remote work

Return to office. 
Loud quitting. 

The productivity paradox. 
Remote work and its related trends have been hot topics since the start of the pandemic, but the last few months brought a major shift in the conversation. For many knowledge workers, 2023 marked the end of the work life they had become accustomed to, as they left their home offices behind and resumed their in-office routine. 
So, what does 2024 have in store for remote work?  I recently talked about my predictions for remote work on Fast Company.     

Here are three things I shared, on what to expect in the remote work sphere over the coming months. 

#1 Reports of the end of remote work have been highly exaggerated  

Although headlines predicting the end of remote work are gaining momentum, remote work is nowhere near dying out. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Remote work is here to stay. While some companies may be quick to enforce a return to the office, it’s crucial to recognize that people’s craving for independence and flexibility remains unchanged. 

According to a recent survey, 98% of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time. At the same time, our own survey revealed that 84% of Alludo employees reported that their work-life balance has improved since making the transition to remote work, in contrast to the traditional in-office setting. 

I believe that this data isn’t unique to our staff, but that it likely reflects the reality of knowledge workers everywhere. So, for those who think remote work is dead, I have two words: Think again. 

Instead, I foresee 2024 as the year when forward-thinking employers recognize the importance of providing autonomy and remote work opportunities. These factors will continue to play a pivotal role in fostering employee engagement, bolstering retention rates, and attracting top talent. 

#2 Organizations will discover that “Diversity Ditching” takes a misguided, short-term view 

Economic difficulties have led some organizations to reduce their DEI efforts. Additionally, leaders are pushing for a return to the office, which we know undermines diversity within companies. Focusing solely on short-term gains ignores the fact that supporting diversity isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also smart for business. Look at the numbers: Studies show that companies with diverse teams are more profitable. For instance, research by McKinsey found that companies with gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability and that those with ethnically diverse executive teams were 36% more likely to outperform their peers. 

Remote work is a powerful tool to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. It allows people to work from anywhere, regardless of their location, background, or personal circumstances. It also enables people to work in ways that suit their preferences, needs, and strengths, rather than conforming to a rigid and outdated norm.  

We know that remote work is what many people want and need to thrive. When leaders choose to leave remote work behind, they also leave behind a big opportunity to support DEI in their organization. Leaders will have to ask themselves if diversity ditching really is the best thing for their business to be doing. 

#3 Wise leaders will check the remote work data 

It may feel like the debate about remote worker productivity has been put to rest if you scroll through some of the most quoted stats and studies. But, I encourage leaders to take a moment and peek backstage before rushing everyone back to the office and realize that the results they base their decisions on are far from clear. 

For as many reports we see claiming that remote workers are less productive, we see just as many proving that they are in fact more productive and more engaged. So, when it comes to scrutinizing corporate productivity, wise leaders will take the time to understand the actual (and possibly unfavorable) impact that enforcing a return-to-office policy could bring to their team and organization. 
At Alludo, we have seen firsthand how remote work boosts productivity and employee experience. We will continue to rely on data and evidence, rather than anecdotes and assumptions, to guide our decisions. Read more about our remote work survey and how it demonstrates why we are committed to remain remote-first in 2024 and beyond. 

Read the full version of my article on Fast Company

We are excited to unveil the Parallels DaaS Solution, a game-changing Desktop-as-a-Service offering that’s reshaping the way small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and managed service providers (MSPs) leverage cloud computing. Find out how you can get started today.

What is Parallels DaaS?

Imagine deploying apps and desktops in less than 10 minutes. Yes, Parallels DaaS makes this possible. Designed to simplify the adoption of a cloud-first approach, our DaaS solution ensures seamless delivery of apps and desktops to remote and hybrid workforces. And the best part? It’s incredibly user-friendly, requiring no specialized IT skills.

Not an IT guru? Not a problem!

One of the coolest things about the Parallels DaaS solution (apart from its speedy setup) is that you don’t need to be an IT wizard to manage it. Our own Chief Technology and Product Officer Prashant Ketkar, put it perfectly when he said that Parallels DaaS transforms complex and costly IT setups into a smooth sailing experience.

A spectrum of solutions

Our extensive portfolio, featuring Parallels DaaS, Parallels RAS, and Parallels Desktop, features a variety of solutions that cater to all your organizational needs. Whether you’re looking to deliver applications from the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid manner, our solutions are designed to meet every requirement.

