In this episode of Brain Bytes Blake and James compare the new "New Normal" to the work from home "New Normal" of 2020. The Hybrid workforce is in full swing and it has come with its unique list of pros and cons. Today the guys dive into some of the IT centric items on that list. Tune in and see what working from the office, home, Starbucks, and the car at Daycare pickup has done to transform IT and the efforts to keep everyone safe and secure!
Trade those sweatpants for Khakis. We're headed back to the office. Welcome back to Brain Bites. Joining me, as always, is James Green. James, how are we doing today?
Doing great. How are you?
I'm not too bad today. We're going to revisit working from home, the new new hybrid workforce that we're starting to see a lot more frequently going on two years now ago everybody got sent home, right. And it was very quickly learned how to work from home. Your company didn't have a work from home policy. We very quickly threw one together. What is remote work look like from an It standpoint is obviously what we're going to focus on here. And how has it changed now that companies are starting to bring back employees into offices, at least at some capacity?
What we've seen here at Becca, just from what our clients have been doing, we've seen a lot of the hybrid workforce coming in. So we've got a lot of clients that are bringing people back from Monday, Wednesday, Friday kind of thing or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday work from home, Monday, Friday. And then we've also got clients that took the opportunity during the pandemic while they were in 100% remote situation to start hiring from places that aren't their local geography to open up their talent pool. Yeah.
And that's been one of the phenomenal things that kind of come out of this is that you have been able to we're not here where we are. We don't just have Atlanta to choose from. There's this really hot shot guy that is in Iowa that we want to get there's this woman that's amazing at what she does in California. Let's get her on board. Now. You can do that along with making sure that your users aren't just in the four walls of your infrastructure doing their work.
They can be wherever they want to be and work securely and collaborate still with people that are in the office. Right.
And so now as everybody started to come back, at least in some capacity, we're starting to try and see. We're starting to see that some of the issues we had where okay, we need to make a change to group policy. Well, nobody's in the office, so make sure they're connected to the VPN before the group policy gets pushed out. Well, now we can start it's kind of changing the way. From an It management perspective, we can actually start scheduling projects around times that we know groups of people are going to be in offices.
One of the things we've been struggling, we're not struggling with what we were challenged to solve was the hardware procurement. When it comes to, like, on boards and off boards of employees, it used to be easy. Send the new user's computer to the office where they're going to be starting their job. When everybody was at home, we were starting to get home addresses and ship computers to their houses and monitors. And monitor arms and then get it back if someone becomes separated from the company and all this stuff.
Right. And from an onboarding and offboarding standpoint, that's one piece. But then also, you have your, oh, my machine doesn't work anymore. Well, now how do we securely swap that machine out and make sure that that person does not miss a beat? We want to make sure that person is still productive during this troubleshooting process and this swap out process. What does that look like, too, right.
Because it was getting tricky. Hey, we can send an engineer out to take a look at your computer. Oh, well, I'm at my Lake house. Okay, well, Where's your Lake house? That's on Lake Harbor. Okay, well, how about that about getting an engineer 2 hours out to take a look at your computer? We absolutely can. But please know, blah, blah, blah and all this stuff, whereas their office is in Midtown Atlanta. So that's much more in our service area. Jimmy Johns is able to keep their sandwiches delivery freaky fast because the delivery area is like, 2 sq Mi.
Same with us. We like to provide quick service, but if you're in Kansas, it's going to take us a minute to get someone to Kansas. And it's been interesting seeing people come back. And some of the conversations we were having prior to going work from home, where we were talking to companies about standardization of their computers in the environment. And, hey, if everybody has this laptop brand and all those laptops use the same model docking station, then if you need to work at someone else's desk for whatever reason, or if you need to move your desk, you only have to move your equipment.
Those are starting to creep back up, because now I've worked with a couple of companies that they're bringing in groups of people on certain days. But then on the days they're not there, other people are at those desks. They've changed their workspace to be from a dedicated desk for dedicated employees to being more of a collaborative space to the team. Essentially, they come in and work on essentially the projects they have to collaborate on together on certain days. And then when they're not there, other groups are there.
