STUDY: With 71% of Companies to Make Remote or Hybrid Work Policies Permanent, IT Infrastructure Investment Continues to Increase

Foundry’s Future of Work study examines the impact that the pandemic has had on the workplace and what it looks like moving forward

Foundry (formerly IDG Communications), the global leader in media, martech and data for the tech community, today released its 2022 Future of Work study, which takes a look at the pandemic’s impact on the workplace over the past two years and how organizations are planning to move forward, especially as it relates to remote and hybrid work. The study was fielded throughout May 2022 and is based on the responses of 401 IT and business decision-makers in the US.

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Here’s a closer look at the study’s findings: 

Remote and hybrid work will remain the norm 

According to Foundry’s study, a majority (94%) of organizations shifted to some sort of hybrid work structure due to the pandemic. Despite initial uncertainties around how hybrid/remote work would impact worker productivity, many organizations say that the hybrid model was a successful one. In fact, close to three-quarters (72%) of IT decision-makers believe there has been a positive shift in the remote and hybrid work mindset due to the work-from-home transition.

“When lockdown began more than two years ago, businesses were left to figure out how to ensure their employees remain productive under the new, challenging circumstances,” said Stacey Raap, Marketing & Research Manager, Foundry. “This proved largely successful and once all the benefits of working from home became apparent, they began to rethink the structure of how their entire company works.”

Most organizations are now planning for hybrid or remote work as a permanent solution. The research found that 69% of IT decision-makers agree that the work-from-home shift is impacting how they plan for overall office space, tech staffing and overall staffing. When asked where they expect their workforce to work for the foreseeable future, 41% of respondents said “hybrid”, 29% said “office only” and 30% said “remote only.”

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Long-lasting technology initiatives

Along with flexible work, IT decision-makers expect an increased investment in security solutions to have an everlasting impact due to the pandemic and remote work. Further, 62% agree that the work-from-home shift has forced the creation of new, more efficient workflows and processes.

Long-lasting technology initiatives they cited include maintaining a hybrid workforce (65%), adoption of new security solutions for remote work (63%), maintaining a remote workforce (53%), greater investment in security and risk management (53%), maintaining a remote IT workforce (50%) and increased investment in technology to improve customer/employee experience (49%).

“With remote and hybrid work here to stay, it’s up to decision-makers at companies to figure out the right tools and processes needed to ensure this working model is sustainable for the long haul, and provide their employees with everything they need to do their jobs successfully,” Raap said. “Technology vendors will be instrumental in helping IT and business leaders address these needs.”

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Concerns around remote work

While most employees undoubtedly value the flexibility of remote and hybrid work, there are still several concerns they have about this new way of working, including efficient collaboration (51%), morale and burnout (47%) and security maintenance (38%). Further, 40% of respondents agree that creating an equitable and collaborative experience for hybrid teams is proving to be a great challenge.

Looking ahead, IT decision-makers will continue to use technology to ease these concerns and plan to invest in enhanced security controls (MFA, endpoint detection and response, VPN, etc.), enhanced collaboration and meeting tools and hoteling applications that will enable employees to reserve desk space (a greater investment for enterprise organizations). When making a product selection, the main factors they consider are products and services that are of good value, meeting customer needs, and high quality products and services.

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