The rapid transition to a full-scale remote work culture has presented both opportunities and challenges for organizations and employees alike. Organization-wide gains and losses may feel unpredictable due to pandemic-related changes in working environments. Exploring how working from home has impacted employees provides insights into productivity, and into whether or not your organization will see a strong close to 2020.

To gain insights, the cyber security firm Check Point Software launched two studies that focused on its people, the unexpected transition and productivity. In April, 78% of employees reported 100% normal productivity levels or better. In July, nearly 90% of employees reported normal or better-than-normal levels of productivity. The bottom line is that as people settled into their work from home routines, productivity increased.

The surveys also highlighted employees’ preferences around remote work. According to an article featured in Forbes, 85% of employees would prefer a mix of working from home and working in an office (hybrid work model).

If productivity levels remain high at home, what are the drawbacks to remote work?

In the short-term, the hasty transition to remote work revealed organizations’ cyber security gaps. Ninety-five percent of IT professionals report that new challenges arose as employees transitioned to working from home. Top challenges included:

  • Developing secure remote access.
  • Implementing scalable solutions for remote access.
  • Raising awareness about the dangers of using untested and unsecured software and online tools.

While organizations have managed to resolve many of their initial security woes, optimizing security infrastructure and planning for long-range improvements is mission-critical when it comes to sustaining a remote work culture.

Experts anticipate that a ‘cyber pandemic’ will follow on the heels of the biological pandemic.

Hackers are eager to exploit newly exposed security loopholes and their exploits could potentially have a ripple effect across organizations and across oceans. To prepare for a cyber pandemic, companies should upgrade their cyber security architecture now.

“We should prepare for a COVID-like global cyber pandemic that will spread faster and farther than a biological virus, with an equal or greater economic impact,” states the World Economic Forum.

The ‘new normal’ requires for us to rethink our old strategies, and to adapt to an ever-changing set of physical and cyber landscapes. For tips on preventing a cyber pandemic, visit the World Economic Forum.