Since covid, the uptake of more flexible working arrangements has been steady globally. HP has found that 77% of employees prefer a hybrid work model ('The New Era of Work' HP, 2022). But can it work for cyber? We explore the advantages and challenges of hybrid work below.
For businesses looking to source new talent in the current climate, hybrid working arrangements for cyber employees offers a competitive and enticing edge. Particularly in a candidate short market where workers are looking for flexibility. (More on this in our article on attracting the best candidates here.)
Another point for the pro-hybrid argument is the reduction in overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical office space. Additionally, the cost of travel to the office for employees is reduced with the cost of petrol, parking and public transportation avoided on WFH days.
While there are many reasons why hybrid arrangements can work well, it would be remiss to not mention obvious security concerns. Working remotely raises risk around the security of sensitive information and the ability for workers in cyber environments to work effectively and securely. With an increase in the number of endpoints, networks and software it’s important that data protection be increased with zero-trust hardened measures across the board.
According to the HP Survey, 60% of employees say they want flexibility where they work. ('The New Era of Work' HP, 2022) Having a hybrid workplace arrangement allows employees to have better balance between their home and work lives. The flexibility of hybrid work allows room to accommodate other life responsibilities like taking children to school, errands and activities. For organisations - taking the time to understand the team, their workflow, and how people work most efficiently can drive better performance as well.
Hybrid work can improve productivity for workers. The flexibility of being able to come to the office means employees can work effectively with their teams, build culture and learn from colleagues while still working from home when wanting to focus and work more autonomously. In a McKinsey survey on hybrid work - “87 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would be more productive if they worked their desired number of days at home than if they had to work at the office five days per week.” (McKinsey Global Institute Report, 2023).
In the past 12 months across Australia, the number of fully remote roles has reduced, with the concept of hybrid arrangements in cyber becoming more commonplace. This is supported by enterprise bargaining agreements that aim to retain current employees and attract a more diverse pool of potential applicants. Remote roles do still exist, but mainly for candidates who don’t live in the city/state the company is based in, otherwise there is an expectation they will spend time on site. By our estimation, the standard expectation for enterprise is currently about 2-3 days a week in office.
It’s clear that adoption of hybrid work in the cyber security presents both opportunity and challenges for business and employees alike. But with the right operations, workflow, and security plans in place along with communication with staff it could prove to be an overall positive move for the industry.
If you’d like any more information about recruiting or retaining top cyber security talent, or if you’re looking for your next cyber security role, reach out to the Decipher Bureau team. With offices across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra - and an experienced team around the world, we’d love to help you out.