The rising demand for DaaS solutions

A significant trend in the IT industry is the shift towards DaaS solutions. Studies show that 78% of IT professionals are considering adopting a DaaS solution like Parallels DaaS by 2025. In today’s talent-scarce market, Parallels DaaS Solution stands out as a straightforward, scalable, and economical option.

Key benefits of Parallels DaaS solution

Here are some of the key Parallels DaaS features for SMBs:

  • Quick onboarding: Set up in under 20 minutes. Yes, you read that right.
  • Deploy apps in a flash: In less than 10 minutes, you can have a new app up and running.
  • Immediate access: Users can access apps or desktops in less than a minute – as quickly as checking an email!
  • Cost-effective: Enjoy a competitive total cost of ownership with a predictable subscription-based model.
  • Top-notch security: With its cloud-native architecture, your data stays where it should – with you.
  • Scale with ease: Adjust your desktop deployments swiftly to match your ever-changing needs.

Want to learn more?

Read our press release for the full story about our Parallels DaaS launch.  Or visit our website for additional information about its features and how you can start reaping the benefits of this new DaaS solution. 

In the municipality of Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar in Barcelona, the local government faced a significant challenge during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for effective remote work solutions became crucial to maintain uninterrupted municipal services. Read how Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar navigated these uncharted waters by adopting Parallels Secure Workspace. 

The issue 

Prior to 2020, Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar had no remote work infrastructure. The pandemic triggered the need for a remote work solution to ensure continuity in essential services like employee payments, provider interactions, and urgent reporting. Initially, limited remote access through VPN and firewall protection was set up for key roles, but this was a stopgap measure, lacking in licenses and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for enhanced security. With 170-180 employees, Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar needed to implement a simple, secure, and affordable remote work solution.   

After evaluating various remote work solutions, Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar’s leadership team was introduced to Parallels Secure Workspace. They were impressed with its speedy installation and cost-effectiveness. Mendoza Hugas, the head of IT, emphasized the rarity of finding secure remote access solutions. After extensive testing and a successful pilot with a small group, they found that Parallels Secure Workspace met all their stringent requirements. 

The solution 

The primary focus for Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar was implementing a remote work solution that offered data security and a swift implementation. Parallels Secure Workspace was an ideal solution, with its MFA capability and minimal infrastructure demands. The IT department quickly deployed it across all departments, enabling secure and efficient remote work. 

Key benefits realized  

  1. Remote work: Employees can now remotely and securely access the desktops and resources they need to manage city business. 
  1. Security: With MFA enabled, the Ajuntament de Malgrat del Mar city council and employees can access the files and data they need from anywhere, safely and securely. 
  1. Simplicity: Users can easily log on and access their entire desktop via the browser; implementation time and effort for IT admins was equally minimal. 
  1. Time/cost savings: Not only does Parallels Secure Workspace not require multiple licenses or expensive hardware, but it also saves the IT team significant time. 

The adoption of Parallels Secure Workspace as a remote work solution enabled councilors, directors, and the mayor to continue their work outside office hours securely and effortlessly. Moreover, it revolutionized the IT department’s approach to support, allowing most issues to be resolved remotely, enhancing efficiency and reducing the need for in-person interventions. 

Read the complete case study or trial Parallels Secure Workspacetoday at your organization. 

The tech industry will continue to undergo major transformations next year, driven by the evolving needs of the digital landscape. Let’s explore the top predictions for our 2024 tech forecast:

1. Embracing the new normal in IT: Remote work & security

First off, the remote work trend isn’t just a phase – it’s here to stay, and it’s reshaping the responsibilities of IT administrators. In 2024, expect to see IT admins focusing even more on keeping things secure and compliant, especially with the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and contractor access. We’re moving past the era of traditional VPNs and web gateways; it’s all about innovative solutions for our diverse, remote, and hybrid work environments. And guess what? The Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is now more crucial than ever.

2. Cloud meets AI: A match made in tech heaven

In 2024, the combination of cloud computing and AI will revolutionize how quickly we can develop and launch SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. Productivity gains for developers are through the roof with some seeing more than 50% gains. It means more innovative, efficient software solutions on the horizon. Plus, for those already in the cloud, adopting and using GenAI models will equate to faster time to value.

