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Cisco Launches First Global Hybrid Work Index

It was announced today by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) that it had released its first Hybrid Work Index (HWI), which was based on millions of aggregated and anonymized customer datapoints. It will be updated quarterly and will look at how people's habits and interactions with technology have permanently altered the nature of work one year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. According to the findings, hybrid workers demand greater flexibility, accessibility, and security, while businesses struggle to keep up with the demands of a rapidly evolving technology environment.

Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, stated, "We are truly living in a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine work." "All employees, regardless of where they work or how they work, desire a work environment that allows them to perform at their highest levels. It is our responsibility as business leaders to determine the most effective ways to support and enable our employees, regardless of how or where they work."

Millions of Cisco customers around the world benefit from Cisco's unmatched ability to extract insights from a diverse set of tools that enable hybrid work across networks, endpoints, and applications. The HWI's unique insights are derived from this collection of anonymized and aggregated data, which is combined with customer surveys to produce the company's insights. According to the HWI, several key themes emerged, which can assist business leaders in determining the approach that will be necessary for the long-term success of hybrid work. These themes are as follows:

  • Employees want options, and the hybrid workplace provides them with those options: 64 percent of respondents agree that the ability to work from home rather than in an office has a direct impact on their decision whether or not to stay in a job. The question of whether employers will recognize the potential of hybrid work, on the other hand, is still open. Only 47 percent of those surveyed believe their company will allow remote work in lieu of in-office work in the next six to twelve months, according to the survey.
  • As we move toward a hybrid work future, personal health and well-being are critical factors to consider. The overwhelming majority of respondents agree that personal health and wellness, as well as flexible work arrangements, are non-negotiables as we make the transition to a hybrid workplace.
  • As a result of the pandemic, hybrid work has encouraged the growth of on-the-go meetings. Prior to the pandemic, people connected to meetings via mobile devices 9 percent of the time. This percentage increased by threefold in a hybrid work environment, and it is now at 27 percent.
  • The meetings take place frequently; however, not everyone "participates" in the same manner: Every month, Cisco Webex facilitates more than 61 million meetings in over 190 countries. And only 48 percent of those who attend will be expected to speak in any of the sessions. Additionally, 98 percent of meetings include at least one remote participant, highlighting the importance of including and engaging remote participants in order for them to feel on an equal footing with their in-person counterparts.
  • A large majority of survey respondents (82 percent) believe that connectivity is critical for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ensuring that everyone has equal access to jobs, education, and healthcare opportunities. • Hybrid Work enables greater access to diverse talent: A greater ability to connect with others will enable individuals to work for any company anywhere in the world, and businesses will be able to recruit the best talent from anywhere in the world.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a threat to your job; rather, it is essential to the future of work: By September 2021, the use of artificial intelligence capabilities will have increased by over 200 percent, indicating an increased desire for better meeting engagement. There are a variety of tools available, such as noise reduction, automatic translation and transcription, polling, and gesture recognition, all of which make it easier for people to have meaningful conversations, whether online or in person.

Technology Leaders Should Pay Attention to the Most Important Findings

In recent years, home networks have emerged as a critical component of the enterprise network: teleworker devices have increased at a rate twice that of small and medium-sized business routers since the pandemic began.

The increased number of threats highlights the critical importance of user-centric security: During the pandemic, the number of malicious remote access attempts increased by 2.4 times. In September 2021, the hybrid workforce was subjected to more than 100 million daily email threats, an increase from the previous year. That security infrastructures are critical in ensuring that work is accessible to the intended users while remaining out of reach of fraudulent actors is demonstrated by this example.

Businesses consider collaboration apps to be the most important application type for achieving success in hybrid work environments: Collaboration applications are now the most closely monitored application type on the planet. Collaborative apps have surpassed secure access and monitoring of productivity applications, which were more closely monitored during the onset of the pandemic and the shift to working from home, according to the report.

It is more stable for cloud providers to operate than it is for Internet service providers (ISPs) to operate. During the period January 2020 to August 2021, cloud provider networks accounted for only 5% of the total number of outage incidents reported. The remaining 95% of outage incidents occurred on the networks of Internet service providers.

Devices connected to office-based Wi-Fi networks have increased by 61 percent in the last six months, indicating that on-site work is reviving once again. The higher education, professional services, and hospitality industries are the primary drivers of this expansion in the United States.

It is the first report of its kind, and it examines emerging global work trends across people, technology, and business. Cisco's Global Hybrid Work Index is the only report of its kind. There are millions of aggregated and anonymized Customer Data Points in the analysis, which comes from Cisco's collaboration and networking platforms (Webex and Meraki), internet visibility (ThousandEyes) and security platforms (Talos, Duo and Umbrella). An additional source of information is third-party research, which included more than 39,000 respondents from 34 countries, including chief information officers (CIOs), IT decision makers, and employees.

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