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Cisco’s Jeetu Patel On Hybrid Work And Creating Equal Opportunities For All Employees

‘We learned that it is unquestionable that people are able to work remotely and be extremely productive. It can’t be debated anymore because we’ve lived it. So, wouldn’t be unfortunate if, after what we’ve seen over the course of the past 15 months, we just went back to being the way that we were prior to COVID?’ Cisco executive vice president Jeetu Patel tells CRN regarding hybrid work.

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The Future Is More Inclusive

The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies all over the globe to rethink their workforces and physical spaces. In fact, Cisco Systems at the end of July announced it will be officially transitioning to a hybrid work model for all its 75,000 global employees and the tech giant hopes that more businesses will follow suit.

That’s because if the last year and a half has taught the world anything, it’s that work isn’t about where you are located geographically, it’s about what you do, Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager, security and applications group, told CRN. Secure networking and collaboration solutions have made it so that employees can work with their geographically-disperse teammates from the comfort of their home offices through private connections. A hybrid working model can also break down barriers to talent. Now, companies don’t have to be restricted by location, borders, or even stay at home mandates when it comes to finding the right person for the job.

But hybrid work won’t only involve the adoption of new technologies. It will also include a culture shift in making sure that all employees feel like part of the team. Vendors can be a part of that solutions, but partners will be critical in boosting inclusion, Patel said.

Patel sat down with CRN to talk about the company’s own hybrid work plans and future event strategies, as well as the kinds of innovations that can help power a more inclusive working world that will involve a mix of in-house and remote employees.

Here are excerpts from the conversation.

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