How Windows 11 makes Hybrid work a breeze

Hector Barnes

Jul 15, 2022

5 min read

Hybrid work. The catchword that’s been around since the last couple of years due to the unprecedented changes in working conditions. With employees preferring flexible working conditions and the formula working for most companies, they’re planning to stick to the same for coming years. Enough with hybrid work, what’s with Windows 11?

Microsoft earlier this year released the latest version of Windows, Windows 11, which is designed to facilitate hybrid work by introducing features that specifically aim at enhancing remote working conditions.

In this blog, let’s look at some challenges faced with Hybrid work and how the new upgrades rolled out with Windows 11 help tackle them effectively.

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Hybrid work challenges

Creating a safe and secure working environment is still on top of the priorities list for IT admins. As we are half way through 2022, the working conditions haven’t seen much of a change from the pandemic era. Some challenges faced my enterprise IT admins would be:

Remote device management

The obvious one. Since the company owned (or BYOD) devices will be used remotely rather than in the office like earlier, you have to manage all of them effectively.

Careless management may take a toll on productivity and even lead to device misuse.

Blocking certain websites/apps, setting and applying new policies, analyzing device reports, and more. The list goes on. You have to execute all these properly to ensure that your devices are being used the desired way.

Increased cyber attacks

With remote work, most companies rely on cloud services. Hence there is an increased chance of cloud-based cyber-attacks.

Also, since employees use public networks to connect to the company resources, there will be an increase in vulnerability points.

Identity and access management

This kind of goes hand in hand with the one we just discussed above. Since employees access company resources remotely over the air, attackers can jump in the middle and gain access to them.

As an IT admin, your focus should be on providing authorized access for the employees. Security models like Zero Trust have been widely adopted by companies.

Windows 11 and hybrid work

Now that we’ve seen the challenges of hybrid work, let’s talk about Windows 11 and its attempt at making it easier. Microsoft hosted an event on April 5, 2022 unveiling a suite of new features made for hybrid work. These include security upgrades, accessibility improvements and some minor updates to improve hybrid working efficiency.

Phishing protection

Microsoft introduces phishing protection, which can be activated in Windows Security settings. When activated, Windows will notify its users when they’re on a malicious website or app. Users will get notified each time they try to enter some sensitive information into a site known for scams.

TPM enforcement

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a special chip that secures device hardware, with encryption keys stored in it. With Windows 11, Microsoft has mandated that in order to run the OS, the device must have TPM enabled.

Smart app control

Smart app control is a new security feature, which blocks untrusted and malicious applications. This will ensure that the corporate data on your device will stay clear of all the dangerous applications since they won’t even run in the first place.
Although, to enable this feature it requires clean new installation of Windows.

Teams integration

Windows 11 features Microsoft Teams as a built-in app. This means users will get access to Teams chat, video call and screen share functionalities right out of the box, on the taskbar.

File explorer redesign

Users get a new, completely revamped file explorer with Windows 11. The new design features tabs at the top. Users can open new tabs which enable them to work with different files in parallel. According to Microsoft this is going to save a lot of time by cutting down the number of clicks needed in navigation.

Also, the new file explorer home page features a section called “Favorites” and “Recent”. In the latter section, it shows when the file was last modified, and who performed the activity on it, which contributes to ease of collaboration.

Double the benefits with a UEM

Windows 11 sure brings a lot to the table from a hybrid work point of view. But to make sure all the managed devices are compliant with your policies, be they company owned or BYOD, you need a strong Unified Endpoint Management solution.

Should I upgrade to windows 11?

The list of new features speaks for itself. But some people might still be hesitant to update their OS. Windows 10 still works fine on all devices and Microsoft isn’t planning to deprive Windows 10 users from features or security updates.

Now if you’re still wavering between whether or not to upgrade to Windows 11, the answer is pretty straightforward. If your device allows, then yes. Windows 11 comes with a handful of system requirements. You can read the complete list of requirements here. If your device checks all the boxes, then the upgrade shouldn’t be a concern as usability wise, you won’t find much of a problem.

The bottom line

By now it is pretty clear that hybrid work is here to stay. Consequently, building an invulnerable and secure work environment has become indispensable.

With Windows 11, Microsoft has made a splash in the hybrid work state of play. The new features are aimed at making remote work easier and more secure. And if you Combine that with an endpoint management solution like Hexnode, hybrid work can be made pretty simple and trouble-free.


Hector Barnes

Changing perspectives one word at a time.

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