This Week in Remote Work – Feb. 12th Edition

If you’re a loyal This Week in Remote Work reader, you know this weekly post is all about summarizing 5 of the week’s top remote work stories, then linking out so you can dig in deeper on those articles. As a quick PSA, please do click through and read these stories in more depth, and share the ones that strike a chord with you. TWIRW isn’t meant to replace those articles, but to help you identify articles that (we hope) are worth your time and will add value as you navigate the ever-changing remote work landscape. 

Speaking of helping to navigate – I stumbled across this post with 20 great remote work stats that link out to sources. Check it out. Now onto this week’s news:

1) Out of the office: How the world adapted to working remotely in 2020 (GitLab Report

I know, we highlight the content coming out of GitLab a lot in this weekly series. But hey, they’re honestly cranking out some of the most genuinely helpful and in-depth material to help guide organizations on their remote work migration journey. They’ve been fully remote, and touting the benefits of fully-remote, since way before it was cool (slash mandatory). In their latest, GitLab provides free access to an in-depth 21-page report based on a survey of organizations after the first 9 months of the pandemic. 

In an effort to stay more true to the mission of giving you key information so you can determine whether or not it makes sense to click through, I’m going to hold back on quoting too much of this report. But this section legitimately gave me chills:

Remote isn’t the future of work; it’s the future of living
37% of respondents have optimized their lives to spend more time with their family or community. 30% are prioritizing the outdoors or exercise and health. And 26% are streamlining their schedules to reclaim more time in their days.

This sheds light on a nuanced reality: remote work is more about the future of living than work. Workers appreciate the flexibility to fit work into their life schedule as opposed to vice-versa, with many not needing to move in order to appreciate that optionality. The key is that remote work makes the day-to-day more manageable, with a series of minor quality of life adjustments amounting to a significant net improvement.

Wow. This is exactly the type of mantra organizations need to adopt as they prepare for a permanent remote (or at least hybrid) future for their workforce. It’s not about remote being the future of how we WORK, it’s about the future of how we LIVE. Could not agree more. 

There are literally dozens of hard-hitting stats covering everything from the demographics of remote workers to the shifting outlook that employers have about the remote future. And despite the dense information and 21-page length, it’s presented in a very easy to read and graphical, storytelling format. Go download it for free now – you won’t be disappointed. 

2) Salesforce declares the 9-to-5 workday dead, will let some employees work remotely from now on (The Verge)

This week’s “welcome to the party” award goes to… Salesforce! But to their credit, they didn’t just hop on the bandwagon. They’re definitely jumping into the fray in the fight to promote the fact that remote is not just going to be “allowed” – but that it can be (and is) extremely successful. 

“As we enter a new year, we must continue to go forward with agility, creativity and a beginner’s mind — and that includes how we cultivate our culture. An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks,” writes Brent Hyder, Salesforce’s chief people officer. “In our always-on, always-connected world, it no longer makes sense to expect employees to work an eight-hour shift and do their jobs successfully. Whether you have a global team to manage across time zones, a project-based role that is busier or slower depending on the season, or simply have to balance personal and professional obligations throughout the day, workers need flexibility to be successful.”

This just goes to show that even though not every big company has come out to make a big formal announcement – every company is thinking about this. And kudos to Salesforce for highlighting the decision as an advantage, not a concession.

3) Protecting Remote Enterprises in the Cloud (CXO Today

Those of you familiar with Cameyo know that we’re very outspoken about the need to ensure that security is built into the core of all the tools you use to enable your remote workforce (this is how we do it for Digital Workspaces). So this article jumped out at me this week as a great overview of everything organizations should be thinking about when it comes to securing remote work in the cloud. It covers topics from the evolving threat landscape for remote workers, understanding the security gaps in certain cloud environments, how to identify security gaps, and more. 

While the pandemic may have forced companies toward an acceleration into the cloud, C-suite executives embraced the opportunity to future-proof their organizations by building resiliency, honing budget management and adopting new processes and technologies. They quickly rethought their business, products and services and the infrastructure required to support their customers and employees in a contactless economy. Throughout the next two years, organizations will continue to shift to the cloud and increase their investments in IT infrastructure and applications, in addition to machine learning, AI and automation. This will create more agility and efficiency in business operations and provide a better digital experience for consumers. These changes will require a powerful, complex security posture that is both agile enough to evolve at the speed of business and robust enough to ensure protection against a rapidly expanding threat landscape that specifically targets the cloud.

Check out the full article here for some useful tips on formulating a remote work security strategy for the cloud.

4) Massive uptick in collaboration software usage in 2020 (ComputerWeekly)

This article digs into the data presented in a new report by Aternithy that digs into the massive growth in the adoption of collaboration software during the pandemic. That growth shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s worth noting that Aternity also comes to the conclusion that this adoption is likely permanent – not merely something we’re all relying on in the short term to help get through the pandemic:

Aternity says the trend brings the future hybrid workplace into clearer view and is essential for two reasons: it probably portends that most companies will also delay office reopening until the vaccines are in broader distribution; and that the reliance on applications, specifically collaboration apps, for individuals and teams to remain productive, is permanent.

5) How to select an enterprise VPN that protects data but doesn’t drive users crazy (TechRepublic

Not to be too snarky, but when I first read this headline, my immediate thought was simply “Don’t.” As in, the best way to select a VPN, is to NOT select a VPN. If the move to remote work has taught the world anything about VPNs, it’s that they simply were not designed to support remote work on a mass scale. Also, as people work from home (usually on their preferred personal, non IT-managed device), VPNs create a direct connection between potentially infected personal devices and your corporate network. We unpack why it’s time to move beyond VPNs for securing remote work in this post.   

Thanks again for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you back here again next Friday!