The new scenario of post-pandemic hybrid work was photographed by the first edition of Cisco’s quarterly Hybrid Work Index (HWI) report, which examines how people’s habits and technological interactions have changed the world of work by changing it forever.
Hybrid work is the new normal and this implies a series of changes that companies must face: from the Hybrid Work Index study several aspects emerge that can help companies understand the approach necessary to successfully adopt long-term hybrid work methods.
Getting to the heart of the Hybrid Work Index data, resulting from a survey carried out by an independent company, which hassurveyed over 39,000 people in 34 countries, 64% of people agree that the ability to work remotely directly affects the decision to stay in the company or change jobs. However, there is uncertainty about what employers will do: only 47% think their company will have flexible ways of working in the next 6-12 months. Not only that: flexibility and well-being are essential elements for hybrid work, with the vast majority of respondents agreeing that personal health and well-being, along with flexible ways of working, are non-negotiable.
Hybrid work has resulted in a surge in mobile meetings from 9% before the pandemic to 27% in today’s hybrid world. But if the meetings increase, not everyone “participates” in the same way: there are over 61 million meetings held every month around the world with Cisco Webex but only 48% of the participants take the floor during the meeting. This raises questions about the level of involvement of the participants, the effectiveness of the meetings and the alternative possibilities regarding the modality of participation.
Another confirmation is that on the equation greater flexibility equals greater access to talent:a flexible workplace offers more opportunities to attract talent. 82% of respondents agree that connection is critical for recovery as well as ensuring that everyone can seize job opportunities, access education and health care. A more pervasive connection allows people to work remotely for any company and companies to hire the best talent, even if on the other side of the world. Plus, increase the use of AI-powered features during meetings:
the growth of over 200% in the use of AI capabilities from July to September 2021 indicates the desire of people to improve the level of engagement in meetings. This includes requesting features like noise suppression, machine translation and transcripts, surveys, and gesture recognition – making it easier for people to join the conversation, both virtual and in person.
Finally, it should be noted that the increase in cyber threats underscores the importance of a user-centered security strategy: remote access attempts have grown by 2.4 times. In September alone, the hybrid workforce was targeted by over 100 million email threats per day. This underlines the importance of security infrastructures that provide access only to the appropriate users, keeping them out of reach of cybercriminals.