Future-proofing the hybrid workplace


Hana says the hybrid working arrangement has improved employee performance in terms of productivity, quality of work as well as job knowledge and skills.

PETALING JAYA: The hybrid working arrangement has positively impacted the workplace, according to the data collected by Cisco in 2021.

Cisco Systems Malaysia managing director, Hana Raja said hybrid work had improved employee performance in terms of productivity, up 55%; quality of work, up 60%; and job knowledge and skills, up 61%.

“The data showed 65% of employees working from home are less likely to leave and look for a new role because of the flexibility in their work.

“Another 44% of employees’ relationships with colleagues had improved due to all the flexibility they have working from home,” Hana said in her opening keynote at the Future-Proof Hybrid Workplace hybrid webinar recently.

Hybrid working arrangement was the new normal and it would be the future and is the reality of today, said Hana.

“This is especially so for small and medium businesses (SMB) if they want to attract talent.

“Cisco data highlighted 74% of employees want a hybrid working arrangement, 22% like to work fully remote, and 5% work fully in the office,” she said, adding that employees could do anything anywhere as it was more and more acceptable norm.

Meanwhile, employers need to think about four things, namely, employee experience to make sure working from home and office are seamless and secure.

This is followed by an inclusive culture where employers have to develop an inclusive and cohesion culture for their organisation owing to employees working at different places.

Besides, employers have to ensure employee well-being is taken care of even when people are working virtually.

“Finally, trust and leadership – this is crucial as employers ought to trust and empower people who work from anywhere.

“The foundation to build this is identifying the right technology to enable collaboration, to enable employees to do work successfully and seamlessly.

“You need to build that trust and culture in your organisation. You cannot turn a switch and go to hybrid work,” she said.

Hybrid working environment does pose challenges in connectivity, security and collaboration, according to Cisco Systems Malaysia product sales specialist Derrick Low.

Low said employees expect a great digital experience from their applications whether they are working in the office, working from home, or anywhere else.

He said Cisco helps organisations increase their agility with hybrid working experiences.

“When every home office is like a branch office, there are more locations and more devices, it means a greater attack surface and hybrid workers are a prime attack vector.

“Poor and inconsistent collaboration experiences hinder active engagement and inclusion, creating misunderstanding and having people feeling left out,” he said.

The Cisco Hybrid Work solution facilitates a new era of work with secure network access, flexible remote access and seamless collaboration.

The solution includes Webex applications and Webex devices for seamless collaboration.

Cisco Meraki is the solution to protect users on the network while Umbrella, Duo and AnyConnect protect users off the network.

“The Cisco Meraki platform is a complete cloud-managed IT portfolio, built on simplicity. It is an automated assurance, Meraki Health that builds a secure bridge to applications.

“Cisco is a proven leader in networking and security that protects 100% of the Fortune 100. It is the number one in cybersecurity market share with US$1bil (RM4.54bil) in cloud-native security investments,” he said.

“Cisco Umbrella offers flexible, cloud-delivered security. It combines multiple security functions into one solution, so you can extend data protection to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere. Umbrella is the easiest way to effectively protect your users everywhere in minutes.

“In a nutshell, Cisco Umbrella’s benefits are blocking malware before it hits the enterprise, it contains malware if already inside the system, and does not require hardware to operate,” he said.

Hana & Derrick together with other subject matter experts from Cisco, Malaysian Employers Federation, Affin Hwang, Experian and Star Media Group powered the Future-Proof Hybrid Workplace hybrid webinar on 21 July, organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Cisco.

Need help in setting up a hybrid work environment?

Visit to Hybrid work for Small Business:

https://www.cisco.com/c/en_my/solutions/small-business/solutions/small-business-hybrid-work.html

Watch the session’s replay at bit.ly/starcisco21july_yt

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