Cisco’s corporate nomads take hybrid work to the next level in Venice, Italy

In a world where you could work from Venywhere, why not?

The hybrid work conversation has been top of mind for the past several years, with the pendulum swinging between going back into the office full time, to not going back at all. And while many businesses and employees continue to navigate the ever-changing hybrid work waters, fluctuations in employees’ wellbeing and The Great Resignation are a stark reminder of the need to prioritize the employee experience.  

Many employees have found that after the initial shock of moving to work-from-home, overall the experience worked better for their lifestyle. Millions of global employees have also left their jobs in search for more flexible hours and locations, seeking employers who can match their shifting experience with workplace culture. The conversations abound and the results are clear; work has changed forever and the future of work is hybrid. We are now in the era of flexibility, choice, and inclusivity. 

Corporate Nomads, Harvard Business Report writes, are “individuals who, while maintaining a full-time employment relationship with their organizations, will increasingly participate part-time in geographically dispersed initiatives and projects within their employer’s global network.” And this increasingly-popular way of working has inspired Venywhere, Cisco’s latest pilot to embrace a true work-life balance.  

Venywhere is a research experiment study by Cisco, in partnership with Harvard Business School and the University of Venice, to discover what would happen when the company sends 16 employees to work from four different shared offices spaces for three months in Venice, Italy. Sounds pretty great, right?  

With this immersive living lab, employees have the technology they need at their disposal, plus the ability to traverse Venetian scenery and indulge in gelato. The experiment hopes to test hypotheses about how a true work-life balance can affect everything from productivity to happiness, and ultimately what this cultural change could mean for organizations, communities, and society.  

Cisco has led the industry conversation on hybrid work for more than a decade, innovating both in the technology and cultural realms. The company’s reimagining of work and the workplace takes its next step with Venywhere, as Cisco believes the best work can happen at any time and in any place.  

Beyond experimenting with the future of hybrid work in this study, Cisco also aims to pilot new collaboration practices, aligning the right technology with facilities to help employees work cross-functionally. By deeply focusing on the workplace ecosystem, facilities teams can re-imagine how offices are configured to optimize the best experience for those who are in the office, as well as those who aren’t.  

HR and People teams can also learn how hybrid work impacts retention and recruiting. Adecco Group’s The New Era of Work study found that over half of global workers want to work remotely 50 percent of their time, nearly 2 in 5 people are considering moving to a job with more flexible options, and workers are yearning for a place that offers both connection and escape. Cisco’s collaborative practices aim to level the playing field for all employees across the globe, meaning that no matter where they may be logging in from, their voice will be heard.  

In addition to driving a first-class company culture, Cisco also promises speed in digital transformation, agility, and technology solution adoption to help employees do their best work. In fact, over the past 18 months, Cisco has launched more than 1000 new product innovations and acquired five companies dedicated to support companies that embrace hybrid working. Cisco knows that not only will the future of work be hybrid, but it will also need to be connected. Cisco’s network will provide the reliable internet needed to experience optimized and secure connection wherever they are—this flexible, consistent, and secure access is key for workers who are working beyond an office’s four walls. 

Venywhere is just the first step in truly understanding how different employees define what wellbeing and work-life balance look like for them. As the 2022 #1 Best Place to Work in Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, Cisco continues to strive to put their people’s wellbeing, first.  

And with both wellbeing and technology sorted, the only thing left to add into the mix is the gelato. 


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