Hybrid work model has resulted in an over 200% growth in the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities from July through September 2021 as people desired for improved meeting engagement, according to Cisco’s first Hybrid Work Index (HWI) based on millions of aggregated and anonymous customer datapoints.
AI is being used to enhance meeting features like noise reduction, automatic translation and transcriptions, polling, and gesture recognition – making it easier for people to engage in conversations.
The Index, which will be updated quarterly, examines how people’s habits and technology interactions have permanently reshaped work a year and a half into the covid-19 pandemic. Findings show hybrid workers expect greater flexibility, accessibility and security, while businesses grapple with meeting these increased technology demands.
“We are truly at a unique time, with the ability to redefine work,” said Chuck Robbins, chair and chief executive officer, Cisco. “All employees around the world want a workplace that enables them to do their best, and it is our responsibility as business leaders to learn how best to support and enable our employees, however and wherever they work.”
The findings revealed that people want choice and the hybrid workplace increases employee loyalty. 64% agreed that the ability to work remotely instead of coming into an office directly affects whether they stay or leave a job. However, there is also uncertainty whether employers will realize the potential of hybrid work: only 47% think that their company will allow working from anywhere vs. in-office over the next 6-12 months.
Hybrid work is driving a surge in on-the-go meetings. Pre-pandemic, people used mobile devices 9% of the time to connect to their meetings. In a hybrid work world, this number tripled and is now at 27%.
Hybrid work has also increased access to diverse talent. 82% of survey respondents agreed that access to connectivity is critical to recovery from the covid-19 pandemic and the importance of ensuring everyone has equal access to jobs, education, and healthcare opportunities. “Increased connectivity access will empower people to work for any company in the world and companies to source the best talent regardless of location,” the report said.