With the impact of the pandemic shifting the global workforce towards a digitally connected one, HP Inc. in the Philippines shares insights in finding new ways to work, create, collaborate, and train while keeping employees physically and digitally safe.
According to a recent McKinsey survey, as companies reopen their offices, nine out of 10 will be combining remote and onsite work in a hybrid model. In the Philippines, the 2021 PhilCare Wellness Index found that 48.7 percent of employees prefer hybrid work arrangements, 35 percent were willing to go back to their workplaces, while 16 percent want to work entirely from their homes. This shows that almost half of Filipino employees prefer to have the flexibility to spend some of their time in the office and some of their time working from home.
“As we’re reopening many of our offices, we have to realize that everyone is going to be in a different place and understand the challenges of each employee,” says Christian Reyes, Philippines managing director of HP Inc.
Adapting to the changes, while also uniting a diverse, dispersed workforce behind a shared purpose requires new strategies and a thoughtful approach. Here are some insights to conquer the challenges in the new age of work:
1. Flexible and positive workplace environment
Every company has its own workplace culture and it continues to evolve in time even without effort. But it might not be positive or one that supports an organization’s broader goals — particularly when it’s developing across disparate teams who aren’t all in the same place at the same time.
One of the signs a company has a strong culture that benefits employees, the organization, customers, and other stakeholders, is when the leaders know and clearly articulate the company’s culture to their people. But this isn’t just listing a set of values — they need to define the behaviors that show what culture looks like in practice.
Reyes shares, “I have always been an advocate for making HP a “Great Place to Work” by embracing diversity, competency, and adopting a “fire in the belly” approach. This means cultivating our people’s passion for work as the main driver toward success.”
In early 2021, HP in the Philippines has been recognized as a top employer by Great Place to Work® (GPTW), the global standard and the world’s largest study of workplace excellence. More than 100 HP employees participated in the survey and shared their feedback and experience working at the company. Over 95% of HP employees said they feel welcomed; feel treated as a full member regardless of their position (96%); and feel that they are being treated fairly regardless of their race (95%). Overall, they are proud to tell others they work at HP (99%) which led the company to take the 5th spot in the 2022 top 25 best workplaces in the country, under the medium business category.
2. Upgraded in-office experience
When employees come to the office in a hybrid arrangement, their purpose is different than it was when in-person was the norm. For example, after getting used to a no-traffic commute from the bedroom to the home office desk, no one will no longer want to spend valuable time getting to and from the office only to sit at their desks and do work they could at home.
A great workplace understands this reality and adds value to in-office experience should they require it. This means offering benefits employees can’t get remotely, including providing more dedicated space for collaboration and resources that make work more productive and efficient, like high-powered PCs, office printers, and advanced conferencing technology.
3. Offers a supportive, ongoing onboarding experience
Adapting to the new environment and finding that sense of belongingness may be hard to do — especially when employees haven’t been together physically for a long time or in cases when there is a new member who hasn’t met anyone in person. When employees quickly feel part of an organization through a thorough and continuous onboarding program, they become proficient faster and are more likely to stay. In a hybrid environment, helping employees build that sense of belonging also means expanding the idea of “onboarding” beyond the first few days on the job.
In this case, the best way to support employees is to provide them with opportunities to speak their mind and contribute ideas.
“Recently, we launched the Next Generation or NextGen PH headed by one of the newest members of the team,” Reyes says. “NextGen is formed to continue cultivating an environment of diverse innovative minds where employees can build an inclusive, open, and safe space for constructive and innovative ideas through opportunities that increase experience and knowledge for career growth, leadership skills, and sense of belongingness.”
4. Provides opportunities for connection and growth
The hybrid model also requires more intention around helping long-time and new employees to interact and form connections with each other. The success of a remote team depends very heavily on the tools they are equipped with.
HP ensures its people maximize their potential while working wherever and whenever. The more employees are equipped with the right tools such as cutting-edge mobility, security, connectivity and collaboration capabilities, the more they are empowered to succeed in life and work.
“In addition to the right technology and while we do not see each other face to face due to the pandemic restrictions, we are able to maintain closed-tied relationships through our weekly video call sessions called Connect Series,” says Reyes. “Through this initiative led by our creative HR team, we are able to take the time to get together and know each other more by sharing our life stories and personal methods to help us cope with the struggles of remote working.”
5. Keeps hybrid workers protected from cyber-attacks
Too many organizations erroneously think being behind a firewall is enough to keep an endpoint safe and worse, they leave the accountability solely to their employees to try and secure themselves when they’re outside the office network.
HP Wolf Security is a newly integrated portfolio of secure by design PCs and printers, hardware-enforced endpoint security software, and endpoint security services to protect employees and customers alike from growing cyber threats.
“At its core, hybrid work requires companies to reimagine how managers and employees can work, collaborate, and maintain a high level of trust in each other. Most importantly, the focus will always be on the people’s well-being and what is necessary to not only retain them but make them thrive,” ends Reyes.