As a second-generation Cisconian, I grew up watching my dad work from home for the past 20 years. This work-life balance and flexibility, for the longest time, has been part of Cisco’s DNA. We’re the technology that keeps us all connected – the technology that enables us to work from anywhere – and the technology that played a huge role of helping us through 2020 and the many changes we all experienced.
Now, six years into working at Cisco myself in various roles , when 2020 struck – working from home was not a big shift for me. Still, I saw what a struggle it was for my friends who were not used to this way of working, or who were also now educating their children from home simultaneously. It was new territory for so many, and I can tell you, as comfortable as I was working in this way – months later, working only from home even started to wear on me.
I started to notice that my work environment was not the best. In fact, my desk was in my bedroom with an external display, headset, and lamp – see, not ideal. And I knew it was then that it was time to make a few changes so that I could work better, smarter, and utilize my space efficiently.
My first action was to order a Cisco DeskPro. The DeskPro is our videoconferencing system, and this one addition was a huge game changer for me as my experience during meetings became even more realistic. I could stand or walk around the room now and talk to meeting participants as the camera followed me – it felt like we were all in the room together again!
But I didn’t stop there. As Cisco granted 300EUR per employee to improve their home office experience, I added an adjustable desk so that I could sit or stand, a double ring light to help me have ample lighting while on calls, and I got a head set with noise cancellation. This helped tremendously when my girlfriend and I had calls at the same time! As a decorative item that reminds me how far technology has come, I placed an old orange telephone with a dial pad nearby.
These adjustments helped provide a completely new experience for me that also reminded me (once again!) how cool and innovative Cisco technology is. It’s because of this amazing technology, I can feel even more connected to those I work with and the work itself.
Next, I was inspired to share my office improvements with my network – so to LinkedIn I went! As it was also during our annual #WeAreCisco #LoveWhereYouWork contest, I decided to challenge other co-workers (like the Ice Bucket Challenge from years ago) so we could all share our home offices and encourage others to join us in creating productive, motivating spaces. The post took off! And it was refreshing to see how unique each home office was, how the office often told a story that reflected each co-workers’ interests and working styles. This went so much deeper than what our ‘in office’ desks could ever accomplish – these offices were in our homes! They were part of us. They were ‘home sweet office’!
Cisco has always supported employees with flexibility and remote work – our culture, who we are, and our technology thrive in this world and work so wonderfully to keep us all connected. This year has only strengthened my already lifelong belief in Cisco as a company and employer.
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