We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The future of work will be different. In fact, it’s already different than it was just a few years ago, but all signs point toward the fact that work is going to keep changing well into the next couple of decades. Technology companies must step up to the plate to support the future of flexible, hybrid, and remote work scenarios in all kinds of industries.
LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report suggests society is experiencing a watershed moment for company culture. Part of that culture is going to need to be flexibility and an improved work-life balance. Work-life balance was a top priority for the highest percentage of job seekers in LinkedIn’s study when pursuing a new job. As a matter of fact, more job seekers prioritized work-life balance (63%) than compensation and benefits (60%), and if that doesn’t send a strong signal to companies wanting to attract and retain talent during this Great Resignation, then who knows what will.
A Gallup poll from the end of last year listed several reasons U.S. employees prefer various work arrangements, including hybrid and fully remote work models. For those that preferred hybrid work, the top three reasons (each with 48%) were avoiding a commute, better for wellbeing, and the need for flexibility to balance family and other obligations. The LinkedIn report also says people who are satisfied with their organization’s efforts to provide flexibility are more than two and a half times more likely to report being happy with their job situation.
LinkedIn’s data suggests an 83% increase in job posts that mention flexibility since 2019, and posts get 35% more engagements when they mention flexibility. And of the more than 500 C-level executives surveyed for the report, 81% said they are responding by changing their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility. Changing policies is a great start. But companies must do more than lip service. They must provide employees with the tools and the infrastructure they need to succeed and be productive in these evolving work arrangements.
Cisco says the network is the essential driver of productivity in a hybrid world, and as flexibility is becoming essential for more people in more industries, organizations must find ways to quickly scale their digital operations so that they can enable the connections needed for hybrid and remote work models. The company recently introduced new technologies to help businesses rapidly scale networks and digitize operations and support hybrid work. These include Wi-Fi 6E technology that expands capacity to exceed gigabit performance. Cisco says the new Cisco Wi-Fi 6E products are the industry’s first high-end 6E access points that address the most demanding hybrid business environments.
Cisco also announced a Private 5G for the enterprise as a managed service, which offers a simple, intuitive, and secure wireless experience for those businesses making the transition to hybrid work. New Catalyst 9000X switches also deliver the backbone that enables these transitions, providing the speed, bandwidth capacity, and scale needed to support 100G/400G network access. Finally, Cisco introduced Silicon One to its catalyst switching portfolio.
As the technology that enables secure, reliable connectivity from anywhere continues to evolve and become more accessible, more businesses will be able to provide the types of flexibility job seekers have proved they want and need. These businesses will also be able to retain the talent they’ve already got, since post-pandemic employees are also looking to retain the more flexible work models they were forced into at the beginning of 2020 but now consider both normal and beneficial.
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