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Much has been said about the future of work, but just as much uncertainty remains around what it would actually look like.

So far, the only thing that is clear is that hybrid work will most likely become the norm for many organizations.

There are good reasons why so many businesses and employees are thrilled about this combination of in-person and remote work, and equally good reasons why some may feel apprehensive about the shift.

To start, many of us have had to overcome technological challenges when we first transitioned to remote employee working. Now, it looks like the transition to hybrid models can be choppy too.

New ways of work, new communication challenges

In addition to the technological challenges of hybrid working, communication within remote workers and on-site teams can be inconsistent. If employees who are working remotely are not seamlessly connected with their peers in the office, there will inevitably be disparities, frustrations and even knowledge loss.

Which is why, creating a quality connection between office-based and remote employees is of utmost importance. With technology rapidly evolving, utilizing the right technology stack is imperative to maintain employee happiness,productivity and work life balance

One example of how your organization can support seamless connectivity include ensuring that all employees are connected no matter where they are. This means equipping them with the right tools for hybrid work.

A survey from Cisco found that 37% of the 528 companies polled had deployed Unified Communication apps across their organization, but only 5.7% of employees used them to make calls.

What this suggests is that employers may have to look into upgrading or adding on to existing tools and technologies in order to facilitate effective collaboration and to foster an optimal hybrid workplace culture.

Hybrid work is here to stay, but security concerns are high

The hybrid work model brings another challenge to organizations – how can remote employees access an enterprise network to carry out their daily tasks safely and securely?

According to data from Cisco, the pandemic has forced employees to use their personal devices for work, with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies now supported across 82% of organizations. This increases compliance, security and privacy risks.

In addition, calls made from personal devices do not get tracked, and these devices cannot be integrated into CRM apps. Employees also lose their privacy when they share personal details such as their mobile phone numbers.

Building an optimal hybrid workplace starts with using the right tools

Webex Go, Cisco’s latest offering – makes it easier to extend the collaboration experience to hybrid workers by enabling users to extend their Webex Calling business number over the cellular network to their personal mobile number, ensuring their business calls have a high quality connection.

This gives users the ability to use their business line natively, and privately on their mobile device, because they no longer have to share their personal cell phone number. With Webex Go, there’s no app required and users get to take advantage of enterprise-grade calling features on their business calls.

Further, Webex Go provides centralized, enterprise-level control and management, and lets IT admins apply business compliance policies, so corporate policies can be applied automatically on their business line.

"Hybrid work experiences are even more complex than remote work was, back during the pandemic. Employees can now work from anywhere and can switch from both in-person and remote work interchangeably. Their everyday schedules may flex, which adds another layer of complexity. Companies need to provide their workforce with collaboration tools that support and enhance their productivity in this dynamically fluid world of hybrid work. Pre-pandemic tools, rooms and experiences were not set up for part-time visits to the office, or full-time remote employees participating in team collaboration. To make hybrid work successful requires an evolution of what work looks like in the office and the tools that remote employees use, so they have an inclusive work experience no matter where they are," Lorrissa Horton, SVP/GM, webex calling and Contact Center, Cisco.

Hybrid working environments can be daunting for organization about to adopt them and challenging for those who already have. But the good news is that we’re learning quickly where the biggest obstacles lie and how to minimize them in advance and manage them as we move along in the new world.