The Benefits and Challenges of Remote and Hybrid Working

In this post we explore the key benefits and potential problems of remote and hybrid working and reveal what steps you can take to ease the transition into new digital work environments.

Over the past 18 months, remote and hybrid working have become an integral part of our daily lives. While initially considered a short-term response to an unprecedented health crisis, research shows that 42% of employees today expect a mix of both home and office-based working, while 17% want to continue working from home permanently after the pandemic has passed.

But what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely, and what role can Identity play in easing the transition away from traditional office environments? To find out, we’ve created a short list of all the pros and cons of working online from home, and what technologies organisations can adopt to ensure success in the future of work.

The key benefits of working remotely

As well as allowing the workforce to continue performing their duties despite strict lockdowns, many other benefits of working from home exist for both employers and employees. Here are five key examples to consider:

Increases workforce productivity

Increased performance is one of the primary benefits of working from home, with 77% of remote workers claiming they’re more productive when working outside of the office. By eliminating in-office distractions and adding more flexibility to working hours, remote and hybrid work models give employees more freedom to focus on the task at hand in whatever way they feel is most convenient.

Improves job satisfaction

Along with increased productivity rates, the freedoms of working from home have also had a huge impact on job satisfaction levels. In the 2020 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey, remote workers reported a Workforce Happiness Index score of 75 out of 100, compared to 71 for in-office employees with 38% claiming they are happier now than they were before the pandemic hit.

Reduces overhead costs

The cost saving advantages of working from home are highly attractive for both employer and employee alike. By eliminating in-office overheads and cutting out daily commutes, working from home saved the UK organisations £157bn during the last COVID-19 lockdown, with the average UK employee saving approximately £495 in expenses every month.

The key challenges and risks of working remotely

Despite the advantages listed above, the disadvantages of working from home still present a major challenge for many organisations today. Here are some key examples:

Increases cybersecurity risk

As remote and hybrid work strategies continue to push organisations beyond the traditional security perimeter, vulnerabilities within their IT systems present many new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit. According to sources, credential-based phishing attacks increased by 667% in 2020 alone, with the rapid shift to remote working cited as a fundamental cause for this unprecedented upsurge.

Negatively impacts relationships of trust

Trust is another one of the major challenges of working from home. According to The New Workplace Report by Okta, nearly one in three European companies do not believe that their remote employees will work as efficiently as they would inside the traditional office. Meanwhile, 38% of employees included in that same study shared their concern about the risk of data breaches and doubts that their organisations’ security is doing enough to protect them.

Increases feelings of loneliness and detachment

According to another study, 20% of employees claimed that working from home had increased their sense of loneliness and detachment from peers. Alongside a lack of in-office camaraderie, poor remote provisioning processes that fail to provide employees with the apps and tools they need to work can further increase this sense of alienation.    

How Okta can help improve the challenges of working from home

As the world’s #1 Identity and Access Management provider, more than 14,000 organisations across the world now trust in Okta to help secure and improve their remote and hybrid work strategies. Here are some of the reasons why:

Secures every user, anywhere

By delivering a world-class suite of market-leading MFA and SSO tools that allow remote employees to access all business-critical apps securely and seamlessly from any location or device, Okta helps protect users against surging cyberthreats while giving them the freedom to work wherever works best.

Accelerates Zero Trust adoption

By leveraging its large network of integrations with more than 7,000 apps, Okta can rapidly accelerate the adoption of strong, Identity-first Zero Trust security architecture to increase digital trust and strengthen every IT system, both on-premises and in the cloud. 

Simplifies complex provisioning processes

By centralising and automating remote user access control based on their role within the company, Okta Lifecycle Management can help eliminate isolation and exclusion within remote and hybrid teams by ensuring every employee has instant access to all the apps and tools they need to work.

If you’d like further clarification on the pros and cons of working from home, or if you want to learn more about how Okta can help improve your current remote or hybrid workforce strategy, please reach out to one of our trusted specialists or download your copy of “The New Workplace Report” here.