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Azure Virtual Desktop and the hybrid workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a fundamental change in the way we work, not just where, but when and how.

Remote work and digital workspaces have kept businesses running and people employed, but as the world begins to reopen, not everyone is keen to go back to how things were before.

Almost 75% of Australians want to continue working from home and the office, and only 10% of employees are keen to go back to five days a week in the office.

Businesses have a unique opportunity to rethink how work can be done, to the benefit of both employers and employees. With a shift towards embracing the hybrid workplace as a more permanent solution, employers are searching for technology to support the hybrid work environment.

What is a hybrid workplace?

We’re familiar with the concept of remote working – employees doing their normal work requirements outside the office environment, whether this is at home, a café, or co-working space.

During the pandemic, many businesses were able to continue running with employees working from home, often using virtual desktops to stay seamlessly connected.

A hybrid workplace is a model of business that combines both office and remote work. It may look different depending on the type of industry, but usually means employees will have the ability to work both onsite or remotely.

The way this is structured will vary greatly, but some businesses may require employees to spend a percentage of time in the office, or only for specific reasons, such as meetings.

Hybrid workplaces will allow employees to structure work around their lives, rather than fitting their lives around fixed hours in the office.

The benefits of hybrid workplaces are:

  • Encourages better work-life balance for employees
  • Increases employee output and productivity
  • Reduces time commuting from home to office
  • Reduces expenditure on office rental, physical technology, and maintenance costs
  • Ability to hire from a wider talent pool if prospective employees aren’t limited to specific areas

The benefits of a hybrid workplace are many, for businesses and their employees. But it’s essential that organisations take the time to strategically plan how to accommodate flexible working arrangements, and if they have the technology in place to make hybrid workplaces a reality.

Let’s take a look at what is an essential part of the hybrid workplace – Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).

What is a virtual desktop?

A virtual desktop environment is comprised of full desktops that run on remote servers or in the cloud. This allows employees to access work applications and data wherever they are, on any device.

AVD uses a combination of hardware, software and cloud services to provide a virtualized computing platform. It is designed to provide the same experience as a Windows PC or laptop on any device at any location. You can access your apps, files, and settings from anywhere, on any device.

AVD is easy to install and configure and then scale as needed. Like all Microsoft Cloud Services, AVD is flexible and can adjust to business needs.

AVD is an easy way to give employees secure access to information and applications needed to maintain business continuity, whether they’re working in the office today, and from home for the rest of the week.

Virtual desktops go beyond the physical desktop and allow businesses to work from anywhere at any time, on any device.

woman in glasses is playing a video game

Benefits of AVD

In the past, virtual desktop solutions have been complex and expensive, making it challenging for organisations to set up and then manage. Generally, a larger server infrastructure was needed to run a virtual desktop and many businesses didn’t have enough resources to manage them in-house. Because AVD uses the cloud, this has improved the ease and affordability of virtual desktops.

What makes AVD the right choice?

It’s simple to deploy, configure, support, and manage. The AVD Portal lets you deploy and manage virtual desktops, assign users, and enable security with a few clicks. Staff can work remotely, when on business trips, or in the office, and have the same user experience, regardless of where they are.

Businesses only pay for virtual services when their virtual desktops are on. There’s much less infrastructure needed to run and manage a remote workforce as well.

AVD is easy to scale up or down as your business needs change, increasing or decreasing the number of virtual desktops needed. Flexibility is built in, as AVD allows business to choose if employees have the entire desktop experience, or access to specific virtual apps. AVD also offers Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

Hardware used to be a business’ most valuable IT asset, but now it’s data and applications. Hybrid workplaces need to be secure, whether employees are full time, part time, or contractors, using personal or office computers to connect to their virtual desktop. AVD security features include Sentinel, Azure Security Center and Microsoft Defender ATP and multi factor authentication log in.

Talk to Linktech Australia’s Azure Consultants to find out more about the limitless benefits of AVD.