For a long time, sustainable business practices were considered a zero-sum game. A company could do its part to help the environment, but only at a significant cost to the business. But that kind of thinking left out an essential factor: the people that make up the business.

A new generation is stepping up to take its place in the workforce, and they expect more from their employers. A recent survey of UK workers found that 83% thought their employer was not doing enough to address climate change and sustainability. And 65% said they would be more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies.

These workers are not only more environmentally aware, but they expect a more flexible, inclusive experience at work. The global pandemic brought hybrid work to the forefront, making it a key consideration for workers. According to the Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study, 62% of employees surveyed said that the ability to work from anywhere affected whether they stayed or left a job. What’s more important—sustainability or the employee experience? With Cisco Hybrid Work solutions, you get both. Applying a sustainability-first strategy to every workspace to improve the employee experience. All while saving money and meeting corporate social responsibility needs.

Space is the place.

Wherever you are in your hybrid journey, space plays a key role. The workspace is where you nurture the corporate culture, develop people, and build the human connections that drive innovation and retention. Optimizing its use not only drives cost savings but improves productivity.

The Cisco Hybrid Work—Work from Office solution is uniquely suited to create an exceptional user experience that supports both wellness and employee engagement while helping offices be more sustainable.

We’re seeing it in action in our offices at PENN1 Plaza in New York. Our offices were fully retrofitted this year to be smarter, more energy efficient, and hybrid-work ready.

Sustainability is deep in the DNA of our new office space. It not only brings together multiple building control systems like HVAC, alarms, and security, all on one intelligent network, but lighting and desks are powered with a DC microgrid from our Catalyst switches. This infrastructure converges IT, OT, DC power, and IoT on a next-generation PoE architecture.

The office space is packed with sensors that offer real-time insights into every workspace to manage and measure occupancy and energy usage. Instead of running in an “always on” mode, PENN1 can track who’s working and where and intelligently adjust services to keep everything running as efficiently as possible.

For example, in common areas like meeting rooms, automated blinds can adjust the lighting based on the number of people in the room and the availability of natural daylight. If the room is unoccupied, the space goes into standby/hibernate mode, shutting down lights if they’re not needed. And on evenings or weekends, the building shuts off most functions and goes into an energy-conservation state. Together, these smart features reduce energy and operating costs by 45%.

But what’s impressive is how these smart building features build on and enhance the workspace experience. Walk into a darkened standby room, and it senses your presence and lights up, ready for work.

A Webex Desk Pro makes it easy for anyone to meet from their desktop or a shared space. You can wirelessly pair or dock your laptop and join or start a meeting with one button to push. Then work together, co-create, and annotate on an interactive, 4k touch screen.

You can balance experiences and sustainability.

At Cisco, we’re committed to powering an inclusive future for all through hybrid work, the design of the space, and video equity so that people can participate equally, whether in the office or a thousand miles away. And sustainability is a big part of how we make it happen.


Learn more about how you can offer the sustainability

and experience your people demand. Explore our

PENN1 office VR experience and Hybrid Work Office solutions


Steven Heinsius

Software Specialist, Public Speaker, CCSI (Cisco Certified Systems Instructor)

Software Specialists Team for Europe