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9 steps to a successful hybrid workplace

Our research with Cisco reveals cloud collaboration is at the heart of a successful hybrid working strategy.

Hybrid working today

Our research, commissioned in collaboration with Cisco, reveals key insights about the current state of hybrid working:


Hybrid working is now the most prized benefit an enterprise can offer

39% employees value flexible working options above bonuses (34%), technology (32%) and health insurance (28%).


Most hybrid working arrangements are still informal

47% of organisations have yet to formulate flexible working policies.


Many believe hybrid working boosts productivity

75% say colleagues are more productive using collaboration tools than attending face-to-face meetings and 95% feel more productive working from home.


Employee retention is a priority

83% agree the organisation will have to work hard to retain the best employees.

The role of the cloud in collaboration technologies for hybrid working

Hybrid working strategies are still evolving, but success will depend on supporting people using multiple platforms to provide the experiences and connections they need.

Long-term cloud strategies

Our research revealed that organisations are looking to get the most from cloud technology in the coming years in order to support their new and evolving ways of working:


recognise cloud flexibility would be useful in supporting their business needs


of organisations will improve their internal workplace wi-fi in the next two years


will invest in better cloud-based technology for remote and homeworkers


will be moving their voice solution to a cloud-based service.

Organisations prioritise security alongside experience

As well as providing an excellent end-user experience, today’s organisations are also looking for collaboration tools and apps that keep their data safe.

Our research revealed that 86% of IT executives responsible for selecting technology agree that data security has become a more important priority in the last two years.

Concerns about shadow IT and its impact on security are top of mind within a hybrid working environment, as is the need to meet international data protection standards as global working practices evolve.

Expectations of collaboration tools and apps continue to rise

We found that leading global organisations are now increasingly centring their collaboration strategy on the person at the end of the technologies, looking at how people like to work and what they want to be able to do.

To support their efforts, they’re looking for suppliers who can deliver a broad range of collaboration capabilities in an easy-to-use, cost-effective way.

In particular, they expect:


Ever-improving tools:

Executives increasingly expect collaboration tools to offer the best usability, the latest built-in features, alongside regular updates, new tools and apps.


A diverse portfolio:

Organisations expect suppliers to offer tools that balance security, ease of use, capabilities and support alongside global scale, commercial flexibility and competitive costs.


High functionality and compatibility:

Executives expect their chosen tools to integrate with others to create a holistic experience and want more immersive and virtual environments.


An increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Executives expect AI to play a key role in the future of collaboration tools and apps – automating tasks and offering virtual assistance.

Hybrid working supports sustainability goals

Already, global executives link the increased use of collaboration tools with improvements in their organisation’s sustainability:


believe a reduction in commuting is the leading sustainability benefit of hybrid working


of executives don’t expect their business travel levels to return to pre-pandemic rates


of organisations intend to improve the sustainability of their worksites as part of changing workstyles


think using collaboration tools benefits the environment through reduced travel and commuting.

Nine steps to planning your future work strategy

Combining our expertise with the core messages emerging from this research, we recommend the following nine steps to achieve an effective future work strategy:

  1. Explore your colleagues’ preferences for hybrid working, looking at team, sector and individual needs.
  2. Map organisational strategic needs for employee work location, including the requirement for offices and business travel.
  3. Design a hybrid work strategy, including new metrics for productivity and sustainability.
  4. Build an organisational cultural development plan for new working practices and provide support and guidance to managers.
  5. Develop an employee wellbeing plan, including for the onboarding of new team members wherever they are located.
  6. Audit your collaboration and network technology, for working at the office, on the move and at home.
  7. Implement a technology strategy for your organisational and employee needs using the cloud to provide agility and flexibility.
  8. Deploy a data and network security protocol, to ensure regulation and commercial needs are satisfied.
  9. Innovate for the future, learning from competitors’ experiences and technology developments.

Building your future infrastructure and working strategy

As you create the digital workplace that’s right for you, cloud collaboration will be critical to bringing home and office workers together.

We’re ready to help you build the networking and application capabilities to bring your collaboration strategy to life, from design through to user adoption.

You can learn more about our research findings by downloading our whitepaper

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