The term “hybrid work” is being tossed about readily lately as companies approach their return-to-office strategies in a variety of ways and time frames. While many companies have had distributed employees for many years, the pandemic changed the game nearly overnight, and the changes are just getting started. That’s why leaders at technology, media, and entertainment companies are spending a lot of time and energy working to get these changes right to keep employees engaged and continue moving toward a positive future.
At this year’s Conversations for a Changing World,Workday’s digital event, Sarah Glover, industry solution marketing lead for technology, media, and entertainment at Workday, hosted a session called, “What Matters Most in the Technology and Media Industries.” She was joined by Stephanie DeHaven, managing director at Accenture, and Jason Phillips, senior vice president of people experiences at Cisco. Here are a few highlights of the session.
DeHaven started off with an overview of recent research from Accenture around the concept of “net better off.” The survey looked at a person’s well-being across the dimensions of employability, financial situation, relationships, physical health, and emotional state. Accenture’s research showed that 64% of a person’s potential at work is influenced by whether or not they felt “better off” across these dimensions.
DeHaven talked about how technology can play a part in the way companies help employees be better off, by empowering specific improvements. The “how” and “where” of these investments should be guided by data, she noted. For example, Workday’s Prism Analytics can help companies define and measure net better off, and Workday Skills Cloud can grow their worker and future talent relevance.
Returning to the concept of hybrid work and what that actually could mean moving forward, Jason Phillips shared how Cisco is approaching it and the changes the company has made recently. He narrowed it down to three key factors: collaboration, culture, and inclusion. Like at many companies, pre-pandemic most employees at Cisco were in the office 3-5 days a week. But surveys showed that only a small percentage of employees wanted to come back that many days a week as they planned their return to office. It seems that the pandemic may change work models permanently, and tech, media, and entertainment companies are thinking hard about how to navigate that change.
At Cisco, leaders examined perceptions around being remote or in the office and that perceived connection to career acceleration. They realized that they could accelerate people’s careers whether or not they were in the office if they put collaboration, culture, and inclusion at the forefront. They also recognized the need to move from “top-down” hierarchy to a collaborative approach for decisions about the return to office, for example, letting teams come to their own decision about how to approach the hybrid model based on what works for them instead of what a senior vice president may think works best.
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