The office is no longer just a physical place, but a collection of people— people who need to work together whenever and from wherever they are. No matter how work has transformed or how it transforms next, work needs to get completed as easily as it was performed when we all sat next to each other. As the demand to integrate an ever-wider range of capabilities increases, the best IT professionals need the most sophisticated expertise to not just survive, but to create a powerful competitive advantage for their companies.

Evolve IP has been at the forefront of the hybrid work movement, partnering with the world’s biggest tech companies to bring together their unified communications, collaboration, voice, virtual desktop, and contact center tools into a single, secure solution, fine-tuned for the hybrid workforce.

Our Hybrid Workplace Survival Guide is designed to share what we’ve learned over the years from helping our customers create a fluid business infrastructure that works anywhere and evolves everywhere.

Key Takeaways

The hybrid workforce is here to stay. According to Gartner1, 47% of knowledge workers will work remotely in 2022, up from 27% prepandemic. The trend is expected to continue even as the world settles into the new normal. In fact, a VMware survey2 indicates that 61% of employees believe that remote work is no longer a perk but a prerequisite.

Security, flexibility, and access must be tenets of both cloud-based and on-premises platforms. Forbes3 reports that 80% of senior IT and IT security leaders believe their organizations lack sufficient protection against cyberattacks. In selecting a virtual desktop interface or a desktop-as-a-service solution provider, companies must ensure tight security protocols for systems and data as well as reliable, always-on access for employees.

Communication and collaboration tools are critical to remote workforce productivity. According to Finances Online4, collaboration tools were the only software segment that posted growth during the COVID pandemic. That trend reflects the high priority companies are placing on tools that can facilitate better teamwork from remote locations. Gartner5 predicts that by 2024, 80% of organizations will prioritize collaboration and meeting platforms over telephony when defining their unified communications portfolio strategy.

Learning to find the right data at the right time is increasingly important as the data explosion continues. With data generation at lightning-fast speeds, organizations must not only get a handle on storage and management of data but also delivering the right data to the right employee at the right time—especially when those team members may be working from home or otherwise off-site. FinancesOnline6 highlights the benefits of big data in their 2021/2022 Market Share & Data Analysis, reporting that businesses that utilize big data experience an 8-10% increase in profits.

Contact center solutions must be streamlined to provide access to both data and expertise for superior customer service. With more than $700 billion worth of goods and services a year flowing through call centers, a lot rides on the customer service experience. Bad connections, lack of integration to business CRM systems, and siloed access from expert colleagues are simply unacceptable in a hybrid call center solution. Inevitably, these will result in poor customer and agent satisfaction, affecting the business’s profitability and longterm viability.

AI-solutions need to take their place next to live agents to improve customer service and increase representative fulfillment. Automation solutions are more sophisticated than ever and are now able to “learn” the intricacies of specific contact center interactions and adjust responses and analytics accordingly. As noted in Forrester’s7, The Three Customer Service Megatrends In 2021: Post- Pandemic Customer Service Excellence report, “Speech and text analytics will monitor and score customer interactions. Quality scores will drive just-in-time coaching on specific subjects to the agent desktop — as well as supervisor intervention for guidance.”

of knowledge workers will work remotely in 2022, up from 27% prepandemic.

– Gartner

Pain Points & Solutions

Companies continue to adapt as the business landscape evolves. As Executives adjust to hybrid work environments, implementing policies and programs that empower employees to succeed is top of mind. Here is a look at the biggest challenges IT leaders are experiencing and solutions that can help alleviate the most common pain points of supporting a distributed workforce.

Managing Diverse and Remote Users

Most companies typically have three categories of users. One set tends to rely on web-based tools like common software-as-a-service offerings. Another uses SaaS as well as legacy business applications, and a third needs a full desktop experience. Managing these different users both on-premises and when they are working remotely in a consistent, secure manner can be a challenge.

The most effective solution is a highly secure identity and access management (IAM) tool that uses both single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA) verification, which presents the same user experience and access regardless of location. Scaling employees up or down is simple, thereby maximizing security and productivity while minimizing IT involvement and management.

Dealing With Multiple Devices

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has been the bane of IT departments everywhere for quite some time. Research shows that the average employee uses between two and three devices to access company infrastructure, with a mobile phone being second most popular. Figuring out how to protect and support these personal devices as well as ensuring they do not become points of cybercrime vulnerability to the company’s network can be challenging.

