The Post-Pandemic Workplace: 3 Actions to Take Now

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For the last two years, we’ve been operating in survival mode. We were living in unprecedented times and took a hunker-down-and-make-it-work approach.

Now, as our teams return to the office, the emphasis is shifting away from “how can we manage this?” to “how can we thrive in the new normal?”

You’re not alone if you find yourself looking at a longer-than-normal list of tech-related priorities. We talk to dozens of metro-area IT leaders each week, and they ask a similar set of questions, including:

  • What are security best practices in a work-from-anywhere world?
  • Does our office have the right remote work technology?
  • What are the technical considerations for a hybrid workforce?
  • Are we prepared to support hybrid collaboration?
  • How do we prioritize what’s been on hold for the last two years?

We recently sat down with Jamie Wolbeck, our vice president of Technical Operations, to get his perspective on the most pressing issues for technology leaders. Here are the three actions Jamie recommends you take to prepare for the post-pandemic workplace.

Action #1: Security – Protect Your Devices Inside and Outside the Office

Device security protocols looked different before the pandemic. When everyone worked in the office, they were behind a firewall, and their devices were automatically protected. Now, you want the device to have the latest security features, so you have security visibility and insight, whether someone’s inside the office or out.

Your cybersecurity action checklist:

  • Ensure you’re using basic cybersecurity measures, like firewalls, anti-virus software, and OS basics
  • Implement “equal citizenship” monitoring tools that offer insight into devices and user behavior regardless of where a user is working.
  • Assess your identity management practices and ensure they include unusual behaviors within your network. 
  • Train your users to make smart choices about cybersecurity every day through training, testing, and monitoring.

Many people packed up laptops in the Spring of 2020 and found themselves working on the same machine from home two years later. And if that laptop or other company-owned device was two years old when the pandemic hit, it’s suddenly a four-year-old device.

Your device action checklist:

  • Review your equipment inventory (or create one)
  • Identify equipment with lapsed warranties or that’s past its warrantable period
  • Develop a replacement plan prioritized by the warranty expiration date

As people return to the office, you’ll have folks on your team who’ve never worked there before or who haven’t been there in some time. We recommend using this transition to reinforce the need for equipment security.

Your server room action checklist:

  • Ensure your server room has appropriate access controls in place
  • Reinforce your protocols with all team members

Action #2: Collaboration – Hybrid Requires New and Better Tools

We’re talking to more and more companies set up for an in-office or remote workforce. But a permanently hybrid model? That’s new territory in a post-pandemic workplace. They find it hard to collaborate when some – but not all – of their participants are in the same location.

Ultimately, you want to ensure that coming back to the office doesn’t feel like a collaboration downgrade – especially when easy-to-implement solutions can solve this challenge.

Your collaboration action checklist:

  • Adopt an enterprise collaboration solution like Microsoft Office 365
  • Use applications like OneDrive, Teams, and Sharepoint to collaborate, share and communicate across user groups
  • Introduce modern file sharing best practices like co-authoring documents and saving everything to the cloud (see Action #3).
  • Implement a conference room technology solution like Microsoft Team Rooms that makes one-to-many conversations easier and has a consistent click-to-join experience in every room.

People work differently now. And they work in different places. Now’s the time to examine whether your technology helps people work better together, builds your business, safeguards your data, and simplifies your operations.

Action #3: Flexibility – Storing Files in the Cloud & Improving Connectivity

Storing your files in the cloud is the easiest way to keep your information and data secure and ensure it’s available to users everywhere from any device.

Your cloud action checklist:

  • Implement a cloud storage solution
  • Develop standards and practices for cloud storage
  • Share your cloud storage expectations with your team
  • Offer training for anyone who wants to learn more

Another area to consider is wireless connectivity. Pre-pandemic, people primarily worked from their desks or conference rooms. Now, people want to move around and work from various spaces in the office.

Your wireless action checklist:

  • Assess your connectivity in every area of your office
  • Upgrade wireless coverage as needed

Need help getting started?

At SUCCESS Computer Consulting, we’re known for helping Minneapolis-based mid-sized businesses stay at the forefront of emerging IT trends and security issues. If you need help taking action in a post-pandemic workplace, let’s connect.

Already a customer? Talk with your Field Technician or Account Manager to learn more about your industry’s best practices.