With the recent easing of restrictions, businesses must now adapt to yet another new normal and think about the return to the office. Hybrid working – where employees work partly on site and partly from home – seems the de facto choice for many companies. But how can Apple technology make it work more effectively in your organisation?
If you’ve already read our recent whitepaper on flexible working (which you can download for free here), you’ll know 47 of 50 of the UK’s biggest employers told a BBC survey they would either be encouraging staff to work from home two or three days a week or keeping hybrid working under review.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 accelerated the steady rise of remote working, but the pandemic hit as climate change was high on the agenda – with many people already keen to minimise car journeys to avoid traffic jams and reduce their carbon footprint.
Now, with some firms having experienced remote working for the first time and learned new lessons, it appears many are planning to reap the rewards of having fewer staff on their premises at any one time while also reintroducing their employees to the office on a staggered or gradual basis.
But for hybrid working to be a success in your organisation, having the right technology and tools in place is absolutely essential. Practical considerations necessitate some form of return to the office for many companies, yet it’s not simply a case of reopening the doors and carrying on as you did before; it’s time to review your current setup and ensure it’s fit for purpose.
So what do you need to think about? Let’s look at two key topics…
One of the reasons for hybrid working’s popularity is it helps employers keep their employees safe while conforming with government guidance around social distancing.
Instead of ushering 100% of their workforce back into the office, many businesses are instead scheduling rotas or using booking systems to manage capacity, and hot desking is typically at the centre of these plans. Do your teams already have devices that make working across the office seamless and stress-free?
Another consideration should be your meeting rooms, or more specifically how to make the most of them. After months of Zoom call frustrations, you can enable your staff to have proper, productive meetings on site – and the right technology could make the experience that much better.
Our Apple solutions can help in both of these areas by equipping you with devices that are perfect for hybrid working. For example, MacBook Pro users can carry their lightweight notebooks to any on-site location and then take it home with them after their work is done, while AirPods or AirPods Pro make shutting out background noise and having clear conversations far easier.
There are communication benefits of the Apple ecosystem, too. Sharing files to someone across the office is incredibly simple – and almost instantaneous – thanks to AirDrop, while AirPlay allows you to share your screen to a conference room Apple TV for easier collaboration, too.
The last thing you want is for users to be frantically copying files onto their hard drives while in the office so they can work with them from home later in the week. Today’s employees expect to be able to access what they need immediately, at any time – and it can only help them do a better job.
Security wise, it’s always a good time to upskill your users on how to keep your company data safe. A study of UK home workers found that one in five had received no training on cybersecurity, so the rise of hybrid working arguably necessitates greater investment in this area.
Which brings us neatly onto the industry-leading security features that our Apple solutions bring to your business. Mac, iPad and iPhone all come with encryption technology that keeps your corporate data safe and sound, while regular operating system updates help you keep up to date with the latest security patches for free; both hardware and software combine to protect you for greater peace of mind.
Mac's T2 Security Chip provides hardware encryption of data being written or read on the local storage, while Secure Enclave is a dedicated processor that handles secure authentication with TouchID and FaceID that is isolated if a device is compromised. Applications delivered through the App Store are vetted scrupulously by Apple to ensure they do not break Apple's security and privacy policies or introduce malicious actors to your device. This secure platform is made possible by the unique combination of hardware, software and services that is only available from Apple.
In short, Apple’s relentless focus on privacy and security makes them a brilliant bet for hybrid working. You’ll appreciate the ability to concentrate on productivity, safe in the knowledge that their hardware and software ecosystem work in tandem to keep your devices and data off limits to prying eyes.
Apple devices also provide a dream mobile device management (MDM) experience, as we know from our track record of delivering such solutions to customers across the country. We can get you up and running with systems that use Jamf’s industry leading software to let you administer your entire Apple estate remotely, with zero touch deployment and the power to disable lost or stolen devices in just a few clicks. Apple’s strength when it comes to MDM is great news for secure hybrid working.
From HR to device management, there’s so much to think about when it comes to returning to the office or adopting hybrid working.
That’s why we’ve produced a whitepaper that covers all you need to know, with tips on everything from how to attract new recruits to which notebooks are best suited for use both at home and in the office.
You can download it for free here, or arrange a chat to discuss your own plans and challenges with one of our friendly experts below.
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