Cisco CEO sees a ‘hybrid model’ in the future post-pandemic workplace

Companies are adapting quickly to the new work-from-home reality and many will adopt a “hybrid model” to support both on- and off-site work environments, Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Wednesday.

The new normal will also affect how companies recruit, he said.

“I think you’ll see many employees that will continue to work from home, you’ll have many that will get back to the office and then you’ll have some that’ll do a little bit of both,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview, adding that “it’ll change things like how we think about talent in the future.”

Businesses have rushed to outfit their networks with remote work tools and infrastructure to allow their eligible workforce to continue working away from the office during a global coronavirus outbreak. While enterprises had already begun taking advantage of the internet to offer more work-life balance and workplace flexibility to staff, others have hesitated, concerned about workflows and productivity.

The health crisis closed down offices around the world. Corporations looking to continue their operations were forced to experiment with the work-from-home trends as state governments in the U.S. placed citizens under shelter-in-place orders in March. Nonessential businesses, such as barbershops, movie theaters and restaurants, that cannot provide off-premise services have been forced to close, leading to unprecedented layoffs.

“I think this has given us confidence that we can hire talent anywhere and have them participate productively on teams, regardless of their location,” Robbins said. “I think it will affect how companies think about their commercial real estate footprint.”

Cisco on Wednesday reported earnings of 79 cents per share on $11.98 billion in revenue for its fiscal third quarter. The company topped Wall Street estimates, though revenue was down 8% from the year-ago quarter.

Cisco shares were up 4% in the aftermarket, but the stock has since cut back some of those gains.

The stock is down 12.5% year to date.

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