This Week in Hybrid & Remote Work – May 14th Edition

Pop quiz: if you had to guess right now which topic is getting more press coverage between “remote work” and “hybrid work”, which would you choose? Frankly, I would have guessed hybrid work. But we took a look at the data with the trusty tool to see what the coverage volume looked like over the past three months (including this partial month thus far), and the data tells a different story (at least in the tech press). 

Bar chart showing the volume of remote work press coverage versus the amount of hybrid work press coverage over the past 3 months

Interestingly, coverage of “remote work” was still 3x that of “hybrid work” coverage last month. But the volume of remote work stories did drop considerably from March to April, while the volume of hybrid work stories continues to increase month-over-month. As the world inches its way closer to “normal” and businesses make the transition from “talking about” their future of work plans to actually implementing them, I suspect that the volume of hybrid work stories will quickly outpace the remote work-focused articles. Time will tell. But for now, let’s dig into some of this week’s best hybrid & remote work stories:

1) The “VDI Like a Pro” State of EUC 2021 Report (VDI Like a Pro)

If you’re not already familiar with the VDI Like a Pro report, it’s the largest independent survey and report done in the End User Computing (EUC) market each year. This year over 1,600 IT decision makers took the survey, a new record, showing just how much remote & hybrid work has catapulted the importance of these technologies. The best part – you can download and access the entire report for free

One of the most interesting trends called out in this year’s report is the shift from Virtual Desktops to Virtual Application Delivery. In 2020, the same report showed that only 5.9% of organizations relied on Virtual App Delivery (VAD) instead of Virtual Desktops. In 2021, the number of organizations relying on VAD over VDI skyrocketed to 32.4%. Now, that alone is a crazy interesting growth stat. BUT…

Even more interesting is what was revealed when the survey asked about people’s plans moving forward. Of the 67% of orgs who currently use Virtual Desktops (instead of Virtual App Delivery), 17% said they will be shifting to Virtual App Delivery. Adding that 17% to the current 32.4% would make it a near 50/50 split between organizations using Virtual Apps vs. Virtual Desktops. 

For the past 5 years, pundits continue to say “20XX is the year of VDI.” But as organizations have to deploy these technologies at scale to enable mass remote & hybrid work, the reality is that 80% of people don’t need or want a full virtual desktop to do their jobs. As a result, 2021 may end up being the year that Virtual App Delivery leapfrogs Virtual Desktops instead. 

Want to learn more? Check out this post for additional context about the shift from Virtual Desktops to Virtual Apps. 

2) The 1 Rule You Need to Follow to Succeed With a Hybrid Work Model (Inc.)

There’s no shortage of punditry on what organizations need to do to succeed with hybrid & remote work. But this article stood out to me for its simple, astute adaptation of the decades-old 60-30-10 rule. If you’re not familiar with it, the 60-30-10 rule states:

  • 60 percent of the variance in team performance is attributed to the way a team is designed; 

  • 30 percent of the variance in team performance is attributed to the quality of team launches; and 

  • only 10 percent is attributed to how well the leader coaches the team. 

The article is incredibly refreshing in its simplicity and its actionable advice. And it conclusion sums things up nicely:

Many leaders I speak to say that they are flying blind as they adopt new hybrid work arrangements. But really, we have years of research fueling this new era of hybrid work. The approaches will look different than they have in the past, but, at the core, the hallmarks of effective teamwork remain largely unchanged. Decades of research suggest that team design, launches, and coaching–prioritized in that order–will define the effective hybrid teams of the future.

3) Hybrid work brings happiness as well as higher productivity (SiliconANGLE)

Legendary technology analyst (and just legitimately nice guy) Zeus Kerravala wrote a great guest column for SiliconANGLE this week. The article is jam-packed with great stats from the Avaya “Life and Work Beyond 2020” study, so it’s definitely worth clicking through to read the whole article for the data alone. 

But my favorite part of the post is when Zeus goes beyond the data and just lays out his advice to execs (bold added by me for emphasis):

My advice to information technology and business leaders is that if you can’t trust workers to do their jobs remotely, then you either have the wrong managers or the wrong workers. If productivity suffers, then address it, but workers need to be given the chance to fail before endless monitoring is implemented.

Nevertheless, people are feeling mostly optimistic about the future work and have a renewed focus on their wellbeing. Organizations with a hybrid work model — offering a choice of working from home and at the office—are likely to have happier, more productive employees. The same goes for organizations that equip their employees with the right technologies and connectivity to work remotely. Employees feel inspired and more confident as a result.

As evident from the data, those who are most satisfied with the current state of their work life have employers that trust, respect and empower them. For organizations, the employee experience will be a main focus as hybrid work models evolve. Organizations that provide a consistent experience for everyone, regardless of where they work, will have the happiest employees.

So much good stuff in this article. The need to trust your employees. The need to empower them with the right technology. The need to ensure that everyone has a seamless, consistent experience regardless of where they need to work. Couldn’t agree more. 

Do yourself a favor and read the full article here

4) More than 25 million non-tech jobs expected to become WFH (TechRepublic) 

There’s a fairly common misconception that high-tech jobs are the only ones that will be able to remain remote after the pandemic. But this article delves into a new study from Upwork that shows that nearly 40% of all jobs will be able to remain remote. 

The report, aptly titled “Not Just Tech”, goes a step further to highlight that remote freelancers could have a massive opportunity in this new climate, with over 25M such remote jobs expected. 

“Not Just Tech” shows how remote freelancers may have major opportunities in this new climate — 25.7 million jobs like this, or 37% of roles, are available in industries, such as accommodation, food services, agriculture, construction, mining, utilities, transportation and warehousing. Even in jobs that have been considered hands-on, such as construction, 10% of workers, or 1.2 million jobs, are in professional services — in other words, able to be remote. Furthermore, these kinds of employers are increasingly communicating with remote workers: A whopping 80% of the biggest non-tech companies Upwork works with have increased spending in web, mobile, software development, sales and marketing and customer service.

Check out the article here, and dig into the data from the full report here

5) Microsoft details its Zero Trust security strategy for the hybrid work era (OnMSFT)

Let’s close out this week’s top stories with a focus on one of our favorite topics here at Cameyo – security. This week, Microsoft did it’s part to help highlight the absolute critical nature of enhanced security for the hybrid work environment. As OnMSFT reports:

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed how many of us work, Microsoft has detailed today its new Zero Security strategy to prepare for the new hybrid work era. This new environment where some employees work remotely is the source of new security threats for companies, and one of the core pillars of Microsoft’s Zero Trust strategy is to establish strong authentication methods for employees.

Here at Cameyo, we built our entire platform from the ground up with a Zero Trust security model at the core. For a deeper dive on Zero Trust security, check out this post. And for a breakdown of Cameyo’s security approach, check this out

Thanks for joining us this week, and we’ll see you back here next Friday!