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article imageCisco reorgnization reflects the changing nature of work

By Tim Sandle     Feb 13, 2018 in Business
The nature of work is changing and flexible working is a core part of the so-termed ‘Gig Economy’. To what extent is this impacting on more established forms of working. Recent office closes by Cisco could signal one future direction.
Cisco is a $48 billion company and it has over 70,000 employees. The company has begun a program of closing down many of its offices around the world. To date, Cisco has closed 239 buildings, starting from 2012. This process is not a result of downsizing or a reflection of a struggling firm. Instead, Cisco are reacting (and, to a degree, thinking forwards) about the changing nature of work and what their employees are looking for.
The changes taking place at Cisco have been reported by HR Central. This is based on analysis provided by Brendon Schrader, who runs the analysis firm Antenna. According to Schrader, the program initiated by Cisco – along with other companies – is primarily driven by firms reacting to social change and the expectations of employees.
The report notes three drivers for flexible work, signaling a break from the traditional career path. The first, Schrader says, is that “people want control over their future, their destiny, their income and their schedule.”
The second driver relates to a desire for flexible forms of employment, which includes an appreciation of the ‘work and life balance’. The third driver is balance, in terms of working hours and work locations (such as more opportunities for remote working).
With remote work, the employer probably still has responsibilities (although national employment laws vary considerably). Here the health and safety of the employee needs to be considered, as well as protection of the employer’s data.
Flexible working remains atypical in many parts of the world and across many economic sectors. For example, a report for the European Commission (“Flexible forms of work: ‘very atypical’ contractual arrangements”) has found a trend towards flexible employment contractual arrangements in some European Union Member States. However, forms of work that are less often requested by employees and which are more often requested by employers are increasingly commonplace. This includes fixed, as well as more precarious, form of working patterns such as part-time work of fewer than 10 hours a week, very short fixed-term contracts, zero hours working and non-written contracts.
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