Working Model
The benefits of a hybrid working model are so great that the topic likely warrants a separate article. However, during a recent interview with Core’s Head of Public Sector, Paul Saer, he highlighted a few pertinent points:
A gain in productivity. The flexible approach to working has, in many cases, lifted productivity. This is due to employees having the freedom to manage responsibilities, work in the comfort of their own home, and when needed, meet with colleagues for face-to-face meetings.
Operational Costs. For many organisations, one of the largest operational expenses is office space and the surrounding costs; such as rent, power, cooling, security, furniture – the list is long. By adopting a hybrid working model, organisations can reduce the office space they need, thus reducing costs, and giving them the ability to provide a cash injection into other areas of the organisation.
Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a hot topic right now and it goes without saying that by reducing office space, the amount of CO2 emissions the business creates through cooling, power, and commuting is reduced. Public sector organisations have made a huge effort to reduce their carbon footprints and adopting a hybrid model is the catalyst for many more opportunities.
Flexibility in future plans. Hybrid working provides flexibility that many organisations did not have pre-pandemic. With the UK lockdowns being regarded as a success in controlling the spread of COVID-19, organisations are ensuring that, should another lockdown be introduced, they are ready.
Where are we now?
Public sector organisations were already adopting a cloud-first strategy before the pandemic forced the effort to be prioritised. What we are seeing now as a result of this paradigm shift, is organisations that have made the leap to the cloud to enable remote working, but now seek to optimise their infrastructure and tooling. Efforts are being made to plug potential security and compliance gaps that were perhaps overlooked during the shift, and in many cases, organisations have adopted a hybrid infrastructure, utilising a mix of existing on-premise with a connection to their new cloud infrastructure. This method is often deemed to be the fastest route to the cloud, and therefore was the fastest way to enable remote or hybrid working.
However, now that the need for full remote working is receding and hybrid working is prevalent, organisations are looking to move to full-cloud solutions to remove the need for expensive Capex-based hardware and infrastructure, along with its associated risks and maintenance costs. They are looking to capitalise on their investments with cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft 365, and they are seeking ways to use the cloud to provide a better service; such as sharing data with other government organisations – which, in the world of on-premise hardware, is simply too resource-intensive and unwieldly to conceive.
Now is the time for public sector organisations to optimise their cloud solutions, maximise the value of their updated infrastructure and tooling, and identify opportunities to further protect their future business continuity and growth.
At Core Technology Systems, we offer public sector organisations a free half-day evaluation of your organisation’s environment, and provide an opportunity to help you develop a roadmap to the cloud or optimisation of your systems. Register for your free evaluation today and get your complimentary technology roadmap by clicking the link below.