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Cisco has been awarded as the World's Best Workplace by Fortune 2 years in a row and they are in no mood to lose this title! But the task is slightly different yet clear for this year - how to make the World's Best Workplace the World's Best Hybrid Workplace.

True flexible working for each one of Cisco's 75,000 employees

In a recent announcement, Francine Katsoudas, Cisco's EVP & Chief People Officer, said that they will be adopting true hybrid remote work from now on.

But what does this mean for Cisco employees?

1) No one-size-fits-all approach, which means no set mandate on the number of days you have to be in office or remote.

2) Individual teams get to decide how best they work in the new hybrid world.

3) While teams will have the flexibility to choose what works best for them, there will be a baseline set of expectations & beliefs laid out for teams, leaders & individuals. Cisco calls it their "Collaboration Commitments".

The great hybrid work experiment

Francine also points out that remote working isn't new to Cisco. Prior to the pandemic, many Cisco employees worked fully remotely.

However, a change of working model at such a large scale has not happened before (except the temporary pandemic forced remote). Cisco's leaders recognise that it's going to be challenging and a learn-as-we-go process.

In fact, Francine also says that they will be checking in with teams & leaders every few months and making the necessary adjustments.

Just the fact that Cisco is explicitly calling it out as an "experiment" where there will be a lot of trial & error, learnings and consequent changes, puts Cisco miles ahead of its peers.

Offices with a purpose and a sustainable future

Prior to the pandemic, 95% of space in Cisco's offices was dedicated to individuals. Cisco plans to transform its offices so that teams can use it better for rituals, connections & collaborative work.

Additionally, Cisco is also eyeing a more inclusive workforce and a more sustainable company, by making the move to hybrid working.

Overall, Cisco's plans seem impressive. Plus, their willingness to accept that this is a learning process and being open to frequent changes is refreshing.