- COVID-19 has forever changed how and where people work.
- The new hybrid workplace offers flexibility, but also some technological challenges.
- HP technology provides solutions to make hybrid work more secure, productive and efficient.
It used to be simple. Either you worked in an office or you worked from home. There wasn’t much middle ground to transition from one work style to another — especially from day to day.
COVID-19 changed everything. Overnight, business professionals around the world had to turn the corners of their homes into functional workspaces. It was an incredibly demanding time.
As people began to return to the workplace after the pandemic, millions of workers chose to split their time between working in the office and at home. Many still do. While convenient and in some ways preferable to pre-Covid routines, this new hybrid way of working came with a whole new set of complications.
“The hybrid option that many businesses are now adopting requires more flexibility than ever before,” said Dave Prezzano, CEO of HP UK and Ireland. “We now need to be productive wherever we are — and we still need to be able to collaborate effectively with our colleagues in the office.”
Work from 3.2 locations per week
According to a recent study by HP, the average freelancer now finds himself working from 3.2 different locations each week — which brings with it a variety of connectivity, continuity and security concerns.
Other common issues arising from this new world of work also come to light. For example, HP’s survey of 1,500 UK office workers found that more than a quarter of them felt less collaborative when working from home. And 29% said they don’t feel included in meetings when working remotely.
Often, staff who participate in hybrid meetings remotely complain that they are drowned out by colleagues who participate in person. “They’re looking for a way to enjoy the same level of participation as their colleagues in the workplace,” Prezzano said.
While many workers believe they can be more productive on days they work remotely, they also feel they often lack the tools they need to perform at their best. In HP’s survey, nearly a quarter of workers said a real keyboard would help them work better when away from the office.
How technology is changing the hybrid landscape
Addressing the emerging needs of hybrid workers requires a new approach to remote work. “Hybrid is here to stay and pre-COVID technology just isn’t cutting it,” Prezzano said. “There is still much work to be done to ensure a truly fair and collaborative future of work.”
All the issues facing today’s hybrid workers can now be solved using new technology. In fact, Prezzano said, innovative developments in both hardware and software can make hybrid work a much fairer experience.
Get meetings: Concerns about office participants being more visible disappear when remote workers use technology enhanced by HP Presence, which helps businesses level the playing field when office and home workers collaborate .
“Users at home with HP Presence technology can be sure they are seen and heard,” said Prezzano. “This technology greatly enhances the equality of collaboration and truly gives remote participants a seat at the table.”
This is achieved in a number of ways, including artificial intelligence noise reduction filters that capture unwanted background sounds such as dogs barking or traffic on the road. It means that remote workers no longer have to worry about muting and if the office is also equipped with the HP Presence solution in the meeting room, background noises from other participants are also reduced.
Then there’s HP Auto Frame, which allows users to break away from their desk and move around while working — safe in the knowledge that their face remains in focus as they stretch their legs.
Meanwhile, built-in lighting enhancements put an end to the dark and gloomy images of participants at home. HP Presence intelligently adapts to room lighting conditions, ensuring that participants’ faces are clearly visible.
HP Presence is one of the key features of the new HP Elite Dragonfly G3 laptop, a powerful laptop that features a 5-megapixel camera to ensure that fellow hybrid workers see it clearly.
For remote workers who prefer a desktop PC, meanwhile, the HP EliteOne 840 G9 Full HD Touchscreen All-in-One PC also brings HP Presence to a static setup.
Sound, safety and signals
The capabilities of the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 extend far beyond giving remote workers a voice in meetings. Beautifully designed and weighing just under a kilo, it features crystal clear audio from Bang & Olufsen, HP Wolf Security for Business and optional 5G connectivity to extend your work world far beyond the nearest WiFi signal.
And if users don’t have the “real keyboard” experience they once relied on at the desk, a highly effective solution is to add an HP 455 Programmable Wireless Keyboard. Noted for its long battery life, it’s made with sustainably sourced materials.
HP’s hybrid solutions cover all the bases, from wireless headsets that let you work in the noisiest of locations to seven-port hubs like the new HP Universal USB-C Multiport Hub that has everything a user needs to stay connected.
“Improving experiences for our customers through new innovations is what we do,” Prezzano said. “When we identify challenges in the way people work, we attempt to develop the solution.”
These new HP products, he added, enable hybrid workers to be just as productive and engaged at home as they are in the office.
“It essentially means that the challenges associated with the new world of work can now be easily managed,” he said.
Learn more about how HP technology helps improve the hybrid workplace.
This post was created by Insider Studios with HP.