Numerous surveys and increasing anecdotal evidence are pointing towards a future where there are increased levels of home working and the world of work will be hybrid.
Cisco has added to the debate about what will happen next, at a time when minds are turning towards unlocking society and the vaccine roll-out continues apace, as it is clear that the world of work is changing.
The vendor’s Workforce of the future research found that once logistics and technology have been addressed, then culture and experience become major considerations.
The pandemic has forced many workers to stay at home and many feel empowered and trusted by their managers, but 16% said they did not feel trusted and just over half felt their achievements had not been recognised while working from home.
The Cisco research also indicated that those working at home are also concerned about career progression and getting recognition from their managers. The answer many identified was better communication from their bosses.
Angela Whitty, managing director, partner organisation UK & Ireland at Cisco, said the research did have implications for the channel because many customers would be looking to them for help.
“Almost overnight, 88% of the world’s organisations shifted to support remote workforces, but as the UK starts to reopen, businesses are now assessing what a return to the office might look like,” said Whitty. “If the last year has taught us anything, it is that we are more adaptable as individuals and organisations than we could have imagined, and that when we need it, technology has an amazing capacity to solve our challenges.
“Now, with 87% of employees in the UK calling for freedom to choose where they work – many looking to work from home and spend time in the office – that same technology will continue to play an essential role in the shape of UK businesses.”
She added: “The IT industry has a key role to play in making this hybrid future a reality. When you consider the infrastructure required, it’s no mean feat to manage and deploy, or to scale to meet the dynamic needs of employees and customers, especially when you consider that our recent research found that while 54% of employees agree they have the full technology set-up to work from home, there is still a significant proportion who don’t.”
Whitty said changes were coming and there was a real role for those with technology expertise to help workers remain connected, both technologically and culturally.
“We believe that people and their individual needs must be at the heart of this new world of work, which was reinforced by our research,” she said. “Once issues of logistics and technology are solved, people care about culture.
“With recognition and opportunities for progression, training and development front of mind for employees, partners have a crucial role to help companies make sure their teams feel connected and empowered – be that with the right infrastructure, or the tools to connect, no matter where they choose to work.”