The combination of network connectivity and new collaborative tools is enabling a new breed of workers to remain productive even without the stereotypical office life, according to Debra Chrapaty, SVP and GM of the collaboration software group at Cisco. In fact, at our Net:Work conference today, Chrapaty said that in a survey of workers, 66 percent said they would take less pay in exchange for more flexibility in their work capabilities.
Chrapaty is the perfect example of a highly productive remote worker; she left work at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. to take a job working for Cisco in its Santa Clara, Calif. office. But in coming down to Silicon Valley, she was able to negotiate a system that enabled her to work from her home in Carmel, 80 miles from that office. “Where you work is not who you are,” Chrapaty said.
In her demonstration, Chrapaty show how her team uses collaboration tools to keep in touch with each other. Over the course of a typical day, she used a mix of email, phone, WebEx, telepresence and instant messaging to communicate with coworkers, put out fires and court a candidate for her collaboration group — all while biking, dropping her friend off at the airport, and working from her home office.
In short, when it comes to collaboration, Cisco eats its own dog food. And as a result, it not only has workers that are highly productive even with more flexible schedules, but Cisco is able to save massive amounts of money in the process. Based on Chrapaty’s estimates, Cisco saves approximately $1.1 billion each year through use of remote work tools, including $600 million in remote collaboration costs and $299 million in travel expenses.
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