IT leaders faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, rapidly shifting to support remote work during the pandemic. As the world reopens, IT can take a more measured approach to meeting employees’ technology requirements. But the future of work won’t be the “normal” we once knew. How has work changed—and how can IT meet users’ changing needs?
The Evolution of the Workplace
IT teams deserve kudos for enabling remote work speedily and successfully. In PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, conducted in January 2021, 52% of executives said employees are more productive now than before the pandemic.
As the new hybrid workplace emerges, offering the ability to work from home can help organizations attract skilled employees from across the globe, while companies without remote work options may struggle to attract desirable workers. Some 55% of employees said they’d like to keep working remotely three days a week, while 82% of executives expect their organizations to maintain at least some level of remote work going forward.
Collaboration is the “killer app” in the new hybrid workplace, but PCs only a few years old may lack the capabilities to support it. During the pandemic, many employees discovered PCs that functioned adequately in the office didn’t work so well outside it. Remote collaboration requires running multiple applications, continually monitoring chats and emails, sharing screens, and holding videoconferences—plus reliable internet connections to keep it all going. Many PCs weren’t up to the task.
The Challenges Facing IT
Employees’ satisfaction with technology is key to their job satisfaction. A Forrester Consulting report found efforts to boost employees’ satisfaction with company-provided technology improved employee experience (EX) scores by over 10% for almost 60% of IT leaders.
But there’s a long way to go. While 77% of employees surveyed said their work PCs are critical to their daily work and job satisfaction, just 33% were “extremely satisfied” with their laptops. Half said their PCs were outdated or insufficient.
For IT teams, a hybrid workforce presents the same difficulties as a fully remote workforce. There’s little or no visibility into connectivity when employees work remotely. Home or guest networks lack the security of corporate networks, putting data at risk.
When employees and IT aren’t co-located, basic support tasks such as upgrading software or repairing hardware can become time-consuming and complicated, interrupting work time. Some 44% of employees report their PCs frequently break and 46% report their software applications often malfunction.
To maintain productivity, IT teams need to manage both employee devices and on-site business workstations remotely.
The Best Mobile Experience and Collaboration Tools
IT teams must select technology that supports both end-users’ business needs and IT’s needs. The best PC for business use must offer powerful multitasking and collaboration capabilities, work seamlessly in any location, and allow IT to manage it from anywhere.
Fortunately, organizations are recognizing the value of upgrading technology solutions to support a hybrid workplace. In PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, conducted in January 2021, 72% of U.S. executives reported plans to increase investments in virtual collaboration tools, while 70% will increase investments in IT infrastructure to secure virtual connectivity.
What Technology Is Best for Both IT and Business?
Like an SUV that combines the comfort and ease of handling of a car with a truck’s hauling capacity, a powerful business PC providing the best end-user experience and the best IT solution can fill all the requirements of the hybrid workplace. The best PC for business use should feature:
- Long battery life, quick recharge capabilities, and reliable connectivity to help employees stay productive wherever they are
- Responsive performance for smooth multitasking, even while videoconferencing or downloading or uploading large files
- Hardware-based security features to protect networks and data without slowing employees down
- Remote management capabilities so IT can manage and repair PCs from virtually anywhere with an internet connection
- Automatic installation of updates and patches during off-hours to keep devices securely updated without interrupting work
Designed with all these features, Intel® Evo™ vPro® platform-based laptops have everything IT teams need to support users in a hybrid work environment.
In a post-pandemic world, employees demand a better user experience, including technology that enables collaboration and mobility. Intel® Evo™ vPro® platform-based PCs help IT teams strike the perfect balance between business and IT needs, making the hybrid workplace work.
To learn more, make sure you check out the recent IDG whitepaper on how to Optimize User Experience in the Hybrid Workplace.