Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration Must be a Part of Current and Future Workplaces

It’s critical in today’s working world to give employees the ability to do their jobs wherever they happen to be and whenever they need to. And, just as importantly, you must provide them with the tools to be collaborative and ultimately more productive and innovative.

Some might call this the future of work. But I believe it’s today’s reality. If your company isn’t on board with these notions then it risks losing a vital competitive edge. Businesses absolutely need to get started down this path by recognizing the importance and value of work that’s done beyond the traditional walls of office buildings and then delivering to their employees the tools to make it happen.

These were among the many streams of advice I offered during an online discussion on Jan. 12, hosted by The Globe and Mail. Among other things, I was asked by an online audience to educate them on how flexible working options might work for them. You can find a transcript of that entire discussion here.

Remote work is a vital part of how we work today at Cisco and it will likewise be an important way for all companies to work in the future. More than 85 per cent of our employees spend some amount of time working remotely. Next-generations of employees want flexibility and the tools to make them productive. Companies that provide it are positioned to attract the best and brightest talent.

As I remarked in a final comment during my online session with the Globe: This change in how we work is a matter of “when” NOT “if.” The longer you wait for the “when,” the further behind you’ll fall.

About Nitin Kawale

Nitin Kawale is President of Cisco Canada, responsible for all aspects of its operations including sales, marketing, finance, distribution, and services. Cisco Canada employs more than 1400 people and is the third-largest operation for Cisco worldwide. The Canadian operation is also a proving ground for many of the company’s most advanced and innovative technologies. Kawale has been an integral part of Cisco since 1995 and has served in a number of key local and international roles. Kawale is a prominently featured keynote speaker and panelist at many leading IT industry and business events. He serves on the board of directors for the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and is a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. In 2011, Kawale was named Corporate Executive of the Year by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, and in 2012 he was named to the Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Council, created by Premier Dalton McGuinty to promote innovation, productivity, and business development throughout the province. Kawale holds a bachelor of applied sciences degree in engineering science from the University of Toronto. Nitin Kawale, président de Cisco Canada, est responsable de tous les aspects des activités locales, dont celles liées à la vente, la mercatique, la finance, la distribution et le service. Cisco Canada emploie plus de 1 400 personnes. La compagnie canadienne est la troisième entreprise Cisco en importance à l'échelle mondiale. L'entreprise canadienne sert aussi de terrain d'essai pour un grand nombre des technologies les plus avancées et novatrices de la société. M. Kawale, qui fait partie intégrante de Cisco depuis 1995 a joué plusieurs rôles clés tant locaux qu'internationaux. M. Kawale est conférencier et panéliste d'honneur dans le cadre de nombreux événements de premier plan en rapport avec l'industrie des TI et les affaires. M. Kawale siège en tant que président du conseil d'administration de la fondation du Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital de Toronto. Il est aussi membre du Conseil canadien des chefs d’entreprise. En 2011, M. Kawale a été nommé chef d'entreprise de l'année par la chambre de commerce indo-canadienne et en 2012, il a commencé à siéger au Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Council, qu'a créé Dalton McGuinty, premier ministre de l'Ontario, afin de promouvoir l'innovation, la productivité et le développement des entreprises dans la province. M. Kawale détient un baccalauréat ès sciences appliquées en génie de la University of Toronto.
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6 Responses to Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration Must be a Part of Current and Future Workplaces

  1. Great Blog Nitin. I always feel that “Work From Home”, is one of the most innovative way of working that I don’t know who came up with. Reading through the articles on the internet, I understand that this concept of WFH has been there for a long time now but is being leveraged only now by the few of the modern day companies (though many companies still like it the traditional way – God knows why??). I always think that this method of working offers so many potential benefits to both Employers in terms of cost reductions, increasing productivity etc. and to Employees by giving them proper work-life balance. But then, even if the companies today are accepting this concept with arms wide open, I think, a successful WFH program requires a management style which is based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees. So, if we are thinking of breaking the Ice, we should trust our employees and break it completely.

  2. Nitin Kawale says:

    Good observation, Barun. Results are definitely the key consideration and we at Cisco see everyday how productive and innovative our employees are because, among other things, we provide them with the means to work when and where they need to. At Cisco, 48 per cent of our work is done outside of regular business hours. That pretty much says it all, I think. Changing old ideas about traditional ways of working can be a major challenge, but vital change is driven by progressive leadership. And when you see and measure what your employees can achieve when you give them the tools to be flexible and creative, it’s an absolute no-brainer to realize that providing a distributed and collaborative working environment is essential…and hugely beneficial to companies and employees.

  3. I’ve seen some remarkable telecollaboration among students in virtual classroom labs here in Canada. Wider deployment is slow, but will be transformative when it is finally embraced. My frustration has been to overcome the hesitance by educators and others to see telecollaboration as an uplifting vs. a disruptive next step in education. How can
    I get a technology partner to help me do this?

  4. Pingback: What is your employer’s Bring Your Own Device Policy? Do you know if they have one? | Cisco Canada Blog

  5. raj says:

    Hi Nitin,

    Do you have any update or document on policy side for BYOD? Btw, really nice blog.

    I found one design guide but nothing on policy side that help big organization who care for security.

    What about AT&T Toggle?


  6. Nitin Kawale says:

    Hi Raj,

    Thanks for your response. It’s a great question and should be answered based on your specific circumstances, so I’d like to connect you with one of our BYOD specialists. Would you please email your contact details to: Someone will respond to your request and arrange a time for a call.

    Thank you.

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