The rapid rise of the hybrid work model has changed the focus of work from place to people. It has also highlighted the need for digital equity, whereby all individuals and communities require the information technology capacity to participate in society. Our inaugural edition of the Hybrid Work Index looked across people, places, and technology and identified trends that have reshaped work permanently:

  • People choices matter – their concerns and preferences are varied and need to be addressed to retain and grow talent.
    64% agree that the ability to work from anywhere instead of coming into the office directly affects whether they stay or leave a job
  • Place of work can be anywhere – whether in the office, from home, or anywhere else, work is what people do, not where they go. This underlines the importance of having connectivity that supports scalable usage and secure access.
    Faster growth of teleworker vs. office routers – IT perimeter and business class connectivity is expanding to home
  • Technology makes hybrid work possible, but for technology to be a true enabler it must be considered together with people and places consistently for a comprehensive hybrid work model to be achieved.
    200% growth in mobile devices accessing meetings

Equity equals excellent experiences

Most global CIOs and IT Decision makers agree it’s important to empower a distributed workforce with seamless access to applications and high-quality collaborative experiences. But experience isn’t limited to employees. Our research found that 78% agree that experience is the measure of business success in an app-driven world.

And because work is not where you go but what you do, it’s imperative that organizations deliver a great digital experience to people wherever they access applications – whether in the office, from home, or anywhere.

Connecting Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) will also be vital to the evolution of hybrid work in sectors such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

By connecting the things to the people, things to the business and connecting people with the data that’s coming from things like sensors and machines, there is the opportunity for organizations to achieve far greater levels of productivity, operational security, and sustainability.

Environmental initiatives are taking on more significance as organizations evaluate their future workplace and building strategies. They are considering sustainability and building efficiency aspects, and looking to meet environmental, social and governance initiatives to keep employees safe and minimize carbon footprints.

Pivotal point

In a hybrid world where the workplace is anywhere, endpoints could be anything and applications are hosted everywhere, we become more dependent and reliant on the network than ever before. The network is the pivotal point connecting everything to everything and to everyone.

In the latest edition of our Hybrid Work Index, we hone in on emerging networking trends:

  • Acceleration in Wi-Fi6 adoption – organizations are scaling their networks to accommodate hybrid work needs.
    Wi-Fi 6 gains 80% penetration in two years
  • Collaboration applications established as the #1 most monitored application type globally for availability and performance.
    Collaboration applications showed a net increase of 3,652% between January 2020 and October 2021
  • Small branch traffic growth continues to outpace the large – indicating large corporate offices may have begun moving locations to smaller branch offices.
    Small branch traffic shows 2x faster growth than the large branch traffic

To accommodate the increased mobility of employees in a hybrid work model, IT teams will need to deliver enterprise-class connectivity, with unified identity, policy, and security across the entire spectrum of wired and wireless technologies. And as hybrid work continues to accelerate the adoption of cloud services, they will need a network capable of supporting a consistent operational model across multi-cloud infrastructure.

IT teams will also need intelligent platforms to address the greater level of complexity that technology investments made because of the pandemic have brought about. Platforms that make it easier to automate rollouts and updates, to acquire and analyze data in real time to deliver actionable insights, and to achieve end-to-end visibility across their expanded IT environment to assure secure and exceptional digital experiences with the highest performance and resiliency.

Explore the latest trends driving hybrid work: Cisco’s Hybrid Work Index

Register for our webinar to learn how your network can power
hybrid work with no compromise in security, agility, or experience:

The Network. Powering Hybrid Work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET



Shruti Jain

Leader, Project & Program Management

X-Architecture Marketing, Enterprise Networking & Cloud