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June 29, 2009

Cisco News - Remote Workers Are Happier Workers: Cisco

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Officials at the world’s largest maker of computer networking gear – San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. – say allowing employees to work remotely can yield an uptick in work-life flexibility, individual satisfaction and productivity.

Cisco (News - Alert) has announced the findings of its Teleworker Survey evaluating the social, economic and environmental impacts associated with telecommuting at Cisco. The study, Cisco officials say, found the improvements mentioned above.

You’d be in good company, too, as more companies are experimenting with various telecommuting strategies to save costs and retain top talent. Cisco’s study found that it lets people work together no matter where they are located, as well. And it doesn’t necessarily hurt the bottom line: Cisco’s Internet Business Services Group, the company’s global strategic consulting arm, found that allowing employees to telecommute and telework has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity. 

In March, TMC’s Tom Keating (News - Alert) reviewed the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 7.0 positively, describing it as “a true premise-based unified communications platform which can handle voice (PSTN and VoIP), video, data /web collaboration, and even wireless mobility capabilities for when you are out of the office.”

And you can’t overlook the goodwill allowing employees the remote option generates.
“As a working mother of three children, I know firsthand the benefits of Cisco Virtual Office,” says Carina Reyes, manager, Operations, Cisco. “Through voice and video, I remain engaged and able to lead global teams and programs and avoid back and forth trips to the office... juggling early-morning Europe calls, midday doctor’s appointments and evening Asia meetings. My family and I feel fortunate that I work for one of the best companies today that enables true work-life navigation.”

Cisco used the occasion of the study to tout its enterprise-class remote connectivity products, such as Cisco Virtual Office and Cisco OfficeExtend, and virtual collaboration tools like Cisco WebEx.

The study looked at almost 2,000 company employees, finding that Cisco employees spend about 63 percent of their time communicating and collaborating. Forty percent of Cisco employees say they are not located in the same city as their manager, and across the board the average Cisco employee now telecommutes 2.0 days per week. Sixty percent of the time saved by telecommuting is spent working and 40 percent is spent on personal time.
Approximately 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remotely, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved – 67 percent of survey respondents said their overall work quality improved when telecommuting. And Cisco employees reported a fuel cost savings of $10.3 million per year due to telecommuting.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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