Late Post

How IT can prepare for the coming hybrid work environment

Remote work is here to stay. Planning how to integrate remote workers as others return to the office will be critical for tech leaders.

Image: iStock/Anna Chaplygina

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, remote work seemed a temporary and novel approach to keeping productive, and I was among the many people who thought it would be a couple or three-week experiment. As the pandemic wore on and many companies embraced remote working, I heard sentiments like, “We’ll never go back to the old way of working,” a feeling that was particularly resonant among many of my colleagues, for whom the “old way” involved a dozen hours each week shuffling through overcrowded airports and cramped airplanes.

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

A funny thing happened shortly after several promising COVID-19 vaccines were announced and ultimately began to be administered around the world, whereby people seemed more or less equally divided among those who wanted to return to the old way of working, and those who were content to continue working remotely. There are certainly nuances between industries and demographic factors, but even along these lines I have yet to see an overwhelming majority of workers who want to return to in-office