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Leaders across Europe are readily embracing hybrid work, but mapping out the future of work isn’t simple. 

According to a new survey from Okta, 2% of business leaders said they had no guidance for the modern workplace, but 43% stated providing their employees with the option for an office-first flexible model.   

This means leaders still have control over when employees work schedules, with just 15% allowing staff to choose their own location and hours despite companies agreeing that remote workers are more productive. 

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Because of the desire for in-person collaboration, companies are falling back on pre-pandemic norms. But it’s not just camaraderie that is driving businesses to bring workers back into the office.  

“It has felt like many business leaders have made a U-turn when it comes to remote or hybrid work, wanting workplace culture to go back to the way things were done pre-pandemic,” said Ian Lowe, head of industry solutions at Okta. 

This regression negates the needs of employees — something they have consistently struggled to advocate for since the onset of the pandemic. Rather than taking a human-first approach, companies are increasingly concerned about losing control over their employees, particularly in how they utilize work-related devices. 

Cybersecurity under any type of flexible model can be complicated, but leaders may be better off investing into tools and training to better protect devices when employees are outside of the office.  

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