Study: Status quo of the digital workplace of tomorrow

The rapid deployment of remote digital jobs by European companies is impressive. However, there are still shortcomings in terms of cyber security and user experience in home office environments, according to a study by the Enterprise Mobility Expert Alliance. […]

Sometimes compulsion works wonders. This also applies to the provision of remote workplaces by companies, as the measures in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic have shown. But how sustainable was the home office exercise? The Enterprise Mobility Expert Alliance (EMEA) and its member Nomasis have investigated this and other questions relating to teleworking in a study carried out throughout Europe, including Switzerland.

The results of the study published under the title “Tomorrow’s Digital Workplace – European Mobile & Remote Work Study 2021” speak for themselves: Remote work, i.e. working from home and on the go, has become established and will continue to determine working life in the future. The study impressively documents the mobility boost of companies with regard to the digital workplace. Before the pandemic, only 51 percent of the employees of the companies surveyed were able to work mobile on average, but now it is on average 75 percent. The proportion of companies where more than three-quarters of the workforce can work remotely has even risen from 28 percent to 64 percent.

Security remains a problem

Remote workplaces are also an attractive target for cybercriminals, as the study shows. For example, 42 percent of the companies surveyed have observed an increase in cyber attacks in recent months. 58 Percent noticed an increase in phishing emails and messages.

In the face of this threat situation, many organizations still lack important security measures. Although 73 percent of companies regulate access to the enterprise applications of mobile devices via a VPN, and 72 percent rely on multifactor authentication. On the other hand, only one in two companies uses data loss prevention controls and thus prevents data from being distributed uncontrollably-for example via Dropbox. Only 37 percent of companies have a solution to defend against mobile threats. This is despite the fact that 71 percent of respondents see phishing as the biggest IT security threat in the next twelve months.

User-friendliness is in the bad

A good digital workplace – whether remote or in the office-must be both secure and user-friendly. While mobile work is safe, if processes such as accessing data, logging into accounts or commissioning new devices are too complicated, employee satisfaction and productivity are reduced. In addition, the workload of IT managers is increasing.

Here, the study shows a discrepancy between desire and reality in terms of user experience. Thus, the companies have recognized the importance. For example, 81 percent of the surveyed companies with a remote work strategy consider the improvement of both employee satisfaction and the efficiency and productivity of the employees to be important. For the future, however, the priorities are set quite differently. In the future, companies will prioritize increasing IT security and productivity more than increasing user satisfaction.

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