Place employees at the centre of the conversation

Canadian SME

Hybrid work is here to stay. In 2022, hybrid work will continue to inform how businesses are run, no matter the size. With increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction and growing employee demand for flexible workplaces, hybrid work is the way of the future – but it won’t look the same for everyone. Hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all approach. For small businesses to effectively navigate the modern workplace, it’s critical that leaders tailor a hybrid work model that works for their business, employees, and customers.

To do so successfully, SMBs need to put employees at the centre of the conversation. Leaders should invest the time to speak with their teams and define what new ways of working will mean for their small business, the physical spaces they operate in and how it can become part of their work culture.

In addition to the voice of the employee, hybrid work models need to be underpinned by strong technology that allows for safe and secure communication, collaboration and connection. This is core to driving an inclusive and productive work experience for all employees, whether they work from home, the office, the car or the coffee shop.

Small business owners must ultimately take the lead and role model the type of culture, behaviour and practices they want to see employees adopt. Doing so will instill confidence in the team that they really do have a flexible work environment and help ease the transition to hybrid work.

Embracing hybrid work is a key operational and cultural shift to ensure that businesses can keep up with the demands and expectations of the modern workplace. SMBs have an opportunity to move nimbly to adopt these practices and reinforce them as the way forward this year.


By Shannon Leininger

President of Cisco Canada

As President of Cisco Canada, Shannon proudly leads a diverse and innovative organization that consistently ranks among Cisco’s top markets globally and acts as a proving ground for some of the company’s most advanced and leading-edge technologies. She is an innovative, entrepreneurially minded leader with a long-term view on vision and strategy who believes that great results come from careful planning. Shannon believes that in order to help Canadian organizations accelerate their digital journey, there must be a commitment to solution innovation, world-class technology architectures, and a relentless dedication to mission success.

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