Cisco survey: 75.6 percent see the biggest advantage as the opportunity to work for employers who are further away, followed by saving money (74.4 percent) and improving the work-life balance (70.2 percent). […]
A study commissioned by Cisco Austria and conducted by the market research institute Marketagent provides up-to-date insights into how and where people want to work in the future. Clearly visible: Austrians want more flexibility and a say. “There has been a lot of discussion about home office since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – but the concept of hybrid Work goes far beyond that. It is a model that puts every team member at the center of the design of everyday work and thus promotes commitment, integration and well-being. Everyone has something of this,“ says Hans Greiner, Managing Director of Cisco Austria. “The future of working can thus be made more flexible, sustainable and liveable for all.“
More flexibility is needed
The study shows that Austrians have a positive attitude towards hybrid Work – and that goes beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Hybrid Work is a flexible working model that allows employees to work in different places, for example in the office, at home or on the road. For this to succeed, technology, organizational culture and places of work must optimally support the needs of individual team members – no matter where they are working from. Austrians value flexibility: 43 percent of those surveyed would like more employers in Austria to introduce hybrid work permanently into their company. Men and women alike believe in the practicality of the model. The young generation is also convinced of hybrid work: when it comes to job selection, it would be important for around every third 14-39-year-old in the future that there is the option of hybrid work or flexible work scheduling. The respondents agree on their way of working: the efficiency at different workplaces ultimately depends strongly on the activity they carry out. A flexible working model optimally addresses this.
More opportunities on the job market and higher well-being
For three quarters of Austrians, the opportunities that Hybrid Work opens up are decisive, because they see the opportunity to work for employers who are further away as the greatest advantage. The famous work-life balance is also increasing: around 70 percent are happy when they can work according to their own rhythm and use the time saved for personal interests. In addition, employees appreciate the financial savings: 74.4 percent want to spend less money on dining out and travel expenses. Of course, Covid-19 also plays a role, because employees can flexibly switch to workplaces other than the office if the number of infections increases: almost three-quarters of the respondents see flexibility as an advantage because they are less exposed to pathogens.
Sweatpants instead of a suit
By the way, some Austrians have no problem getting ready even in the home office: not having to shave or make up for work outside the office is not an advantage for 17.6 percent. On the other hand, the situation is different: women in particular appreciate being able to work in sweatpants (71.7 percent), while men rate comfortable clothing as a special advantage of 69.5 percent. Every fourth person appreciates a new sense of freedom: 26.4 percent enjoy feeling less observed when working in a hybrid and 25.8 percent no longer miss packages due to flexible planning options, because you can open the post office.
Digital infrastructure must be further expanded
Hybrid Work raises the demand for digital transformation and nationwide fiber-optic expansion: a good digital infrastructure in Austria (e.g. nationwide access to fast Internet, no matter where you work from) and the technical equipment provided by the employer (e.g. modern laptops, uncomplicated access to programs in the office, at home or on the road) are considered by around 80 percent to be important for the workplace of the future. But “soft” success factors are also enormously important: Hybrid work is based on appreciation and acceptance throughout the company – regardless of where you work from. For 77.8 percent, both attributes are important for the future. In the future, 63.8 percent want to be able to choose whether to participate in meetings on site or online without being disadvantaged because of their decision. Collaboration tools such as Cisco Webex with modern and interactive functions can help to make hybrid meetings more productive, varied and enjoyable and also have an integrative effect: they enable all participants to have the same meeting experience, regardless of whether they are sitting in the conference room or at the kitchen table.
“Inclusion is the key, culture is a prerequisite”
According to a press release, Cisco Austria is deliberately not developing a classic “return to office” strategy: teams worldwide can decide for themselves where and how they work together, there are no rigid regulations or guidelines. “From our point of view, the frequently mentioned ‘return to normality’ is far from sufficient. What was normal before the pandemic is just not good enough now. Working methods must be created for employees and do not require their adaptation to a rigid model. In order for Hybrid Work to succeed, organizations in Austria are required to create inclusive workspaces, adapt structures and processes, and provide the appropriate technology. A trusting corporate culture is the basis for this,“ explains Greiner. “By the way, this not only helps employees: in the ‘War for Talents’, a high degree of flexibility also pays off. With Hybrid Work, an Austrian company can also acquire talent further afield – not only in its own neighbourhood.”