Several solutions, each with its own pros and cons, can address this pain point. Cloud access security brokers can be effective but may be expensive and complex to implement. VPN privacy networks are commonly accepted as front-line protection, but they tend to focus more on privacy rather than security and may have performance and latency issues. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) subscription services can offer virtual access while providing centralized governance and security but comes with an ongoing fee. Remote workspaces that offer IAM, legacy applications, and cloud desktops in one environment are also growing in popularity to address the device management challenge.

Streamlining Communications and Collaboration

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in implementing a hybrid workforce is providing efficient tools for collaboration and communication across geographic regions, time zones, and preferred work hours. These strategies must enable an entire business to work as a single digital workspace. According to an article in BusinessWire8, ineffectively managing the complexities of communication and collaboration results in greater employee burnout and lower productivity.

IT leaders believe that better communication and collaboration will particularly benefit the execution of company objectives, request and approval workflows, and agile planning and execution.

While Microsoft Teams is tightly integrated into the other Microsoft applications, working on a Google-centric platform may require third-party providers. FaceTime and Apple iWorks may also require additional integration. Finding video-based drivers that tightly integrate with software tools, data sharing, and communications vehicles means that hybrid workers can jump into and out of crossfunctional teams seamlessly for each subsequent project.

Completing Mundane, Repetitive Tasks

Unfortunately, managing a hybrid workforce on top of dealing with the lightning speed of technological developments and data creation creates an immense amount of mundane and often repetitive, yet important, tasks. While IT often faces such pain points like in backup and patching tasks, many other departments have the same problem, which can negatively affect the morale of the hybrid workforce.

Gartner9 predicts that “generative” artificial intelligence methods will come into their own as one solution, moving beyond chatbots to advanced machine learning methods. The expectation is that AI tools will be able to “learn” about content from data, and then take the next step of writing code, automating training, or optimizing workflows.

Effectively Securing Systems and Data

As cloud-based architecture and distributed systems become commonplace, cybersecurity challenges grow in complexity. Points of vulnerability for an organization can quickly multiple and cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated and frequent as a result. This pain point is an ongoing one—and one that seems to never be completely alleviated.

Solutions of all stripes are working to beef up security protocols and efforts with varying degrees of effectiveness. Developments such as privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) are focused on preventing consumer data loss and expected by Gartner to be embraced by 60% of large enterprises by 2025. Cybersecurity mesh architectures (CSMA) work to extend security controls to distributed assets. Gartner expects that the cost of security incidents will decrease by 90% by 2024 as a result.

The average employee uses between two and three devices to access company infrastructure, with a mobile phone being second most popular.

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2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Desktop as a Service

Is your organization planning to or in the process of adopting DaaS? Learn more why Gartner describes vendor-assembled and vendor managed DaaS as the future of DaaS.

Dealing with Data Overload

According to TechJury10, more than 200 zettabytes of data will be in cloud storage by 2025. Being able to manage, organize, and, most importantly, access and use all that information in an effective way is a significant challenge for today’s hybrid workforce.

Automation strategies such as robotic process automation may be one method to increase hybrid workforce productivity. Data fabrics effectively integrate data and application silos with analytics and are designed to improve data usage by businesses working on a distributed architecture in a more cost-effective manner.

Enabling Hybrid Customer Support Agents

While at first glance, it seems that a customer contact center would be a prime candidate for remote work, enabling a hybrid support center to be effective and efficient is actually one of the most difficult integrations. Customer service center calls cannot simply be forwarded to home phone numbers without a significant impact on call connection quality, consistency, and cost. In addition, customer service representatives can be severely impeded without simple, secure, and complete access to customer data and historic conversations.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review[11], some companies saw hold times increase by 34% and escalations skyrocket more than 68% because of these challenges.

To alleviate these issues, several solutions are available. One simple solution, after notifying callers of expected hold times, is to offer a call back instead, either immediately or at a customer-specified time.

Addressing infrastructure issues can also help. A unified cloud contact center can be deployed with a provider’s hosted PBX, which allows centralized billing, installation, and support. Functionality and productivity are improved for agents and managers as tight PBX integration means better call handling, increased productivity, and higher customer satisfaction.

