While major companies are trying to figure out the return-to-office situation in a post-pandemic world, Cisco is putting its eggs in the basket of collaboration. As reported by Fortune, the giant tech company is going so far as to redesign its offices by keeping in mind the benefits of hybrid work. With this philosophy, working in-office should be a collaborative experience that allows workers to connect with other people, as opposed to the more isolated, focused working that can take place when remote.
“People are going to come into the office for engaging more with each other, rather than going out and getting work done in their cubicle,” says Cisco’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration Jeetu Patel. “We have to reimagine, fundamentally, what the workspace of the future is going to look like.”
The redesign emphasizes communal spaces, with a drastic cutdown of dedicated desks, replacing them with “huddle spaces” that teams can gather in to communicate. Furthermore, nearly every room is equipped with videoconferencing equipment, allowing collaboration with those working from home.
“If there are five people in a conference room [and] two people are not in the conference room, those two people shouldn’t feel like they’re second class participants in a meeting,” continues Patel. “They should feel like they have an equal seat at the table.”
Employees are not mandated to return to Cisco’s New York and Atlanta offices on specific days of the week, but instead leaves the decision making up to individual teams on when they would like to be in office.
Patel believes that more companies will begin to redesign their office spaces to better cater to hybrid work.
“I personally feel like that’s the area where you will see a lot of movement from companies over the course of the next five to seven years,” he says. “Because as these patterns of work start to kind of change, you will want to have modernization of your facility.”
See also: Zoom asks employees to return to office