Skip to main content

Work From Home vs Onsite: Navigating the Great Unknown

The Pandemic Changed Everything 

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the world of work as far as where and when it happened. Even though we’ve emerged from the pandemic, work environments have likely changed forever. 

There are still many unknowns and things are changing daily, but one thing is for sure; where and when work will happen in the future is still a “Great Unknown” and enterprises need adaptable networks to be ready for whatever’s around the corner.  

The “Great Return” vs. the “Great Disconnect”  

Two competing workplace ideologies are on a collision course: the “Great Return” and the “Great Disconnect.”  

The CIO-backed “Great Return” — 50% of CIOs want employees back, in-person, 5 days a week — is predicting a massive return to pre-pandemic work models. This, however, lies in stark contrast to the “Great Disconnect,” an employee-led push to get more say in where and when they work — according to a recent survey conducted by the Future Forum Pulse, 76% of employees want more say in where they work and a whopping 93% want more say in when they work. This disconnect between employee and employer is creating all kinds of dividing lines according to the 2022 Work Trend Index, a study commissioned by Microsoft. No matter which direction it heads, all organizations need to be ready for whatever the workplace future holds. 

 Adaptability is Key

While the work model debate continues, network connectivity must be nimble so it can react to the ebb and flow of the changing demands and, ultimately, be prepared whatever the outcome.  

Financial service IT networks cannot afford system slowdowns, latency or other issues  

According to Daniele Loffreda, the Head of Virtualized Edge Solutions Marketing at Ciena, a flexible network is key moving forward: “With people coming back to the office, but maybe not five days a week, how do you architect the network to be able to support the peak demand requirements? You don’t want to over architect the network so much that you have expensive capacity that is not being fully used.” This is especially true, he says, for the financial sector where enterprises experience significant downtimes on nights and weekends.  

There’s a growing need to adapt to changing bandwidth needs

Loffreda also says that financial institutions need to invest in partners that can provide the hardware and provisioning expertise to adjust to growing bandwidth needs quickly: “They should be able to say, ‘tomorrow I’m going to need this much more bandwidth between locations A&B and this much more between locations C&D’…To be able to do that without having to go through a major process with the service provider is what they want.” 

Remote access isn’t just about employees — customer have made changes too

The potential havoc of a changing work model – and not being prepared for it – is not relegated to employees. It affects customers, too.  

As online banking and other digital offerings increase at institutions across the board, today’s financial enterprises need to be prepared to face disgruntled consumers.  

  • Mobile banking grew 50% in the first half of 2020 
  • 78% of online banking customers want personalized support (like the AI-powered offerings from Bank of America or Wells Fargo), yet only 44% of enterprises are providing it 
  • 77% of low- and middle-income customers would leave their current banks for a better mobile experience but only 28% for more branches or ATMS 
  • 63% would consider leaving for lower fees 
  • 85% of business leaders say the ability to make real-time payments was their number one factor when it came to selecting a bank 
  • 90% of consumers are concerned about online banking security

Flexible Network = Agile Business

Today’s enterprises need a network partner that understands how to strike the right balance between performance, cost, and adaptability. Ultimately, today’s financial institutions need a partner that can help them scale up or down with ease and at a moment’s notice. In fact, a recent Forbes article entitled Why We Need To Focus On Network Flexibility For Business Success, concluded: “The verdict is in: You need to push forward with digital transformation, but you must also include network flexibility, so you are ready for whatever comes your way next.”  

The state of employee and customer relations with today’s enterprise is volatile; almost anything can affect change. And with the modern financial institution’s greatest assets – their employees, systems, and consumers – going increasingly online, network connectivity has never been more important. The same Forbes article reported that “80% of organizations expanded their work-from-home policies during the pandemic” and that “67% of those same organizations plan to keep those policies in place for the long-term.” Now is a perfect time to team up with a partner that knows how to architect a network that is as nimble as your employees and consumer base.  

Be ready for the “Great Unknown” with a network that can adapt to your needs, quickly and easily. At WIN, we architect unique solutions for each of our customers — no two businesses are going to have the exact same needs, so why should they be prescribed the exact same networks? We also make sure that our networks remain flexible so that they can adapt with your needs from year to year, month to month. 

 Ready to learn more?

Get in touch with us for a no-obligation consultation and learn more about how to make sure you’re ready for all the workplace changes ahead.