What is a “connected workplace”? (And why it matters)
Who doesn’t love a good integration? They automate manual tasks, streamline workflows, and make remote communication a breeze. And there’s another reason to appreciate them: security. Simplifying your complex tech stack can reduce risks and give your security team some peace of mind. But the reality is, many companies haven’t invested in streamlining their technology.
This is a gamble, especially when it comes to companies with a flexible work model. Employees communicate from different networks, across many devices, using fragmented technologies. Without proper governance, this can be a recipe for disaster. But there’s good news: the right tools can add a layer of protection to safeguard your company from risks. Read on to learn what a “connected workplace” is, why it matters, and some integrations that can help you achieve connection.
What is a “connected workplace”?
A connected workscape is an integrated network of systems and tools that enable secure and productive work. For employees, a connected workscape improves remote and in-office collaboration and promotes efficiency. For security teams, it cuts complexities that make their organizations’ security vulnerable.
Integrations are particularly important to companies that have a hybrid work model. At these organizations, employees have the flexibility to work in or out of the office. Technology is critical to keeping their teams connected and their work moving forward.
5 benefits of an integrated workplace
Hybrid work requires security standards to evolve. Reducing application complexities can tighten your company’s security and bring about many other benefits:
There are upfront costs to building an integrated workscape. Some examples include purchasing, installing, and maintaining your technology. While these costs can run high, they don’t compare to the price of a security breach, which can include:
- Loss of business
- Replacement of damaged equipment
- Investigation management
- Reputational damage
Tools “talk” to each other
When your systems and tools connect, your business can operate with more agility, increased focus, and speed. Consider, for example, access control and visitor management systems. These tools can work together to alert people when an office has reached its capacity. This can trigger a notification to your workplace and security teams and turn off people’s ability to enter the office.
In an integrated workscape, the employee experience isn’t bound to a physical location. By synching the right tools, people can do their work from anywhere—even their phones. They can communicate, retrieve documents, access the office, book meeting rooms, reserve a desk, and more. For employees, this means the flexibility to work from anywhere. For your security team, integrations can help protect your network from becoming complex.
Ease of use for admins and employees
Integrating workplace tools streamlines workflows and helps employees operate more efficiently. Fewer barriers means less time switching between tools to do manual tasks and retrieve data. With the ability to find and analyze data with ease, admins and employees can make decisions faster. This can have a significant impact on your organization’s costs.
A better understanding of your work landscape
When your company’s technology works together, it’s easier to predict, diagnose, and tackle issues. You can also get a “big picture” view of your work landscape and draw insights to make decisions that improve your security programs. For example, you can spot trends in your organization’s visitor data so you know when to scale up your security.
Workplace tools that support hybrid work
There’s no “one size fits all” technology stack for hybrid work. You should consider what you’ll need for remote and in-person collaboration and communication. These tools should integrate to improve your company’s efficiency, agility, collaboration, and security. Here’s a quick look at some of the workplace integrations companies love:
For hybrid organizations, controlling workplace access helps mitigate health risks and security breaches. These integrations will:
- Allow employees to schedule office visits ahead of time
- Grant the right access to guests and employees
- Collect visitor records
- Send security alerts
- Deny entry to unwanted visitors
- Provide insights on who’s on-site during an emergency or evacuation
“We’re looking at evolving and automating security controls to reduce friction for employees. They should be able to enter [the workplace] where they need to enter, and it should be very clear where they shouldn’t be going.”
AVP, Business Continuity Management, Emergency/Crisis Management and Physical Security
Envoy webinar: Executive leaders discuss hybrid work security
Most enterprises use a directory service to manage employee details. Integrations allow organizations to sync employee details across different systems. This prevents having to store this information in different tools.
For example, a company might integrate its directory with its employee registration and access control systems. By connecting these tools, the company doesn’t need to re-upload employee information to various places. It also makes it easy for security teams to see who should and shouldn’t have access to the workplace at any given time.
As companies scale, the ability to communicate effectively becomes more important. This is especially true for organizations with a hybrid work model. They might have thousands of employees worldwide with flexible work schedules. These integrations help streamline communication between employees.
As a result, they don’t have to jump from platform to platform to work effectively. The integrations also assure security teams that business discussions happen on secure platforms.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Many other tools can help facilitate a connected workscape. Prioritize the tools that are critical to your company. Remember: technology should reinforce your security, not compromise it.
Workplace tools, and the integrations that bring them together, can transform and secure your business. But when it comes to building a strong technology ecosystem, where do you even start? For tips on how to be successful, check out our latest ebook: the security leader’s guide to the connected workscape.