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How to Start Transforming Your Workplace

July 1, 2014 at 9:08 am PST

It’s clear that many of you understand the benefits of creating activity-based work environments. You want to create spaces in which employees can work wherever, whenever, and with whomever they need to in order to deliver results for your customers. You know you can attract the best talent by removing geographical barriers. You want to create environments that foster productivity and innovation. Your business can save on CapEx, space requirements, and energy costs.

So how do you get started with workplace transformation? Is it time to start ripping out cubicle walls and reclaiming conference rooms as team huddle spaces? Not quite.

Workplace transformation is about more than just the physical environment. It’s about how you enable people to work together better, no matter where they are. And the best way to do that is to fully understand the needs of your workforce – both current and future. And to identify how your employees can best support the needs of your customers and your business.

I asked my colleague Hans Hwang, our vice president of Collaboration Advanced Services, how companies can get started. Here’s some of his advice: Read More »

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Work is What You Do (Not Where You Go)

June 5, 2014 at 10:31 am PST

As I wrapped up my monthly forecast call last week, it struck me just how drastically work has changed in the last decade. It was 10 p.m. and I was in my hotel room in Macau, face-to-face with sales team leads in Singapore, the U.K., Switzerland, and the U.S., over video. Ten years ago, mobile phones were just phones, and for many, the office was where you met with co-workers and got your work done.

Today we’re mobile. Our workforce is globally distributed. Deadlines are shorter than ever. We need to make decisions faster. With multiple generations in the workforce, we must accommodate a wide range of behaviors, outlooks, expectations, and work styles. To stay competitive, we need to look beyond commute distance to find the best talent.

I’ve said before that embedding collaboration technology into workplace design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Our activity-based  work spaces must give employees secure, seamless access to the information they need to get their jobs done. But this must also extend beyond the walls of our offices so we can collaborate no matter where we are – at home, at a customer site, inflight at 30,000 feet, or in a hotel room in Macau.

And we’re not the only ones who think so.

  • Almost half of professionals worldwide are already working remotely at least some of the time
  • Globally, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015
  • 61% of employees globally believe they don’t need to be in the office to be productive and efficient
  • 70% of aspiring executives who plan to manage large teams say they will rely more heavily on video in the next 5 to 10 years

Work Is What We Do, Not Where We Go

At Cisco, our own work profile surveys show that among Cisco employees: Read More »

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Collaboration Technology and the Future Workplace

May 5, 2014 at 9:17 am PST

I often get asked by customers and partners what it takes to create an activity-based workplace – one that gets employees out of assigned cubicles and gives them a variety of spaces to use based on what they need to do and who they need to connect with throughout the day.

There’s no doubt that the physical environment in which we work is important. Spaces that are clean, well-lit, and attractive can go a long way towards fostering productivity, positive attitudes, and teamwork. But configuring your physical space is just one part of the overall solution.

Embedding collaboration technology into your space design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Employees need seamless, uninterrupted access to the information they need to get their jobs done. And the tools they use must be as intuitive as their own personal devices.

By “intuitive,” I mean being able to:

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  • Make and receive calls on any device, whether it’s a desk phone, laptop, mobile phone or tablet
  • Access email and corporate intranet anywhere on campus – wirelessly and securely
  • Find people in your organization, check availability, and connect using instant messaging, voice, video, desktop sharing, or conferencing
  • Engage in real-time, face-to-face collaboration and team building sessions – both planned and spontaneous – with colleagues around the globe

These are the ways in which workplace transformation can improve productivity Read More »

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Message to IT: Lead the Charge in Creating the Workplace of the Future

April 14, 2014 at 7:56 am PST

As I visit customers and partners around the world, I see that many of you are excited about the idea of “workplace transformation.” The reason is clear: workplace-related costs are usually among a company’s top three expense items. Optimizing these assets and ensuring that they support the needs of the business is – or should be – a top priority.

collab_cubesWhere we work is becoming more mobile, more flexible, and more collaborative than ever. This has made the traditional cubicle-based workplace – with its overbooked meeting rooms and rows of assigned cubicles sitting empty—obsolete. According to CoreNet Global, around 60% of a company’s desks are vacant at one time because workers are either on the road or in meetings.1 Creating what we call an “activity-based workplace” will help you keep up with evolving work practices, improve employee engagement, and build for the workforce of the future. It will also help you use your physical space more efficiently.

An activity-based workplace unshackles your employees from their desks and gives them a variety of work spaces work_space_2to use based on the activities they need perform at a given time. This could be a typical workstation, an individual quiet room, a small team huddle space, an audio privacy room, a Telepresence room, or an open project area. Whatever the choice, they’ll have seamless access to the tools they need to get their jobs done. Any desk phone becomes “their” phone, and pervasive and secure wireless enables access to the corporate internet, email, calendars, and collaboration solutions such as IM and presence, web, and video conferencing.

Read More »

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