Hybrid working poses a risk to high-trust organisations

The nature of professional life has changed significantly in recent years. The global pandemic and string of lockdowns forced companies across the nation to adapt the working habits of their employees.

Over a quarter of AV professionals believe that customer trust in their organisation has been weakened by the shift to remote work, with security concerns topping the list when it comes to issues with hybrid working.

That’s according to a new ‘Trusted Connections 2023’ study from AV solutions provider Kinly.

The research, which surveyed 150 UK-based AV professionals working across ‘high trust’ industries like banking, finance, healthcare, energy, and the public sectors, revealed that communication via open Wi-Fi networks was the top security concern with hybrid work. This was closely followed by unauthorised saving or copying of documents and webcam hacking.

Despite the clear concern around the security of high trust organisations’ communications technology, the study also found that well over half of high trust organisations’ employees do the majority of their work remotely, with one in ten being full remote.

By comparison only 3% of high-trust organisations’ employees work fully from their respective offices, with just a quarter who are hybrid working stating that they spend the majority of their time in the office.

As organisations working in high trust sectors are often handling extremely sensitive personal data, it is of paramount importance that the technology they use to communicate with internal stakeholders and clients/customers alike is as secure as possible.

And with hybrid work now the norm, security concerns like communication via unsecured home devices, unauthorised recording or saving of calls, use of unreliable remote network connections and ‘Video bombing’ –joining or overhearing calls by mistake– (81%) need to be a thing of the past.

The good news is that technology can help. In fact, three quarters of the AV professionals surveyed believe they should be just as capable of building trusted relationships with customers –without in-person contact– as long as they have the right technology in place.

Speaking about the new research, Kinly’s UK region Managing Director, Taj Ghere said: “There’s no question that hybrid work is here to stay. Apart from industries that require the physical presence of employees, such as healthcare, firefighting, law enforcement, retail, etc., the vast majority of sectors have already adopted a hybrid work model and so technology needs to adapt to this. Nowhere is this more important than in ‘high trust’ sectors.

“For those dealing with the most sensitive of information – lawyers, bankers, healthcare workers – the importance of AV technology cannot be underestimated. It is not enough to fit a plug and play system, a bespoke approach is needed to ensure communications are as secure as possible.

“The findings of our Trusted Connections report emphasise the need for these industries to collaborate with specialist AV partners, who can lead them towards the optimal blend of technology to enhance security, boost efficiency, and above all, foster trust.”