Cisco Study: Hybrid work is enhancing employee wellbeing and productivity in the Philippines as 92% of Filipino respondents are happier working from anywhere

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    Hybrid working has improved total employee wellbeing, work-life balance, and performance in The Philippines, according to a new global Cisco study. While organizations have benefited from higher employee productivity levels, more needs to be done to build an inclusive culture and fully embed hybrid work arrangements to boost readiness levels and enhance employee experience. 

    Cisco’s “Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you?” study found that over three-quarters of (79%) employees in the Philippines believe that the quality of work has improved. A similar number (75%) felt that their productivity has enhanced. On top of that, 84% also feel their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office. However, the survey of 28,000 employees from 27 countries, including over 1,050 respondents from the Philippines, reveals that only 29% of Filipino employees think that their company is ‘very prepared’ for a hybrid work future. 

    “The last two years have shown us that work is no longer where we go, but what we do. In a hybrid normal, employees and employers in the Philippines are experiencing tangible benefits from improved employee wellbeing to better productivity and work performance,” said Zaza Nicart, managing director, Cisco Philippines. “However, hybrid work is more than just supporting a safe office re-entry. Leaders need to rethink how to cultivate an inclusive culture. An environment where the experience, engagement, and well-being of employees are at the center, and where networking and security infrastructure is modernized and integrated to provide a seamless, secure, and inclusive employee experience,” she added. 

    Hybrid working has improved total employee wellbeing

    Cisco’s research examined the impact of hybrid working on five categories of well-being – emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social well-being – with a reigning majority (89%) saying hybrid and remote working has improved various aspects of their wellbeing.

    Time away from the office has improved work-life balance for 86% of employees in the Philippines. More flexible work schedules (74%) and significantly reduced or completely removed commuting times (66%) contributed to this improvement. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) saved at least four hours per week when they worked from home, and 37% of respondents saved eight or more hours a week. 

    Nine in 10 Filipino respondents also say that their financial well-being improved, with their average savings reaching over USD6,552 (PHB344,046) a year. A sizeable 90% ranked savings on fuel and/or commuting among their top three areas for savings, followed by decreased spending on food and entertainment at 76%. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) believe they can maintain these savings over the long term and 68% would take these savings into account when considering changing jobs.

    In addition, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents believe their physical fitness has improved with remote working.  A similar number (76%) say hybrid working has positively impacted their eating habits. 

    A significant majority (93%) indicate that remote working has improved family relationships and nearly two-thirds (64%) of the respondents reported strengthened relationships with friends. 

    Trust and transparency are key to building a successful hybrid work future

    The future of work is hybrid, according to more than half (60%) of employees in the Philippines who say they want a combination of a remote and in-office hybrid working model in the future, compared to a fully remote (38%) and fully in-office (3%) experience.  

    However, there is uncertainty over how different work styles might impact inclusion and engagement. Seven in 10 (71%) of Filipino respondents believe micromanaging behaviors had increased with hybrid and remote working. A lack of trust from managers that their employees can be productive has been a common thorn in their working experience.

    “Trust has become a core tenet in our hybrid work normal, alongside flexibility, and empathetic leadership. Our latest research indicates that more needs to be done to fully integrate hybrid work arrangements for employees, especially when it comes to building an inclusive culture powered by efficient technology infrastructure in this new world of working that employees clearly prefer. Leaders and companies need to commit to actions that go a long way to retain their people – listening, building trust, and leading with empathy, flexibility, and fairness, said Anupam Trehan, senior director, People & Communities, Cisco, APJC.

    At the same time, technology will remain critical to enabling a future with increasingly diverse and distributed workforces.  Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly is career-limiting for remote workers.  As a result, 81% say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience, but around 27% say their company still needs the right networking infrastructure.

    85% of respondents in The Philippines believe that cybersecurity is critical for making hybrid working safe, and 77% say their organization currently has the right capabilities and protocols in place. 73% think that all employees across their company understand the cyber risks involved with hybrid work, and business leaders (80%) are familiar with the risks.

    “Technology is a key enabler of growth in the hybrid workplace, and it needs to be underpinned by end-to-end integrated security. Organizations should prioritize a robust security posture that underpins every digitalization effort and ensure that cybersecurity is at the core of their technology architecture. Amid the expanded attack surface area today as more users and devices connect to corporate applications, organizations will need to bolster security and build greater vigilance, through enabling secure access and protecting users and endpoints in the network and the cloud.”.” said Juan Huat Koo, director, Cybersecurity, Cisco ASEAN. 

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