Identity in the empty office: what’s next for the hybrid workforce?

The business challenges created by COVID-19 are extreme. Organisations have had to rapidly shift to remote working models, placing huge strain on existing systems and infrastructure. While some businesses have adequate cyber and network security frameworks in place to cope, many have been found wanting. UK workers are now bracing themselves for the long “social distancing” haul. Despite the UK government’s desire to get employees back into the workplace, remote working is expected to continue through the remainder of the year. But rather than being simply the default status of all employees, it will now function as a business-critical tool to keep workplaces sparsely populated – and within government guidelines as they change.

What’s more, mass employee hire, redundancies and furloughs, have added to the workload for IT and security teams. A practical example is supermarket Tesco’s, which has hired 16,000 temporary workers to better serve the increased demand for click & collect and home delivery operations. New employees must be onboarded, given corporate identities and granted access to internal systems. This places pressure on IT staff to ensure existing systems and operations are equipped manage the rapid influx of workers. Whereas the big box retail example might be extreme, the same essential business processes and trends can be seen across industries and employers of all shapes and sizes.