3. Budgets in IT: A balancing act

IT budgets are constantly evolving. While total spending might not see a huge shift, where the money goes is changing. Think more focus on security, managing endpoints, and securing applications. It’s all about smart spending in 2024 with FinOps being a crucial tool for the IT.

4. The rise of hybrid cloud

The hybrid cloud isn’t just for the big players or regulated industries anymore. In 2024, it’s going mainstream, with more organizations blending on-premises investments with cloud services. This flexible approach is gaining traction. According to the recent 2023 Hybrid Cloud Survey, two-thirds of respondents, 64%, have already implemented a hybrid approach, and 38% of all respondents intend to enhance their adoption of the hybrid cloud within the upcoming year. GenAI is only going to accelerate cloud adoption, and legacy workloads will need the ability to work with these new workloads in the cloud.

5. When vendors change, cloud adoption grows

Vendor decisions have a strong influence on IT strategies.  For example, as vendors like Citrix and VMware evolve through mergers and acquisitions or leave a customer segment, many businesses lean toward a cloud-first strategy. This shift is becoming a significant driver for cloud adoption. This also becomes a time to consolidate vendors. 

6. Legacy apps: The ongoing challenge

Despite rapid cloud adoption, many companies are sticking with on-premises infrastructure due to compatibility issues with legacy apps. According to a recent survey by Parallels, 49% of IT professionals affirmed the ongoing need to support legacy Windows and Linux applications beyond five years. Expect legacy app challenges to be a hot topic well beyond 2024.

7. Safeguarding against browser-borne threats with zero-trust alternatives

With more apps moving to a SaaS model delivered from the cloud, protecting against cyberattacks like malware and phishing originating from browsers will be a priority for IT organizations. Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) is becoming a go-to solution to help neutralize online threats and stave off exposure to malware and other cyberthreats in a zero-trust stack. RBI works by containerizing and isolating individual applications and cloud-hosted environments, to ultimately prevent data leaks from the organization.

8. Generative AI: Shaping our digital world

Generative AI is making waves, from content creation to design and beyond. With cheaper and more accessible APIs, we can expect a lower barrier to the adoption of Large Language Models (LLMs) for a variety of use cases from marketing, sales, data analytics, software development, customer support, and cybersecurity. 

9.Bottom-up tech spending: A new trend

Even with tight top-down budgets, employees and teams are investing in tech tools they find valuable. This bottom-up spending trend signifies a shift in technology adoption within organizations, despite the economic conditions.

10. Looking forward to predictable growth in 2024

Finally, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of predictability in tech. We’re expecting growth in end-user computing device shipments, with a spotlight on Macs in the enterprise world. It’s a welcome change from the uncertainties of recent years.

    In conclusion, our 2024 tech forecast predicts that remote work, AI evolution, and cloud strategies will be key drivers to IT success. It’s all about being adaptable and seizing new opportunities in this ever-changing tech landscape. Stay tuned, stay adaptable, and let’s make the most of these exciting times!

    Two years after the start of the pandemic, the shift to remote work seemed to be a done deal for many workers. Early results were positive, people reported more happiness at work, more productivity, and experienced a better work-life balance. Leaders seemed to be on board. However, in the last few months, there’s been a confusing shift.  

    Many high-profile leaders are pushing for a return to the office, citing reasons such as productivity and culture. They argue that remote work is not sustainable in the long term. But a big part of the workforce disagrees with them. They have expressed their resistance to giving up the flexibility that remote work offers. Flexibility that’s given them a taste of life without long commutes, dress codes and cubicles. Flexibility that’s proven to support diversity in your business and is creating better workplaces for women. Why wouldn’t you want to support an environment that’s proven to make your employees more productive and engaged? 

    As a rising number of organizations are imposing return to office policies, employees are threatening to resign rather than comply, while others have been fired for their refusal. There is a clash between many leaders’ idea of what work should entail – command and control – and what employees desire and frankly, how they perform best. 

    So, as a company that has made it our mission to empower the remote workforce and now permanently offer a remote-first environment for our employees, we wanted to explore what’s behind this move and find out what this shift has meant to the experts – our teammates. We conducted an Alludo internal survey in October 2023. And here’s what our people said: 

    Our employees’ work-life balance thrives with remote work 

    As many leaders are pushing for a return to the office, they’re overlooking that offices are not necessarily the key to better workplaces. For many knowledge workers, remote work supports a better work-life balance, which contributes to a healthy culture and better job performance. 

