Cisco sees companies taking on hybrid work to help with potential challenges

Employees want nothing more than hybrid work, according to the Cisco Hybrid Work Index. Organizations will have to agree to it if they do not already do so, says Sander ten Hoedt, Hybrid Work Lead at Cisco.

In May, Cisco announced the latest results from the Hybrid Work Index. The large survey among 28,000 employees worldwide shows very clearly that hybrid work is welcome in almost all segments. According to the study, employees are more productive, happier and healthier, and their work quality also improves. 79% of employees in the Netherlands want schemes to be able to work hybrid. The numbers speak for themselves, says Sander ten Hoedt. “It’s up to organizations to embrace hybrid work. Especially now that it’s hard to find good people.”

Cisco is fully committed to this development. It is significant that Ten Hoedt has ‘Hybrid Work Lead’ on his business card. “Hybrid Work is truly one of our major focal points. Initially, our focus for the last forty years has been on the company’s network portfolio, ”he says. “Activities have been added over the years, thanks in part to acquisitions such as Webex. We are now also a prominent player in security and cooperation. If we combine these three technologies, we can perfectly complement the hybrid work. “

Hybrid Work is divided into Hybrid Workspace and Hybrid Workforce at Cisco. Ten Hoedt: “Hybrid Workspace is about the physical work environment: everything that happens within the four walls of the organization, whether it is a hospital, an educational institution or an office building. We look at what we need to offer as solutions to enable hybrid work somewhere. Hybrid Workforce is about helping the domestic worker and the worker on the road in the best possible way. ”

war against talent
Hybrid work is accelerated due to the corona pandemic. Precisely because of the ‘war on talent’, it is now extra important for organizations to take up hybrid work. “It makes organizations more interesting and also provides an opportunity to hire other people. Talent from abroad, for example. ”

In order to function well in a hybrid, employees first and foremost need a secure connection. “We want to enable employees to work well with as few barriers as possible, no matter where they are. Security must be guaranteed, and applications must always be available, even if the Internet, for example, is down for a while at home. In addition, there is a need for good collaboration solutions that work without problems. ”

In order to function well in a hybrid, employees first and foremost need a secure connection. “We want to enable employees to work well with as few barriers as possible, no matter where they are. Security must be guaranteed, and applications must always be available, even if the Internet, for example, is down for a while at home. In addition, there is a need for good collaboration solutions that work without problems. ”

Challenges
Companies see opportunities, but also struggle with hybrid work, notes Ten Hoedt. “For many organizations, the question is what functional role the building still plays in their primary processes. The work does not only take place in the office, in the school building or in the hospital. Everything can be made scalable. If an office only has an average capacity of 60 percent, use that space more intelligently. As a result, you now have to deal with facility teams that suddenly have to provide a different type of service in and around a building. ”

“Creating a great culture is also very interesting in this,” he continues. “If people come to the office less, there must be an alternative to the conversations at the coffee machine. A person attending a distance meeting should not feel that his input is of less value than those in the office. Facility managers need to think about all of this and become more like hospitality managers. It is also important to bring the IT world and facilities closer together when it comes to designing buildings. ”

But there is another important challenge, perhaps the most important: cybersecurity. “The security footprint is becoming much broader. Data is everywhere and nowhere, and the employee is also everywhere and nowhere. Among other things, you need to look at zero trust and monitor your application performance.” Cisco takes security very seriously. “A big advantage for us is that security is already built into our solutions in advance. We also store much less data from people with Webex than competitors do. It is not without reason that the government is dependent on Webex. It’s because of security. Security is already ingrained in our network environment. “

To help customers with these challenges, Cisco is happy to use good partners. “Some partners can support their customers end-to-end with hybrid work using our technology. We deliver the building blocks, and partners regularly transform them into segment-specific use cases.”

webex
Webex plays an important role in Cisco’s Hybrid Work strategy. This software for, among other things, video conferencing has a number of characteristic factors, explains Ten Hoedt. Thus, it helps to create the good culture he mentioned earlier. “Webex measures employee satisfaction and also allows them to expand their network in the company. During a meeting, it also supports the creation of equal conditions between people who are in the office and employees who are at home or on the go. ” Another strong point of Webex is that you can also use it for your workflow. »We have the widest ecosystem in that area. You can connect applications like Miro or Smartsheet with Webex so you can do it all in one interface. “

He also mentions the hardware in the Cisco portfolio. “We have Webex endpoints in many form factors: for the home, on the road, in the boardrooms and everything in between. Although we are a software organization today, hardware still plays an important supporting role, and working with Cisco endpoints provides additional opportunities. Our portfolio is very broad. We also have solutions for, for example, hot desking to enable flexible interior design of workplaces. ”

staying
It should be clear: Ten Hoedt has no doubt that hybrid work is here to stay. “In sectors with shortages, hybrid work can be a strategic means of delivering solutions. Think remote care or digital health care consultations. Each segment will fill it in its own way. In five or ten years, hybrid work will be the standard, and you will find very few people who want to sit in the office for whole weeks. ”

Author: Johan van Leeuwen

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