How to offer support to employees in the everywhere workplace

The past few years have been tough on businesses, having to navigate through an ever-changing landscape of imposed rules and adapt to stay competitive in an ambiguous market.

Every business across the globe had to manage an abrupt shift to remote working and evolve to meet employee expectations, all while experiencing extreme labour shortages (especially fields like IT and security), and an alarming uptick in cybercriminal activity.

As team meetings went online, we witnessed another shift, never had employees shared so much of their home-life with their colleagues and employers, and this provided a unique insight into the parallel pressures that arise when work and home lives combine.

To support employees, businesses must continue to recalibrate through this new reality. To create ways of working in which professionals, and your company as a whole, can thrive in the “everywhere workplace,” not simply survive. This doesn’t mean lowering standards or employee expectations, it simply requires businesses to make the most of opportunities.

How long will hybrid work last?

In 2021 with a slow return to the office for some it heralded the new world of “hybrid working”, with office commuters everywhere falling in love with the lifestyle benefits.

According to Ivanti, 72% of Australians admitted they would prefer to work from anywhere over getting a promotion!  The report revealed that only 11% Australians are prepared to commute full-time in the future. As employees embrace the opportunity to improve their work/life balance and get more out of their day it’s clear hybrid work is the way forward.

Australian IT professionals in particular sung the praises of the “everywhere workplace” with almost three quarters (73%) believing that working remotely impacted their morale in a positive way, and now many hope a ‘return to normal’ never eventuates.

To support employees, businesses must do away with the rigid structures, embrace change and encourage employees to make the most of the flexibility that hybrid works allows.

What can you do to attract and retain talent?

Now is a critical time for talent retention. In almost every sector employees are in a state of flux, having made it through the last two years many are looking for a change, and with budgets opening up many HR departments have the go-ahead to hire again.

With 27% of Australians anticipating a job change in the next 6 months, staff retention should be a major area of focus for all employers. It’s a jobseeker’s market and businesses need to step up to the plate. Business owners would do well to prioritise culture and build a company that not only does exceptional work but is an exceptional place to work

The everywhere workplace has decentralised business functions, but it’s vital not to do away with the culture. Success in building workplace culture in this hybrid world starts with recognising the contributions of every individual, no matter what their role in the company.

According to Ivanti’s Everywhere Workplace report 49% of Australians found that the best benefit of remote work was an increased work life balance. However, workplace culture has taken a hit, with 50% noting that their lack of interaction with colleagues as a major concern.

Businesses need to ensure they are offering employees a healthy work life balance, while also providing an opportunity for organic company culture and co-worker interaction.

People want to work for companies that are making a difference, and employees are increasingly leaving their jobs if they do not believe in the vision. Companies must show they are delivering global value and not just profits while prioritising work/life balance.

Why is it essential to automate worker processes?

The pandemic catalysed a perfect storm of circumstances that placed a monumental amount of pressure on IT eperts, all while their role and expertise became more important than ever before. The pace of digital transformation has accelerated incredibly in recent years and as we enter this new world of hybrid working many companies aren’t moving fast enough.

Companies need to utilise automation where possible to alleviate pressure and help IT departments, or individuals in many cases, to work efficiently to support hybrid work.

According to Ivanti, 55% of US IT professionals reported that automating IT processes saved up to eight hours per service request. Automation not only allows for efficiency and productivity but also has helped employees feel more satisfied with their job, particularly for remote workers. Investing in automation does not mean replacing your IT team.

It gives them more time to focus on high-value, strategic projects that can’t be automated, while also removing the impossible burden of manually keeping pace with the rapidly evolving and escalating IT demands in the permanently transformed business landscape.

How to maintain a secure access to information?

Today’s employees expect to be productive while they work, wherever that may be – imagine going from kitchen table to sofa or back deck. Connecting to the home or coffee shop WIFI, or a mobile hotspot, we expect to be connected and operate at high speed in an instant.

It’s not just the location but the device in our everywhere workplace, we want to move from laptop to tablet, and our smart phones play an integral part of meeting business needs.

Hybrid work means employees often access the corporate network from multiple devices, personal or company issued and the IT cyber security team must manage a multitude of risk and security considerations from users and their devices to networks, applications and data.

This security challenge must be accomplished without compromising employee productivity or interrupt the use of the device. Zero trust solutions and risk-based vulnerability management from Ivanti can help IT teams deliver better employee experiences and outcomes to self-secure all devices, while delivering great experiences for every employee.

Overall, in 2021, 62% of Australians believed that working remotely impacted their morale in a positive way. Business leaders who capitalise on this and continue to support the everywhere workplace will come out on top and have better chances of worker retention.

Personalised interactions and experiences go a long way, be it allowing flexible working, fostering company culture between co-workers, or offering customisable tech solutions. Be it in the office or from home, employee support will be the key to success in 2022.


Matthew Lowe is the Vice President ANZ at Ivanti