    One of the standout findings from our survey is the overwhelmingly positive impact of remote work on our employees’ work-life balance. 84% of Alludo employees reported that their work-life balance has improved since making the transition to remote work, in contrast to the traditional in-office setting. When we break down the data, we find that female employees (85%) and non-managers (86%) experienced an even higher level of improvement. 

    Remote work not only enables our employees to work where they feel most inspired and productive, but it also allows them to make their job fit into their life – not the other way around. They can adjust their schedule to fit their personal and family needs, as well as their peak productivity hours. They can also pursue their hobbies, interests, and passions, without compromising their professional performance.  

    Increased productivity: What should be the new normal for knowledge workers 

    Not only do our staff see improvements in their work-life balance but an impressive 79% report boosts in productivity since transitioning to remote work, 19% said their productivity remained the same, and only 2% said they experienced a decline in productivity. Even more simply put, 98% of our teammates said remote work made them just as or more productive than before! 

    It is our belief that this data likely reflects the reality of knowledge workers everywhere, not just at Alludo. Flexibility positively affects outcomes and success for both employees and companies as a whole. And one way of enabling flexibility is by empowering knowledge workers to work remotely, freeing them from the constraints of traditional office hours. 

    Our team consists of diverse workers. Some are night owls, some are early birds, and some are neither! We believe in embracing these differences and empowering our employees to work at their peak performance during their preferred hours, rather than trying to fit them all into one and the same box. Remote work is the catalyst enabling that. 

    The data speaks for itself: Alludo’s remote-first approach is working 

    We are firmly committed to true flexibility at work and remain remote-first and the data backs us up. Our latest Alludo employee survey findings tell us that remote work is a positive and beneficial experience for our staff and offers productivity boosts for the majority of our people, contributing to our success as a company. 

    Interested in working at Alludo? Discover how you can join us.  

    Transforming your organization is a journey, not a destination. The idea of transformation is ambitious and looks pretty exciting on paper.  

    You might have all the numbers in place. And yet, all that work will be for nothing if you neglect one fundamental element: your corporate culture. I recently talked about what it means to create a culture of transformation on Fast Company  

    Transforming Alludo  

    Over the past year, we have undergone a monumental transformation. We made a strategic acquisition and embraced a remote-first working environment. While we still have our legacy and more than 35 years of history, we became Alludo with a whole new name, visual identity and brand voice. 

    While I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved, I also acknowledge that transformation inherently involves growing pains. It’s uncomfortable yet absolutely essential to drive the business forward. 

    Culture is the linchpin for fostering corporate transformation. Let’s talk about how to get it right.   

    The importance of culture  

    I often say that “culture is what happens when you’re not in the room.” Authentic company culture can’t be micromanaged and forced into existence. It must represent the company’s objectives while infusing the core elements of the people working toward those objectives.  

    As a leader, you won’t always be in the room. Your team needs to deeply understand and align with your culture. It needs to be in their DNA. They need to feel it through every interaction and decision—and live it when you’re not there.  

    How do you make this happen? In short, reward what you value—and keep doing that, over and over.  

    Ready to develop a culture of transformation? Here are five tips to get started:  

    1. Create a safe space for questions 

    I believe in creating a safe space for difficult questions. Anonymity is one of the most powerful tools you have to get at the root of what is really going on and bubbling up in your organization.    

    Transitions are going to elicit uncertainty, and people should be able to get information without fear of repercussions. At our company, anonymous questions can be asked and answered at our Town Hall meetings. Any question is fair game, as long as it’s asked with respect and sincerity.  

    We welcome anonymous questions, no matter how challenging. But it’s good to note that anonymous doesn’t mean it’s open season for snarkiness. With the expectation that questions and feedback should be constructive, you can create more time and space for authentic conversations and transparency.  

    2. Create feedback loops so the best ideas can surface   

    I’m a big believer in Kim Scott’s Radical Candor framework. It involves soliciting and delivering clear, direct and honest feedback—but delivering that feedback with care and empathy. The onus is on leaders to initiate this cultural shift.   

