Hybrid work is a flexible work model that combines in-office, remote, and on-the-go working. It provides the flexibility to be impactful wherever work is accomplished. However, while the term may be… Read more on Cisco Blogs

Hybrid work is a flexible work model that combines in-office, remote, and on-the-go working. It provides the flexibility to be impactful wherever work is accomplished. However, while the term may be relatively new to many businesses and organizations, the foundational operational elements of hybrid work are not new to successful, high-performing organizations.

The need to establish a resilient environment that ensures the business or mission continues to operate even in times of emergencies, where an emergency could range from an ice storm that closes roads and offices to catastrophic events that demolish buildings or critical infrastructure.
Based on availability and diversity to sustain essential functions, irrespective of where those functions are performed — in-office, remote, or mobile.

For those familiar the words “Continuity of Operations,” it should be no surprise, that the need to be able to agilely operate in a resilient environment to sustain continuity of critical operations is a National priority.

Presidential Policy Directive 40 (PPD-40) codified that “it is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability through Continuity of Operations (COOP), Continuity of Government (COG), and Enduring Constitutional Government (ECG) programs, ensuring the resilience and preservation of government structure under the United States Constitution and the continuous performance of National Essential Functions (NEFs) under all conditions.” National continuity programs are based on the continuous performance of NEFs by sustaining essential functions performed by Departments/Agencies.

The Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD-1) helps implement PDD-40 by establishing the framework, requirements, and processes to support the development of continuity programs and by specifying and defining elements of a continuity plan for federal executive branch departments and agencies. [1]

Continuity of Operations (COOP) is an effort within individual organizations (i.e., Federal executive branch departments and agencies) to ensure that Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.[2] Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD-1) outlines 11 Continuity Capability Elements that are fundamental to a successful continuity program and that must be addressed in Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans.[3] One of the critical Continuity Capability Elements outlined in the directive is:  “Communications and Information Systems.”  Specifically, “the availability, diversity, and redundancy of critical communications and information systems are critical to sustain essential functions performed at primary and alternate locations including devolution locations as well as telework or mobile work environments. Communications and information systems provide the connectivity between and among key government leadership, internal elements, other organizations, and the public to perform essential functions. Telework and mobile work environments require use of portable telecommunications technology such as laptop computers, mobile telephones, and satellite communications equipment.  (Ref:  FCD-1).”

So why highlight multiple Federal government directives?  Because the overarching logic is sound.   Governments, Companies, businesses, and families need to build foundational resiliency to be able to operate in a crisis…whatever that crisis may be.

Having had the good fortune of working at Cisco for over 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the benefits of a hybrid environment personally. I worked at my mother’s house after her major surgery, at my husband’s bedside after an accident, and from my couch after my surgery. From an organizational perspective, as an AF Reservist assigned to the Pentagon, we operated thru 9/11.  And at Cisco, we operated thru COVID without missing a beat.

The concepts are familiar, but the technology necessary to securely and agilely execute these concepts continues to rapidly evolve, providing an even more seamless and effective operational environment connecting organizations and individuals across the globe. And if your “standard way of doing business” is in an agile resilient context, then you, your organization, your business, and your country can survive and thrive in whatever life sends your way.

Hybrid work isn’t about being able to do laundry while attending a conference call. Hybrid work is about more effectively meeting operational requirements from an often distributed and agile environment whenever and wherever needed to continue mission operations.

Discover Insights on Empowering Hybrid Work for Government – Read Thought Leadership PaperExplore Cisco’s Hybrid Work Solutions for Government.

[1] U.S Department of Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on January 17, 20171.  (Federal Continuity Directive 1 – January 17, 2017 (fema.gov)

[2] https://www.llcuniversity.com/wp-content/uploads/PMB-Federal-Continuity-Directive-1.pdf

[3] https://www.directives.doe.gov/terms_definitions/continuity-capability-elements


  Learn about the importance of maintaining operational resilience and the need for adaptable technology in emergency situations.  Read More Cisco Blogs