All industries have been challenged to solve for business continuity during this frightening global pandemic. Impressively, many companies rose to the challenge and embraced a new \u201cnormal.\u201d Yet, when the scrambling subsides, what we\u2019ll be left with is a changed work landscape \u2014 heavy on remote work, but short on precedent.\nAs we think about the challenges in this new normal, here are some considerations around how we can support this future of work and make sure we\u2019re focusing on our most valuable source of strength: our employees.\nSecurity Must be Re-prioritized \nSecurity has been a critical factor for years; we\u2019ve all seen the many data breaches in the headlines. But it needs new thinking when we\u2019re talking about a largely remote workforce. Unfortunately, we\u2019ve seen organizations learn that lesson the hard way during the global pandemic with the use of technology that left users vulnerable.\nSecurity for the remote workforce is freshly important today, as we consider the risks and potential pitfalls. For example, when employees were working within the traditional walls of an office, IT understood how to secure the network and infrastructure for easy accessibility \u2014 where they could be safe and productive.\nBut when they\u2019re working from their homes or somewhere other than a corporate location, a whole new set of parameters comes into play. Do remote workers have a secure Wi-Fi connection? Are they using their own laptops and versions of software to connect with colleagues, or are they using the company\u2019s virtual private network? If they have a tech support problem and think their security has been compromised, how do employees reach the help desk?\nWith all of that in mind, prioritize security in this new normal is about choosing robust, secure solutions and then training employees on how to use the technology. Think about how security protocols and standards are applied, and if the solution easily scales. Also, consider how it will be supported by your IT team in this new normal. They will likely need remote monitoring and management capabilities. Aside from just providing secure technology, leaders need to train their employees to apply behavioral best practices when using that technology. When it comes to training, make sure to include remote-work policies and easily referenced FAQs, so they can quickly get help to common questions and make sure that their setting optimize for the highest level of security possible.\nThe future of work requires unprecedented flexibility.\nLogMeIn recently conducted a survey among 2,250 global knowledge workers to get a better understanding about their perceptions around getting work done \u2014 both amid the coronavirus pandemic and in the future of remote work. It\u2019s worth noting that 69% believe their companies have done a good or very good job of preparing them for productive remote work during the recent quarantine.\nHowever, respondents note some challenges in working from home, including:\n\nHousehold distractions (45%)\nPoor team communication\/camaraderie (40%)\nLack of human interaction (37%)\nTechnology restrictions (34%)\n\nIn the world of remote work, employees often juggle unusual \u201coffice\u201d spaces around dining tables and makeshift desks, while keeping an eye on children, aging parents, or pets. Meanwhile, physical isolation from colleagues can create uncertainty, frustrations, and even burnout.\nAs you start shaping a roadmap for the future of work, think about the employee experience. Consider their new physical work environment \u2014 its limitations and benefits \u2014 and try to minimize technology obstructions that reduce productivity. For example, how will the investments you made for their on-premises office environment adapt for a remote workplace?\nAlso, look for ways to support your IT team as they support remote workers. They too will be juggling distractions when working from home. Factor in how remote management and monitoring tools can help, as well as managed services that can serve as a flexible extension of your team.\nCOVID-19 has taught us that although we successfully and suddenly scaled to support an expanded remote workforce, there are still some issues to sort out for the new normal of the distributed workforce. As companies take a fresh look at their business continuity plans in light of the global pandemic, now is the time to shore up technology services to support employees and your IT team. Given the right tools and policies with built-in security and flexibility, knowledge workers can get their jobs done productively and confidently, knowing their IT department stands ready to support them in their shared mission.\n\n\nMark Strassman is the Senior Vice President and General Manager \n\n\nMark Strassman is the Senior Vice President and General Manager for LogMeIn\u2019s Unified Communications & Collaboration business unit overseeing market-leading UCC products GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Jive, Grasshopper and more.