Dos and Don’ts for Hybrid Work on the Cloud


The global return to office was initially slated for last fall. Then the new year. Now, it may never happen for large swaths of the workforce. In light of our present way of work, Sam Babic, chief innovation officer at Hyland, explores the cloud’s role in helping us adapt to and lead change in a hybrid work environment, and rules to remember for the long-term plan.

A recent Gallup poll Opens a new window found that 77% of workers expect to work a hybrid or entirely remote schedule in 2022 and beyond. Pre-pandemic, the percentage was 40%. 

Hybrid work is now the default. Businesses can no longer rely on hastily assembled cloud infrastructure or other temporary IT solutions as stop-gap measures for challenges ranging from cybersecurity threats to app sprawl. As the hybrid model becomes permanent, companies need a clear, consistent cloud strategy that can scale with the needs of a hybrid workforce. 

Dos and Don’ts of Hybrid Work

Despite most organizations moving toward a long-term hybrid model, 72% of businesses Opens a new window still lack a clear hybrid strategy. 

Fortunately, the past two years have taught us many lessons about what not to do. As you develop a plan for hybrid work, keep in mind several “dos” and “don’ts” to ensure your hybrid workplace – and the cloud technology that supports it – is set up for success:

  • DO design with remote-first principles: Remote processes can always be applied to an office setting, but it rarely works the other way around. For example, approving a form with an e-signature looks the same whether you’re logged on at your desk in the office or on your laptop at home. Designing processes with a remote-first mentality ensures that all employees are on an equal playing field. In particular, focus on integrating your cloud systems and solutions into every part of the hybrid enterprise. In fact, Gartner estimatesOpens a new window the vast majority of organizations will embrace a cloud-first strategy, with more than 95% of new digital workloads deployed on cloud-native platforms in the next few years.
  • DON’T underestimate IT self-maintenance: When the pandemic disrupted work, most enterprise IT systems were less flexible and resilient than many IT teams assumed. Even the most prepared IT teams faced challenges, and those caught off guard were utterly incapable of managing the disruption. But the entire weight of your technology infrastructure doesn’t need to fall on your IT team. As you transition to hybrid work, parse out which areas are best suited for your team to handle and which are best for vendors. Going forward, IT is more likely to serve in an oversight role for cloud-based apps rather than being directly responsible for all software and networks employees use daily. With the average organization now deploying more than 88 workplace appsOpens a new window , your IT employees are better utilized, ensuring such solutions are interoperable and integrated —  allowing employees to work smarter while maintaining oversight into cybersecurity protocols and other safeguards.
  • DO prioritize cybersecurity: Cybersecurity threats surged during the pandemic, and three out of four businesses blameOpens a new window recent cyberattacks on vulnerabilities in their remote work environment. As other initiatives took priority in the early days of remote work, IT departments were challenged in managing new technology as it was adopted. If that continues unchecked in the hybrid environment, the risk of hacks and data breaches will only grow. Organizations can use this moment to reprioritize cybersecurity, end bad digital safety habits, and institute more robust remote security measures.
  • DON’T forget hybrid IT training: When employees were first sent home during the early months of the pandemic, workplace technology became a virtual free-for-all. Most organizations didn’t have a set of rules and processes in place for people bringing home desktop monitors and other equipment. To prevent the same issue from happening again as employees move between the office and remote work, you should develop guidelines for accessing and using workplace technology in and outside the office. From there, your organization can deliver training for employees to understand these rules and get comfortable with any changes. In this case, an effective learning management system can go a long way. For example, employees could watch a 10-minute video followed by a quiz to learn how to secure data on their laptops at home.
  • DO talk with employees about change: When changes happen in an organization and employees switch to new systems, there can often be pushback. To reduce employee discomfort and stress, establish a change management strategy and structured communication plan that moves from executive leaders to managers to lower-level employees. The key to a successful plan is two-way communication with employees — creating opportunities for discussion and listening to people’s perspectives and possible concerns.
  • DON’T fall into technology-first tunnel vision: Employees today expect a full suite of integrated technology tools that make their work lives easier – and failing to do so risks losing talent. All too often, employee concerns and conflicts with new technology can fall by the wayside, especially if IT departments are still grappling with disruption. But the conversation is essential. Don’t just assume new technology and processes are working — ask employees to provide feedback and commit to taking their feedback seriously. 

See More: How the Cloud Drives Sustainability

Survival to Supercharged: How the Cloud Enables Hybrid Work

According to GartnerOpens a new window , global spending on enterprise software once again grows by double-digits this year, driven almost entirely by cloud investment. The surge in enterprise cloud investment is nothing new. But what started as a survival measure during the pandemic’s early days has now shifted as businesses move from sustaining hybrid work to supercharging it. 

In this new paradigm of hybrid work, cloud systems and solutions will fuel the next phase of enterprise growth and innovation, providing a competitive advantage for businesses with a long-term plan for cloud infrastructure and hybrid work processes. 

Your business needs to prepare for the workplace of tomorrow, today. With a clear plan for the future – and flexible, integrated cloud infrastructure – you can ensure success for employees whether they are working in the office, at home or wherever else the hybrid workplace takes them.

How are you planning for your long-term hybrid future on the cloud? Share with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!