Cisco Study: Kiwi employees say hybrid work makes them happier & more productive,

but more needs to be done to make it more inclusive and flexible

26 October 2022 | News summary 

  • 83.2% of New Zealand employees say the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier 
  • 63.2% of employees felt that their productivity has enhanced  
  • 79.9% claimed to have saved money while working from home, and on average, save over $13,000 a year
  • 6 in 10 employees say productivity and quality of work have improved
  • Only 1 in 4 employees feel their organisation is very prepared for hybrid working (26.1%)


Hybrid working has helped improve employee wellbeing, work-life balance, and performance across the world, according to a new global Cisco study with insights on the way New Zealanders work.  While organisations have benefited from higher employee productivity levels, more needs to be done to build an inclusive culture and fully embed hybrid work arrangements to boost readiness levels and enhance employee experience.  

 Cisco’s “Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you?” study surveyed 1,026 New Zealand employees and found that six in 10 (61.30%) employees believe that quality of work has improved. A similar number (63.2%) felt that their productivity has enhanced. Three-quarters of employees (71.2%) also feel their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office. However, only one in four New Zealanders think that their company is ‘very prepared’ for a hybrid work future (26.1%).   


Hybrid working has improved various aspects of employee wellbeing 

The research examined the impact of hybrid working on five categories of wellbeing – emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social wellbeing – with over three-quarters of respondents (77.4%) saying hybrid and remote working has improved various aspects of their wellbeing. 

Cisco managing director for Cisco New Zealand & the Pacific Islands, Garrett Heraty says, “Hybrid working is clearly here to say, with many employees and businesses seeing the benefits across many different elements – from improved employee wellbeing to better productivity and work performance.” 

“However, the benefits of hybrid working should not be thought of in terms of productivity alone. This research tells us that employees consider the impact of how they work across several aspects of their wellbeing including emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social wellbeing. Over three-quarters of respondents (77.4%) said hybrid and remote working has improved various aspects of their wellbeing.”

“At Cisco, our employees choose where and how they work, supported by the technology and culture to help them succeed, no matter where they are each day.”  

“People are determining how they want to work moving forward, and from where. Our role is to enable them to work from anywhere seamlessly, so everyone has an equal and accessible seat at the table. Not to tell them how many days to come into the office.” 

Time away from the office has improved work-life balance for 79.1% of employees. The study reveals that while most people find hybrid working better for their life overall, not all New Zealanders are better off due to flexibility. 63.00% say more flexible work schedules are a factor in contributing to an improved work-life balance. As well, only 47.8% of people said that removing commuting times from their day helped with work-life balance.   

40.10% of employees saved at least four hours per week when they worked from home, and 13.3% of respondents saved eight or more hours a week.  

37.3% ranked ‘time with family, friends, and pets’ as the top choice for how they reinvested this extra time.  This has enhanced social wellbeing, with a significant majority (67.2%) indicating that remote working has improved family relationships and 49.0% of respondents reporting strengthened relationships with friends.   

At the time of the survey, over 79.9% of respondents felt that their financial wellbeing improved because they could save money while working remotely.  The average saving has been a little over $250 NZD per week, which works out to more than $13,000 NZD a year.  A sizeable 81.9% ranked savings on fuel and/or commuting among their top three areas for savings, followed by decreased spending on food and entertainment at 77.3%.  Close to nine in 10 (89.4%) believe they can maintain these savings over the long term, and 73.3% would take these savings into account when considering changing jobs. 

In addition, over two-thirds (68.1%) of respondents believe their physical fitness has improved with remote working. Seven in 10 (76.4%) exercise more when they work remotely. 62% say hybrid working has positively impacted their eating habits.  

Given the improvement in various aspects of wellbeing, an overwhelming majority (83.2%) of employees say the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier. Only 40.3% report that hybrid working has helped decrease their stress levels.  Only a quarter (25.07%) find hybrid working more relaxing and the working environment less pressurized, while 31% of employees attribute the decreased stress to the greater flexibility offered by hybrid work arrangements. 

However, not all reported positive experiences, with just under half (46.3%) believing micromanaging behaviours had increased with hybrid and remote working.  


Strategic and tactical rethink for organisations to better prepare for hybrid working future 

With the evident benefits of hybrid working, the study shows that nearly three-quarters (60.9%) want a combination of a remote and in-office hybrid working model in the future. Only 9.4% want a fully remote working experience, and 28.5% want to go to the office on a full-time basis. 

However, there is uncertainty over how different work styles might impact inclusion and engagement.  Over half of the respondents say that those who work fully remotely will have challenges engaging with their colleagues (68.1%) and company (59.4%), compared to those who toggle between remote and in-office work.  Furthermore, the research finds that trust will be a critical element for organisations to manage – while 77.4% of respondents believe their manager trusts them to be productive when working remotely, a lower number (58.6%) believe their colleagues can be trusted to work remotely. 

These findings underscore the need for an inclusive culture to be at the forefront of the hybrid working future. Seven in 10 (72.4%) say their company needs to rethink its culture and mindset to make hybrid work truly inclusive.  Key changes to support the hybrid workforce that employees would like to see greater flexibility in defining work hours (60.9%) and greater emphasis on employee wellness and work-life balance (59.1%).  

At the same time, technology will remain critical to enabling a future with increasingly diverse and distributed workforces. 58.1% of respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly is career-limiting for remote workers.  As a result, 85% say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience, but only 70.9% say their company currently has the right networking infrastructure. 

More than three-quarters (77.5%) also believe that cybersecurity is critical for making hybrid working safe, but less than two-thirds (62.7%) say their organization currently has the right capabilities and protocols in place. Only 61.2% think that all employees across their company understand the cyber risks involved with hybrid work, and 66.5% think business leaders are familiar with the risks. 

Cisco New Zealand has been certified as a Great Place to Work in 2022, for the second year in a row. 98% of employees at Cisco say it’s a great place to work, and 100% are proud to tell others they are part of the team. Find out more, here.  


About the report 

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way people work.  With hybrid and remote working becoming commonplace, the Cisco Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you?  study uncovers insights into how employees have fared over the past two years and what is needed for employees and organisations to thrive in the hybrid working future.  Commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Dynata, the research included 28,000 full-time employees from 27 countries, touching every continent other than Antarctica.  The study was conducted between January and March 2022.  

Please contact Thrive PR New Zealand or Cisco PR Manager Adela Amanowicz (aamanowi@cisco.com) for more information on the New Zealand study.  

Read the global study here 

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