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HOW WELL DOES TELEWORKING TRANSLATE?

Teleworking in emerging markets is on the increase. It’s helping businesses across Emerging countries to work and collaborate effectively, and be more productive wherever they are located.

In South Africa, 85% of companies offer flexible working*, which is a much higher proportion than some European countries. The next generation of workers in the Middle-East and Africa are expecting to have the option to work at home. In fact, only 9% think they’ll be in the office full time*, which suggests the days of a fixed workplace and 9-to-5 working are over.

At Cisco, we’re committed to offering choice to our workforce. We think this is fundamental to a positive and engaging employee experience. Teleworking here is encouraged and let me offer you a personal story from this week.

We had an Emerging Theatre ‘All Hands’ hosted by my boss and myself via WebEx. Let’s consider the numbers: we set this up giving our teams just 10 days’ notice; and we brought together over 500 of our colleagues from their desktops, workplaces and home offices to educate and inspire them using video collaboration: presentations, webcam and a Q&A via chat, text, email and audio.  This was one of the largest assemblies of our team this year and it took place across 12 timezones for 90 minutes.

Those numbers are quite staggering, even more so when you begin to consider the wider benefits: minimal disruption, maximum attendance, no additional travel arrangements, venues, (catering, flights, taxis, or hotels) and the bonus for employees is minimal impact on their private lives. The value for us is not merely in having the capability and flexibility to host this kind of event but also the level of participation and commitment from our teams.

What employees need – as well as choice -- is sensitivity to their circumstances and flexible workspaces that match their needs. For companies, not only does finding the right solution help to maintain productivity levels, it can also motivate existing staff and help you attract talent from the next generation who expect teleworking to be an option throughout their careers.

On a daily basis the power of our teleworking is bringing our talented people from across the whole of Emerging closer together at Cisco and the effects of teleworking on our productivity at work and our quality of life cannot be underestimated. We look forward to seeing you on a screen near us soon!

*Regus, 2011, global research report based on responses from 17,000 businesses across 80 countries

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20 Years Teleworking: $291,200 Savings and 435,200 Pounds of Pollutants Spared

Cisco, in partnership with Mobile Work Exchange, is eager to kick off the third-annual Telework Week from March 4-8. Telework Week 2013 is a global effort to encourage agencies, organizations, and individuals to pledge to telework anytime during this week. I plan not only to pledge to telework that week, but also to continue in my career of teleworking.

I have worked for companies based in San Jose, Tucson, Phoenix, Washington DC, Boston, and now San Jose again… all without leaving my beautiful home state of Ohio.  I adopted telework in 1993 and as Telework Week 2013 approaches, I wanted to share my story about my years as a teleworker. Let me start by saying I would not change a thing.

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Telework Pros and Cons… But Are They Really Cons?

Do I miss having lunch with my colleagues? Sure. However, my dogs are pretty good companions because they never complain. Plus, the food in my kitchen is a lot better than any cafeteria food. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve missed being able to celebrate the milestones taking place in my colleagues’ lives in person, but I’ve made sure they always get a baby gift or a wedding gift.

What I don’t miss is the daily commute. Driving in rush-hour traffic or in snowstorms aren’t especially fun or productive and through telework, I’ve been able to get to work on-time every day. Also, my checkbook likes my lower insurance rates. On top of all of that, I am able to work in pajamas or sweat pants if I feel like it. For big projects that require more focus and concentration, I appreciate not having people dropping by to chat about their weekend.

Sometimes, people tell me I have it so easy working from home, being that I can come and go as I please. However, any teleworker will tell you it just doesn’t work unless you have regular office hours. My schedule still fills up with meetings just like my colleagues’ working from an office. What many people don’t know though is that it seems a lot harder to end the work day when your office is just a few steps or clicks away. Read More »

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Cisco’s 2012 Education Retrospective

December 18, 2012 at 7:48 am PST

AM71308At the beginning of 2012, we saw three major trends emerging in the education space, but we had no idea that they would all be converging: Flipped Learning, BYOD, and Shared Collaborative Platforms.

This time last year, I was sitting at an old, high-top biology lab table with my son’s AP Biology teacher, asking him to explain this whole “Flipped Classroom” thing and why his classes’ AP bio scores were so high.  Lo and behold, Flipped Learning became the mantra of the year.

Sal Khan and the Khan Academy became the best-known content-feeder into this phenomenon, and I started voraciously consuming his videos on pre-calculus, statistics, and world history.   So did teachers and students as they turned to Khan as a source of pre-packaged lectures, new flipped learning models, and emerging information on different assessment measurements.  Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann even wrote a book about it, The Short History of Flipped Learning, and they joined us as guest speakers at the 2012 ISTE show.

Read More »

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Re-Imagining Collaboration

December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am PST

Mary Meeker’s “2012 Internet Trends Report put just about every industry on alert: her persuasive argument urged leaders to re-imagine nearly everything about their businesses in no uncertain terms--from advertising, to mobile to media consumption.” – Forbes, August

When Mary Meeker speaks, people listen. When she releases her annual report, people really listen. Count me on that list. Meeker, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recently released the updated version of her report. In it she covers the high points on the trend front, including:

  • The dominance of Windows in the operating system world is diminishing (covered in a previous post)
  • The number of people using the internet now includes 34% of the global population.
  • Worldwide smartphone subscriptions of 42% promises to increase penetration beyond its current 17% of the mobile market.
  • Global shipments of Android phones have grown nearly six times as fast as iPhones since their respective launches.
  • 29% of adults in the United States own tablets or e-readers compared to 2% in mid-2009.
  • Global mobile data traffic is increasing while fixed network traffic is decreasing.

I have a good left-brain, right-brain thing going. I like graphs, charts, and data. But I also like to look at how trends translate into what we do and how we do it. Meeker calls it a “re-imagination of nearly everything.” Essentially, devices, connectivity, and user experience are creating change in how we do – well — nearly everything.

Meeker quotes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on a similar angle: Read More »

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NBA Gets a Slam Dunk with Cisco TelePresence

Telepresence is travelling outside of the boardroom and onto the basketball court—not only changing how the NBA conducts business, but also how its fans consume sports information.

Similar to the transformation happening in the workplace, the rise of mobile devices and online access is changing how we experience and interact with sporting events. Attuned to these changes, the NBA is committed to collaboration technologies--like Cisco TelePresence and WebEx--to enable new forms of effectiveness and innovation, while positively transforming the fan experience. And they are making an impact; NBA TV had its highest viewership ever during the 2011-12 season, and NBA.com and its team sites already have more than 140 million video streams this season.

How’d they do it? By providing fans with the best experience possible and creating compelling content. Each week, NBA TV communicates with sports analysts, journalists, experts, and players via telepresence, allowing them to bring fans the latest news and updates from around the league. These video interviews are then loaded to NBA.com for fans to view on demand. Read More »

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