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Hybrid Working Survey Rises New IT Questions

By 12th September 2022Blog2 min read

For many people, working from home was a novelty or never happened at all before the pandemic, but has subsequently become the norm. 

If the clarion call from the government to return to the office earlier this year was an attempt to turn the clock back, a new survey has added weight to the evidence that it has failed to do so. The consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates has found staff only go into the office an average of 1.5 days a week.

The August survey found that some days see more home working than others, with just 13 per cent of staff coming into the office on Fridays in June and July, a third of the average midweek figure.

While all this reflects a change in working patterns and lifestyles that is evidently popular with many, providers of IT support in Sheffield could be left with some significant challenges, as people rely on home-based IT systems to do their work.

Many of these have already been noted by employers. Last year, the BBC reported how the adoption of home working in lockdown had posed major cyber security risks, as using personal computers can mean visiting other sites for non-work reasons that contain malware. 

There were also widely reported instances of phishing emails claiming to be from fellow staff aimed at remote workers seeking to extract password data or money.

Some firms will have tightened up on practices and policies since then, with IT service providers aiding them in being more secure through the establishment of VPNs and ensuring firm policies and procedures are followed when home workers are involved. However, cyber criminals will always be on the lookout for new opportunities and drawing up their next scam.

It remains to be seen if any new factors might change attitudes to remote working. For example, high energy bills might prompt some to come into the office in the winter rather than using up power working from home and keeping the place heated and lit in the meantime.

However, such a reversal may only be seasonal and staff might resume home working when next spring comes and the household energy costs will be lower.