    You need to start asking people for feedback and be willing to take the response. Kim recommends that leaders have a go-to question or line to initiate this feedback.   

    Mine is “Please disagree with me. Tell me what I’m missing here.”   

    3. Make it safe to fail   

    True transformation can’t happen if everyone is too scared to challenge the status quo. As a leader, it’s your job to establish guardrails, and then encourage people to take risks within them. Critically, you must not only encourage risk-taking but reward it—even, and perhaps especially—if that calculated risk results in a failure. Lead by example.  

    What you reward is one of the most powerful levers you can pull.   

    4.  Embrace flexibility   

    Focus on outcomes instead of inputs, and this means resisting the urge to micromanage where, when, or how people do their work.   

    Flexibility doesn’t mean lowering your standards; rather, it allows you to keep your standards sky-high and challenge people to optimize their workflow to get there.  

    A flexible workplace helps narrow the gap between what employees want in terms of a workplace structure and what many employers are willing to offer. It’s also a notable advantage for attracting and retaining talent.   

    5. Consider investing in data   

    You can’t develop a culture of transformation if you don’t know where you’ve been, where you are or where you’re going. That knowledge stems from data. During a transformation, consider the role data can play. 

    It’s important to be as transparent about that data as is safe and feasible. It’s entirely possible to be both people-first and data-driven. Leveraging data, and making that data transparent, helps people feel comfortable knowing that they’re putting their transformation efforts in the right place.   

    This, however, can feel like a battle at first. You’re paying dividends with no immediate return. The payoff comes over time as you gather enough data that raw information turns into intelligence. Just like you can’t have good decision-making without data; if your culture isn’t solid, your transformation may be rocky. 

    When all these elements are in place, transformation carries your culture forward and reinvigorates it rather than dismantling it. Given the current macro environment, leaders can’t wait to adapt and transform. It may not be easy, but it’s worth it. 

    Read the full version of my article on Fast Company

    To get to his office, Chris Pierce used to have to sit in traffic for an hour or two, each way, five days per week. The Global Director of Product Marketing at Alludo says, “I can’t imagine that what commute cost the environment, let alone my wallet. No more.

    Chris is one of the many people benefiting from Alludo’s permanent shift to a remote-first workplace. While other large companies have slid backward from a remote workplace into working back in the office, Alludo is holding firm—and being vocal about the many, many upsides.

    Alludo gives employees the choice to work from one of our offices—because we’re all about doing what works best for you—but 95% of our employees have chosen to work remotely. This has made a huge impact on our ability to recruit, hire, and retain amazing people from all over the globe—people who otherwise would have been too far away from one of our offices to work for us.

    The relatively low level of people in our offices mean that we can be very lean with our energy output at those offices. If we were accommodating our entire workforce in-office, we’d be expending exponential amounts of greenhouse gas emissions via the energy it would take to light, heat, cool, and manage waste from these spaces.

    When we do consider a meeting or event, we first evaluate whether it can be held virtually. We only travel when it’s truly warranted, and in those cases, we encourage employees to utilize public transit.

    And, as Chris’s experience emphasizes, we’ve removed hundreds of cars from the roads every single weekday. “Instead of once per week, I maybe have to fill my gas tank once per month now,” says PR manager Ashley Ruess.

    Our remote-first workplace policy saves our employees money and dramatically reduces our collective carbon footprint. Meanwhile, we’re giving people something back, too: time. No commute means more time with family, more time to pursue hobbies, and more time to spend in the natural environment that we’re working so hard to preserve.

    According to research, “If everybody able to work from home worldwide did so for one day a week, then global emissions could fall by 24 million metric tonnes of CO2 a year.” We’re multiplying that times five days per week.

    “I’m proud to work for a company that cares about both its employees and the environment,” said Iryna Wigley, VP of Global HR. “It’s a big deal to be able to eliminate commutes and unnecessary travel.”

    With a major brand relaunch and employee campaign taking place in the middle of this permanent shift to a remote-first workplace, we’ve proven that we can stay connected without the carbon footprint. We’re now empowering other companies to embrace the same freedom and flexibility at work that we enjoy at Alludo, offering tools that allow employees to be engaged and productive in remote work environments. We’re honored to be part of the solution, amplifying the impact of our own choices to help companies around the world lower their environmental impact.

    Learn more about our comprehensive ESG goals and aspirations.