Contact centers may also work with a third-party voice overlay solution, which allows the contact center alone to migrate to the advanced capabilities of the cloud first, while allowing the rest of the company to leverage the existing phone system investment. Tight integration between the contact center solution and the CRM, which provides visibility to historic customer information and conversations, is critical for representatives to do their jobs effectively.

200 zettabytes of data will be in cloud storage by 2025.

– TechJury

Call Center Load and Complexity Increase Coupled with Labor Shortage

Exacerbated by the global pandemic of 2020-21, customer contact centers have faced an increase in the number of calls, as well as the complexity of requests. According to the Harvard Business Review[12] study, the average company saw the number of calls rated as “difficult” more than double in only two weeks, with emotional distress higher in customers during COVID, making interactions more stressful for customer representatives. As a result, turnover in the call center industry averages between 30 to 45%, which means contact centers are constantly losing experienced staff and incurring training costs of new employees.

By providing agents with ready and complete access to not only customer data and historic interactions but also to an easy-to-use connection to internal subject matter experts and colleagues, companies can give representatives the tools they need to be efficient, helpful, and successful. This, in turn, will boost morale and help retain these valuable employees.

Employing a desktop-as-a-service platform can allow you to expand your labor pool to a larger geographical area, enabling remote or hybrid agents to use their own devices in an accessible, connected, and seamless environment and on the same unified platform as the rest of the organization.

The average company saw the number of calls rated as “difficult” more than double in only two weeks, with emotional distress higher in customers during COVID.

– Harvard Business Review


As executives continue to navigate the next several years when the hybrid workforce is expected to become even more commonplace, applying these solutions for common challenges and pain points will be critical to its successful implementation.

Putting the elements in place now, in terms of infrastructure, workflows, and expectations for IT and employees alike, will help businesses build a solid foundation upon which to grow.

The benefits of a hybrid workforce abound. Employers access a potential worldwide workforce, tapping into the skills, diversity, and culture of modern consumers around the world. Employees can balance careers, interests, and personal lives, resulting in a happier, more fulfilled, and dedicated workforce. This combination, used strategically, sets the stage for greater profitability and long-term business success.

We hope that this Hybrid Workplace Survival Guide has introduced the myriad of solutions that already exist for typical pain points and helps get your organization off to a solid and rapid start. As an essential IT ally, we seamlessly integrate workplace technologies tailored to the hybrid workplace, improving productivity, security, and end-user experience. Contact Evolve IP today to learn more about how we are making the future of work better for everyone.

[1] [Rooney, P. (2021, October 19). AI, cloud, hybrid work headline Gartner’s top tech trends for 2022. CIO.

[2] VMware Staff. (2020, October 27). Remote Working No Longer a Perk, But Management Practices Need to Adapt to Manage ‘Out of Sight’ Employees. VMware. global-survey 

[3] Brooks, C. (2021, March 2). Alarming Security Stats: What You Need to Know for 2021. Forbes. chuckbrooks/2021/03/02/alarming-cybersecurity-stats-------what-youneed- to-know-for-2021/

[4] Andre, L. 8 Current Collaboration Software Trends & Forecasts for 2022/2023—A Look into What’s Next. FinancesOnline. https://

[5] Sheth, P. & Benitez, R. (2021, August 6). Hype Cycle for Unified Communications and Collaboration, 2021. Gartner. https://www.gartner. com/en/research/methodologies/gartner-hype-cycle 

[{6}  Jay, A. 97 Big Data Statistics You Must Learn: 2021/2022 Market Share & Data Analysis. FinancesOnline.

[7] Leggett, K., Hong, D., Jacobs, I., Colin, H., & Harrison, P. (2021, January 25). The Three Customer Service Megatrends In 2021: Post-Pandemic Customer Service Excellence. Forrester.

[8] (2021, May 5). Research Uncovers Pain Points IT Leaders Must Address to Power Hybrid Work. BusinessWire.

[9]  (2021, October 18) Gartner Identifies the Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022. Gartner Press Release.

[10] Bulao, J. (2022, February 6). How Much Data Is Created Every Day in 2022? TechJury.

 [11] Dixon, M., McKenna, T. and de la O, G. (2020, April 8). Supporting Customer Service Through the Coronavirus Crisis. Harvard Business Review.

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