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Networked technologies have made work and learning increasingly mobile and highly flexible. So much so that employees are now choosing work-location flexibility over a higher salary and employers are providing workers with the tools to facilitate this. Cisco IBSG calls this “Smart Work.” Of course, the ability to make flexible working a viable option depends on a number of factors, including availability of good broadband connectivity, employer trust, the nature of the work in which an employee is engaged, and suitable social software and video technologies that enable the employee to remain in a connected (albeit virtual) work environment.

Employees, too, have to develop a new form of self-discipline that involves maintaining a good work-life balance; rather than working longer hours, this entails spending much of their extra time with family, in the community, or furthering their own personal and professional development. Smart Work Centers can reduce the isolation of working from home by providing access to high-speed broadband, telepresence for meetings with work colleagues or clients, and a network of other flexible workers.

A new report from Cisco IBSG analyzes work-life innovation and its impact on the individual. The report illustrates the challenges to achieving a Smart Work lifestyle, as well as the benefits through the experience of a fictional worker, “Jay,” both now and in the future. The report ends by posing a number of questions to help 1) educators consider the learning needs of future generations; 2) employers consider the culture and environment required to make Smart Work a viable option; and 3) employees prepare themselves for a future of Smart Work and work-life innovation.

The full report is available for download at Work-Life Innovation: Impact on the Individual

Further perspectives from Cisco IBSG on public sector and work-life innovation are provided at www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/ps and http://www.cisco.com/go/worklifeinnovation

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