Global networking giant Cisco is transitioning to a hybrid workplace model for every one of its 75,000 employees, which will empower its employees to choose to permanently work from home. The company will be rethinking the use of its physical office spaces and convert them into centres of collaboration which employees can use when required.

In a blogpost to employees on Thursday, Francine Katsoudas, Cisco’s EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer said the new world of work will be hybrid for every employee at Cisco. “Whether that means you work five days a week at home and gather with your team for activities and connection every once in a while, or you are in office five days of the week leveraging the collaborative office configuration and technology to connect to your colleagues around the world.”

Transition to WFH

Pointing out that remote is nothing new for Cisco, she said “In early 2020 when our entire company went remote, the transition was actually not as hard as it may have seemed. There are employees at Cisco who have worked here for over a decade and have been “remote” the entire time, never having a desk in a Cisco office.”

Cisco India’s 12,500 employees transitioned to work from home in mid-March 2020 a week before the national lockdown was announced. Pre-pandemic, Cisco’s workforce was concentrated in around 10 major cities, who are now working out of approximately 300 cities across the country.

When asked why Cisco is moving to this hybrid workplace model, especially given its large real- estate footprint around the country, Anupam Trehan, Senior Director, People and Communities, Cisco India and SAARC said “an internal survey of our employees found that post-pandemic, 77 per cent of our employees globally prefer to work outside of the office three-five days per week, in stark contrast to the 63 per cent of employees who worked in the office three-five days per week pre-pandemic. The numbers are similar for Cisco in India. We also recognize that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. So, we are focusing on being flexible and adaptable to what works best for each individual and team.”

On how Cisco intends to measure the success of this new hybrid model, she said, “We’ve always relied on the insights and feedback received from our people to guide our decision-making. We know this will be a learn-as-we-go process and a challenge for our leaders. So, we’ll check in with our leaders and teams every few months to determine what is working and what is not and make the necessary adjustments.”

Cisco is challenging itself as Fortune’s World’s Best Workplace two years in a row to becoming the “World’s Best Hybrid Workplace.”