Hybrid Working. Home office, Zoom call.

Gone are the days when the morning commute, bustling offices, and water cooler chats defined the workday for millions. Instead, we find ourselves at the dawn of a new era, and a whole ‘new normal,’ blurring the lines between home and office, personal and professional, and redefining not just where we work but how we work. Initiating the onset of the new normal with the aid of IT.

This shift has been mooted for some time but the global pandemic undeniably accelerated, roadtested, and then validated it. While business managers enjoy the reduced overheads, there has been increased pushback against a fully-fledged WFH culture (most vocally from Elon Musk!), and when the dust settles, a hybridised model seems the obvious compromise- balancing operational efficiency, productivity, cost reduction and employee satisfaction.

This article shines a light on the part Information Technology has played- and indeed, will play- in this transition.

The Enabling Role of IT in Remote Work

Recent statistics from Forbes highlight that 29% of all UK workers work from home at least some of the time, a significant increase from pre-pandemic figures. While the pandemic forced businesses hands here, IT provided some of the key enablers:

Key Enablers:

– Cloud Services: Enabled access to data and applications from anywhere, facilitating a seamless transition to remote work.

– Collaboration Tools: Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams saw exponential growth, with revenue in the collaboration software market projected to reach $15.05bn this year.

– Cybersecurity Measures: The expansion of VPN usage and enhanced security protocols became essential as businesses sought to protect their data across distributed networks.

Multi-factor Authentication: As businesses increasingly migrate to cloud-based solutions, VPNs have been replaced by MFA and Passkey.

Trends and Statistics on Returning to the Office

Global recruiters Hays PLC say 43% of workers are now fully back in the office; as opposed to 36% in 2022. A trend no doubt influenced by individual company policies and government initiatives (seeking to minimise the impact on businesses hitherto reliant on these office workers).  

However, with an Accenture report showing 83% of workers favoured the hybrid model, and 90% of companies happy to oblige, this is a tug-of-war hybrid-friendly employers (and employees) seem destined to win.

Predictions for the Workplace in the Next 5-10 Years

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expected to play crucial roles in automating routine tasks, freeing up employees for complex problem-solving and innovation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) could revolutionise workspace management, optimising resource use in real-time, and ensuring healthier, more productive environments.

IT’s part in enabling the future of work is profound and multifaceted. By leveraging emerging technologies and adapting to evolving work models, businesses can not only navigate the challenges presented by the new normal but also thrive within it. As we look ahead, it’s clear that the agility, security, and innovation provided by IT will be indispensable in shaping resilient, efficient, and engaging workplaces of the future.

Case Studies: Successful Adaptations to the New Normal


LondonEnergy embraced remote working during the pandemic, a significant shift from its traditional on-site work requirement. Implementing flexible rotations allowed both office and operational staff to work from home effectively. This shift not only increased efficiency but also transformed the company culture, making remote work a strategic tool rather than a privilege. The adaptation improved communication across departments and enhanced overall employee satisfaction.

Strategic Recommendations for Businesses

1. Embrace Cloud Computing: Migrate data and applications to the cloud to enable seamless access and collaboration from anywhere. This also includes investing in cloud security to protect your data.

2. Invest in Collaboration Tools: Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are essential for maintaining communication and collaboration in a hybrid work environment.

3. Prioritize Cybersecurity: With the increase in remote work, cybersecurity threats have also risen. Implement robust security measures, including VPNs, multi-factor authentication, Passkeys, and regular security training for employees.

4. Plan for IT Flexibility: Develop an IT infrastructure that can scale up or down based on changing work dynamics. This includes considering as-a-service models for software and infrastructure to keep costs manageable.

5. Stay Informed on Technological Advancements: Keeping abreast of technological trends can help you anticipate changes and adapt your IT strategy accordingly. Regularly review and update your IT plans to ensure they align with your business goals and the latest technology standards.

Ready to Navigate the Future of Work With Confidence?

In the evolving landscape of the ‘new normal,’ ensuring your business remains at the forefront of technology and innovation is key. At Operum Tech, we specialise in equipping businesses like yours with the IT solutions and support needed to thrive. From cloud services that offer flexibility and scalability, to cybersecurity measures that protect your most valuable assets, our team is dedicated to your success. 

Don’t let the complexities of IT infrastructure hold you back. Let Operum Tech help you build a robust, secure, and agile IT environment that supports your business now and in the future. 

Contact us today to learn more about how our services can enable your transition to the new normal, ensuring your business not only adapts but excels.


  1. How Can Small Businesses Compete with Larger Enterprises in the New Normal?

Small businesses can utilise remote work to flex their business and manage their costs, while adopting cloud services for scalability.

  1. What Are the Environmental Impacts of the Shift to Remote Work?

The shift to remote work has the potential to reduce carbon emissions, as commuting decreases. While there will be an increase in energy consumption at home, this will be compensated by the heating costs associated with more expensive, larger offices.  

  1. How Do I Ensure Data Privacy in a Remote Work Environment?

Data privacy can be ensured by implementing strong data encryption, using secure connections like VPNs, conducting regular cybersecurity training for employees, and adhering to privacy regulations and standards. Additionally, using reputable cloud service providers that comply with data protection laws can help safeguard data privacy.

  1. Can Remote Work Affect Company Culture?

Yes, remote work can impact company culture by reducing in-person interactions. However, it also offers an opportunity to build a more inclusive and flexible culture. Companies can maintain this by regularly engaging with employees through virtual meetings, team-building activities, and open communication channels. And, of course, there will always be a place for regular in-person meetings (at least on a regional basis).

  1. How Important Is Internet Speed in Remote Work?

Internet speed is crucial for remote work as it affects the ability to access cloud services, participate in video conferences, and work efficiently. With the UK average speed being 69.4Mbps and 100Mbps+ being the recommendation for remote workers, many may need to invest in higher-speed internet connections (or use optimisation techniques) to ensure productivity is not hindered by connectivity issues. 

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