Inclusive company culture to be key to hybrid success — Cisco

As hybrid working looks set to be planned by UK employers over the coming months, a strong company culture will be the critical component that makes new ways of work sustainable in the long-term, according to Cisco’s Workforce of the Future research.

The report found that while many remote workers in the UK feel empowered and trusted by their managers and teams to do the job at hand, one in six (16%) disagreed that they feel trusted to do their job from home, without extensive oversight.

Just over half of the workforce (52%), meanwhile, agreed that their achievements weren’t recognised while working from home, whereas just 48% disagreed with this notion.

Opportunity for progression proved to be another prominent concern, with 35% of employees agreeing that they’re worried that not sitting near their manager will impact their career goals.

In addition, 84% of employees agree that leaders must communicate more, the longer they are dispersed if they are to be effective, which reveals the importance of communicative leadership for UK employees.

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The right tools and skills for hybrid working

One frequently cited way to ensure successful operations was to put training on technologies and in digital skills in place going forward; excluding those who don’t know, 81% employees consider this to be very or somewhat important.

While 54% agree they have the full technology set-up to work from home, there is still a significant proportion who don’t, and ensuring that staff members are properly equipped for a world of hybrid working will be a key part of this journey, according to Cisco.

In addition, cloud-based collaboration platforms supported by AI and advanced analytics that enable features such as facial detection, transcriptions and translations can play a vital role in bringing dispersed teams together, as well as continuing to drive innovation.

“People choose an employer for many reasons, but they buy in to a company for its culture and its values,” said David Meads, chief executive at Cisco UK & Ireland.

“As we continue to work from home and navigate the challenges and opportunities of shifting to remote and hybrid working, we have to be inclusive, taking everyone on the journey with us.

“We must take extra steps to ensure that everyone feels invested in, and technology will play a vital role in ensuring that dispersed employees and teams feel connected.”

In August 2020, Cisco commissioned Censuswide to survey 10,095 workers who had been working from home for at least 10 consecutive days since the start of lockdown, across 12 countries: the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, the UAE, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.