When Covid-19 struck, a narrow waterway in Turkey saw its marine traffic reduced significantly. Citizens noticed that dolphins were swimming and jumping in the waters, closer to the city than they had ever been before, wrote the BBC.

Today’s global health crisis is creating large-scale change across the world. One key change was the rapid transition to remote work, including for government agencies.

Intel discusses how the public sector has moved to a hybrid working style, where work is done both remotely and in the office. It highlights the technology that can keep remote work secure and efficient.

Hybrid as the new-norm

The Covid-19 pandemic may have forced government agencies to adopt remote work, but this change is likely to stick around even in a post-Covid world.

Public servants in Quebec, Canada are still working in a hybrid model, despite the Covid-19 situation improving. For those civil servants who are able to work from home, this shift is “here to stay”, said Sonia LeBel, President of Quebec’s Treasury Board.

By the end of January 2022, the goal is to have 100 per cent of the local government’s staff working on a hybrid model. The structure will provide a better work-life balance and make working for the government more attractive, she highlighted.

Earlier this year, Singapore’s public servants were working in a hybrid model where they would work from home two days a week, wrote The Straits Times.

For some public sector teams, in-person meetings were on a weekly basis even before the pandemic. When social distancing regulations were put in place, they shifted to totally virtual communication, explained Karen Tay, a former Director from Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Group.

Civil servants are enjoying hybrid working, with a survey of 20,000 Irish civil servants finding that 85 per cent want to continue remote working “very often” or “always”, wrote Financial Times.

Managing the security risks

With hybrid working likely to become the new-norm, it’s important to address the concerns and challenges that it brings.

Technology and security concerns are the largest issues facing hybrid work, according to the World Economic Forum. Home networks are an easier target for cyberattackers, it explained.

This can lead to inefficiency, with one in 10 Swiss employees reporting that cybersecurity measures were making them less productive. Security programmes restricted users’ access to software tools and data, a Deloitte study found.

To keep hybrid working secure, civil servants can adopt systems that reduce vulnerabilities without compromising productivity. One way to do this is separating and isolating the workloads on a computer system.

By creating a wall between programmes, it makes it difficult for malicious malware to spread and infect other parts of the computer. This allows work to continue after an attack, as the security issue can be addressed while other programmes continue as normal.

Shifting threat detection away from the computer’s main processing hub is another way that Intel tools can benefit hybrid work. This move allows the main processing hub to focus its energy on the user’s work, improving the computer’s productivity.

Maintaining remote efficiency

As public servants continue to work remotely, there will inevitably be “ transition costs” and “governments will have to update IT systems” to cope, wrote Financial Times.

Intel’s vPro platform can make working from home more convenient and efficient, reducing some of these transition costs. A study found that the platform is reliable, reducing up to 375 help desk related incidents per year for an organisation with 800 computers.

The platform helps computer’s avoid IT issues, saving organisations up to US$87,000, a study from Forrester Consulting found. It also helps public servants who will need to move from place to place, as it provides a battery life that can last 11 hours, reports Laptop Mag.

The pandemic has brought with it a fundamental, and seemingly permanent shift to the way government officials work. To ensure a smooth transition, governments can reassess whether their staff have the right tech tools for a post-pandemic future.