The Cloud Experience Everywhere
Peter_Mansell

Reimagining the digital workplace: New ways to connect, communicate and collaborate

The way we work has changed forever, opening up a range of new opportunities for businesses and employees. Join HPE, Microsoft, Citrix and BitTitan at the Future of Work Summit 2021, June 10 (EMEA) or June 15 (APAC), to learn how to build a modern, secure hybrid workplace.

HPE-Digital-Workplace-Hybrid-Workplace.pngWhat does the future workplace look like, and how do you start creating it? One thing that’s clear is the traditional office environment and 9-to-5 work are most certainly things of the past. While some organizations had already embraced remote work effectively, others, as a result of the pandemic, had to quickly adapt.

From the discussions I’ve had with many organizations, office work is unlikely to return to normal. There will be a permanent change in people’s working patterns. Change is not limited to the office environment; there has also been a great deal of disruption in the manufacturing and retail spaces.

Moving to a more flexible working environment – a hybrid workplace – is essential for both employees and employers. Employees get the option to create a “work environment that fits your life.” Employers get the option to widen their recruitment reach.

New opportunities beckon

Let’s take a look into that first point. Gone are the days of people’s level of productivity being directly related to the amount of time they spend at a desk in the office. After some initial challenges, most organisations have managed to effectively enable employees to work remotely. In some instances, this has increased productivity. If productivity doesn’t suffer and employees are able to fit their work environment around their life, that’s a good outcome, isn’t it?

If we look at the benefits for employers, there are two main advantages that I can see. First, recruitment is easier; no longer are we tied to a location. Secondly, organizations can adapt their real estate and office strategies to fit the current working set-up. This will reduce operational costs and provide an environment that meets people’s needs.

My own organisation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has already made a number of these changes. We shifted our HQ from California to Texas because of business needs, opportunities for cost savings, and team members’ preferences about the future of work. In addition, the company has launched an edge-to-office program. There are many parts to this strategy, including real estate alignment, but more importantly it’s about making sure employees can work in the environment that best suits their job.

There are some roles – engineering and customer support, for example – in which location and the availability of tools is critical. In those instances, being in the office is essential. The remainder of the roles in the organization can really be based anywhere. Why put restrictions on location when they are simply not needed? HPE has worked to classify its employees as either office- or edge-based. Those based at the edge will still get access to office facilities, but with the expectation that it’s on an as-needed basis.

Now before I get people who love being in the office hounding me over this article, I’ll make something clear: I can’t wait to get back into the office! I believe it’s a key part of any role to connect, collaborate and communicate in person. But it doesn’t have to be every day of the week.

The way we collaborate is changing

In addition, you don’t need to be with people to collaborate and innovate; there’s a multitude of technologies out there to help achieve this. Microsoft Teams, for example, allows teams to utilise voice, video, instant messaging, and document sharing all in one platform, providing the ability to collaborate across multiple regions. I also believe we will see an increase in the utilisation of virtual reality platforms to bring teams closer together. At HPE, we’re currently working on using this technology for our own meetings and, soon, some of our client engagements! It’s going to be very exciting, and will provide an interesting mix of in-person and virtual-reality-based events.

With the changes we have discussed in this blog, what’s clear is that team interaction is critical. Whether we are together in person, in a video conference or via a VR headset, we need to have the right tools and the culture to allow our teams to connect and collaborate. Working in a global team and business, I have seen first-hand how critical it is to share ideas and best practices from region to region. Not only does this improve productivity and speed to market, but it can also bring operational costs down. Why repeat the same task in multiple regions when you can just execute in one?

How to be ready – and stay ready – for whatever comes next

If the workplace has changed and will continue to adapt, how can you ensure your organization will be ready? Our vision is that we should enable a perimeter-less workplace – meaning that work becomes something you do, not a place where you are. To do this there are two key aspects. First, the right technology building blocks need to be in place. This is critical. If employees can’t easily connect and share documents, how can we expect them to be productive? If employees are given many tools to perform the same task, how are they meant to work out which one to use? Having a clear roadmap to work through the technology choices is essential.

Secondly, there’s the people aspect. Just providing a tool or bit of software and then saying ‘go ahead and use it’ doesn’t work. Training is key, but so is driving the culture and using the tool from a top-down perspective.

At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, we help customers adopt the right technologies to improve employee experiences. This is done in partnership with leading organisations like Microsoft, Citrix and BitTitan. To share our thoughts and give you some ideas on the next steps, we've put together a great event focused on the future of digital work. Join us on June 10 (EMEA) or June 15 (APAC) – you can register here: Future of Digital Work Summit 2021

Thank you for reading and good luck with designing your future workplace.

Learn how HPE can help you build a secure, seamless and safe digital workplace across sites, facilities, home offices and everywhere in between.

Check out HPE virtualization desktop infrastructure solutions – VDI delivered as a service to ensure business continuity and secure, safe productivity across the hybrid workplace.


Peter Mansell
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Peter_Mansell

Peter is a business leader and executive with over 20 years’ experience in technology and services. His current role is to run a global services business focused on modernizing the workplace, utilizing technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Citrix. Throughout his career, Peter has managed sales, pre-sales and delivery teams, encompassing advisory and professional services, cloud offerings and infrastructure solutions.