The Lesson in Flexibility Francine Katsoudas Learned This Past Year

The EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer at Cisco on the value of listening to people’s needs — including her own.

“At Cisco, we’re really focused on recovering from the pandemic and building an inclusive future for all. One thing that’s top of mind, of course, is hybrid work — and our intent is to listen to our people to better understand both how they want to work and the work that needs to be done. We believe that doing so will allow us to create some flexible new work practices that will not only be better for our people, but also better for our business. 

Speaking of flexible work practices, the pandemic also encouraged me personally to create a new routine to keep me healthy and engaged. This wasn’t easy to do. The first few months of the pandemic it felt like I was running around 24/7, and I had a realization that I could not — and should not — continue that way. So, one thing I do now is work out in the middle of the day. Stepping away from my work at lunchtime to work out helps make me a better person during the second half of the day. I come back feeling so refreshed. I’m also much more thoughtful about my sleep which has made a huge difference. I used to get five to six hours a night and now I’m between seven and eight hours, which is a huge improvement.”

This article is edited from a live conversation at Brainstorm Health 2021 during the session “Reimagining A Healthier And More Connected Workplace,” and was moderated by Thrive Global Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington

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