The Cloud Experience Everywhere

Redesigning the digital workplace: Where are we now?

Businesses are adjusting their distributed workforce strategies as the initial impacts of the pandemic start to recede, at least in some areas. Learn how to redesign your hybrid work strategies in an upcoming webinar, September 16, 9:00 PDT.

By Lin Nease, HPE Fellow and IoT Chief Technologist

 HPE-Pointnext-Services-Hybrid-Digital-Workplace.pngAfter the massive changes we’ve seen over the past 18 months, will the world of work ever be the same again? It’s doubtful, to say the least. Many companies are switching to a flexible, hybrid workplace that enables not only extended work-from-home capabilities, but also an integrated user experience across a range of locations.

The hybrid workplace is a living, breathing entity, of course. Right now, we’re in a new phase in which companies are revisiting the decisions they made in the early response to the pandemic and redesigning the workplace to support their goals far into the future. (See: What is digital workplace?)

Together with my colleague Joachim Vuitton, HPE Global Business Development Manager for IoT Services, I’ll be talking about the latest developments in an upcoming webinar: How to Redesign Your Distributed Workforce. I hope you can join us on Thursday, September 16, at 9:00 PDT; 12:00 EDT; 18:00 CET. We’ll be covering a range of hot topics, including the new division of labor; remote operations; and the rise of worker augmentation and flexible automation solutions.

I was asked to provide a short preview of the webinar by John Cummings, editor of the Cloud Experience Everywhere blog. Here’s an excerpt from our discussion:

John Cummings: Did businesses experience any drop-off in productivity when larger numbers of employees started working from home?

Lin Nease: Surprisingly to many – no, they did not sense any drop-off in productivity. And that fact has had huge implications for enterprise workplace strategies. Realize, though, that I’m talking about strictly “knowledge” workers; obviously, manual tasks in an operation must still be done at the workplace.

Some of the earliest inquiries we got from enterprise customers were regarding “measuring the outputs of remote workers.” However, those questions pretty much disappeared. The new question is: “How little office real estate can we get by with?”

John: How are companies redesigning their digital workplace strategies now that people are starting to return to the office?

Lin: Unfortunately, nobody seems to know for sure how many employees will show up when they have the choice. This is a problem, because companies are having difficulty “right-sizing” the new hybrid workplace. Preliminary observations indicate that fewer employees are actually commuting to the office, compared to how many indicated they would.

How does this affect the workplace strategy? Without experience and precision, companies are taking a “wait and see” approach to how the new hybrid workplace is actually used: Is it primarily a collaboration space? Is it primarily a hot-desking office? Are there correlations between the types of employees who want to work in the office and the types of services they want?

John: What innovations are you seeing in worker augmentation and/or flexible automation?

Lin: Certainly the most common augmentation/automation technology taking off right now is visual AI. Whether it’s used to inspect production outputs, scan for anomalies from surveillance cameras, look for obscure tumors in radiology images, or sense changes in demand or traffic patterns, visual AI is virtually always used to assist people (rather than replace them). Productivity gains from visual AI are frequently geometric, and difficult to fully comprehend before the technology is in place.

I hope you can join us for the webinar – register today and mark your calendar for Sept 16, 9:00 PDT: How to Redesign Your Distributed Workforce

Learn more about the hybrid workplace and how HPE can help you reinvent your workplace.

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Lin Nease is an HPE Fellow and Chief Technologist for HPE Pointnext Services’ IoT advisory practice. In this role, he is responsible for setting strategy, building a technology plan, and driving innovation with key enterprise customers/partners of HPE. 



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