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4th Industrial Revolution News South Africa

Cisco: ‘South Africans should embrace hybrid work’

The global workplace is undergoing a significant transformation, with hybrid work models gaining traction for their potential to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. South Africa finds itself at a pivotal juncture in this shift. While a significant portion of organisations worldwide have embraced hybrid workforces, a notable number of South African CEOs still favour a full return to traditional office settings.
Source: Samson Katt/Pexels
Source: Samson Katt/Pexels

To navigate this evolving landscape successfully, South African businesses must strategically adapt their approaches to leverage the advantages of hybrid work and maintain their competitive edge both domestically and internationally.

Conwell Less, collaboration specialist at Cisco, emphasises the alignment of the global digital innovation focus with the possibilities presented by hybrid work models in South Africa.

“Hybrid work models provide employees with the optimal combination of valuable in-person interaction and the flexibility of remote work, contributing to a healthy work-life balance,” he says.

This blend can be a decisive factor for South African companies aiming to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market.

Cisco’s research demonstrates the tangible benefits organisations globally are experiencing through hybrid workforces. These benefits include improved employee well-being, increased productivity, cost savings, enhanced team communication, and a more inclusive workplace culture.

Bridging the gap between expectations and reality

While there are many advantages to hybrid work, Less advises that both employees and employers evolve expectations.

The report shows a need to reimagine workplaces and workspaces to accommodate these shifts, ensuring that all stakeholders can fully benefit from hybrid arrangements.

A key insight is the growing necessity for seamless collaboration between in-office and remote employees.

Less highlights that an outsize proportion of office interactions now involve remote participants, with collaboration technology playing a central role in shaping the future workplace by enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction.

Addressing the gap between expectations and current office spaces can be achieved through technology, particularly in areas like communication, productivity, and workplace culture.

Modern workspaces for the future

The data also reveals the shortcomings of traditional office layouts in the context of hybrid work. Both employers and employees find conventional workstations and meeting rooms to be only moderately effective in fostering in-office productivity.

Employees express a desire for improved office design, upgraded technology infrastructure, investments in sustainable features, and the incorporation of health amenities.

The workspace of the future should prioritise well-designed collaboration spaces equipped with the right technology to transition through multimodal hybrid interaction.

Less agrees that office collaboration is important, saying that companies committed to employee satisfaction and productivity should leverage hybrid work to create sustainable and eco-friendly workspaces.

Adapting hybrid work strategies in South Africa is essential for maintaining competitiveness on both local and global scales.

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