So they just want to have this one Lenovo docking station that works with everybody's laptops. So when they come in for their collaboration days.
They can just drop in and start working from a property management leasing standpoint. That is what a lot of companies opted to do. And they said, okay, well, if we're going to go to this every other day, well, now you have 50 people, as opposed to 100 people in. Well, now I don't need the square footage. I can reduce my footprint office wise to a much lower footprint and have these hoteling spaces so that, oh, I just come in. I put my machine down. I plug in that Thunderbolt dock boom.
I'm good to go.
Yeah. Before we talked about standardization from a support standpoint, if we needed to swap somebody's computer out because it was bad. It's much faster if they just know exactly the same kind of computer, if the troubleshooting steps are the same in all computers. But now we're adding another layer into that saying, okay, well, now we just need it to work for everybody in the same space at the same time. So it's been an interesting shift. We're having the same conversations we're having pre work from home, but for different reasons.
So it's been an interesting shift there.
Yeah. And that's obviously the physical piece of it, the hardware piece of it. Other pieces that came out of this, quote, unquote digital transformation that this helped push is.
Well, now how does that person work truly, anywhere from any device securely. And we'll talk about this more in depth in another episode on Zero Trust, but basically okay. Well, now users aren't connected to our local network. Most of our stuff is in the cloud, but they're at home using their home firewall that isn't near as secure as what we have in the network closet. How do we make sure they're still secure? And that's where you have tools like Intune, like Microsoft Cloud Access security like the Octaves or the other kazbies of the world, like Netscape.
Come in and make sure that people are your perimeter. Now, make sure that they're still connected securely wherever they are from that coffee shop, their house, the dock on the Lake, wherever they want to be.
And that's a good point, too, because while you're protecting your assets that are either in the cloud or in your environment from people accessing it remotely. If a user's computer is locally compromised from something at their house, right? Their child downloaded some what they thought was a Minecraft mod.
But it ended up being something malicious and it's not spread its payload or anything yet. And then they bring it into their office on whatever day they're coming in. Companies are opened up now to significantly more opportunity for malicious payloads to be brought into their environment now than they ever were before because. Well, yes, most people, if they had laptops, were bringing them home. The amount of work that was being done with those laptops at home on a daily basis was significantly less prior to this hybrid or work from home landscape than it is now because they were bringing their laptops home from 05:00 p.m. Until 08:00 a.m. The next morning and 8 hours of that, assuming they were asleep, right?
On average, I would like to be one of those sleeping 8 hours not quite there yet, but now they bring it home on a Monday and they work with it on Monday, and then they bring it back to the office Tuesday, and then they bring it home, work from home Tuesday, Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, and then they come back on Friday with the same machine. So there's just a lot more hands coming in and out of the cookie jar.
Right. A lot more opportunity for, like, oh, no. And so needs to print off a school report real quick. And the machine that I got them for digital learning isn't working. So we'll just print it off on my machine real quick. Well, guess what. That thing that you had to download had something malicious in it.
Right where you just leave your computer open on the kitchen table and they go and Google something and maybe click on the wrong link. The potential for a cyber incident is significantly higher now, just because of the way that we're interacting with our computers at home, people who didn't work at home very much before are now working from home, either exclusively or on days of the week for entire days and their laptop or computer or whatever is now significantly more open to the potential for bringing it back to the office.
So having something at the office, like a SIM tool that's constantly either ingesting all of the network traffic or the logs that are going on in the environment, is becoming paramount because you might not know that someone's brought something into your office and into your network. That is supposed to be a trusted and secure zone that you might not know until it's too late and it's already spread.
Yes, you were working from that coffee shop. You want to get your latte boom. Someone was right behind you because you didn't lock your machine and put something on your computer.
Yeah, well, we hope this was helpful. Didn't mean to scare you there at the end. Got a little, a little fuddy at the end there, but never the goal. Just what we live with and why we don't get 8 hours of sleep every night. So thanks for tuning in, and we will see you next week. Thanks.