Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) has opened two new collaboration hubs in Manchester and Reading, complementing the company’s recently established Edge-to-Office program. By reimagining how team members could work, the Edge-to-Office program enables more team members to work and stay connected remotely through digital experiences while transforming offices into hubs for collaboration and social interaction. The new UK sites are designed with teamwork, social connections and talent development at their heart, leveraging collaboration spaces and open seating. HPE has also transformed existing offices in Bristol and Glasgow to be fit for the new way of working.
“Hewlett Packard Enterprise has innovation in our DNA and we want to lead in digital and cultural change,” said Marc Waters, SVP and managing director for UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “In business, people ultimately make the difference and HPE has long been a leader in workplace flexibility. Trust and empowerment are core to our culture with a commitment to talent development and high performance. To stay ahead of our competition in the battle for talent, we have redefined our work spaces and policies to implement a bold Edge-to-Office vision.”
The new collaboration hubs located at Winnersh Triangle, in Reading, and Manchester Circle Square have been designed to create a dynamic and collaborative culture in which HPE team members can thrive, with a particular emphasis on graduates, apprentices and interns. Team members starting out in their careers benefit from hands-on training and support, as well as the camaraderie and social aspects of work life. With this is mind, the new sites are centred on meeting rooms, open seating areas and lounges, rather than a large volume of individual work desks. Wellness and the environment are also a crucial part of the sites’ DNA, with bike facilities, gyms, sports areas and showers, as well as great public transport, cafes and restaurants on site or close by.
“The workplace isn’t a ‘place’ as such,” added Waters. “It’s a culture, it’s how we collaborate and ultimately it’s the way we do things. We continue to invest in tools and resources to keep team members connected and promote collaboration, for both in-person and virtual environments. Our new collaboration hubs are designed to enhance team working and increase the value of the time we spend together.”
The workplace cultural evolution was underway at HPE well before the sudden arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. As much as 60% of the HPE workforce routinely worked outside the office, underscoring team member preference for flexible working conditions and productivity while offsite. HPE regularly surveys team members regarding their preferences for HPE’s work environment, and the data showed that team members enjoy the flexibility to work outside the office, preferring to use the office for collaboration and social connections. The Edge-to-Office program introduced by HPE earlier this year gave team members the flexibility that they asked for: the ability to work from anywhere, allowing them to fit HPE into their lives, rather than the other way around.
HPE believes that the Edge-to-Office program brings a range of benefits for both the company and its team members. Notably, it expands the talent pool available to HPE, with candidates from across the UK able to apply for roles with HPE regardless of their proximity to an HPE site. For existing team members, it enables improved work-life balance, with reduced transport time and the freedom to live anywhere. Internal surveys show that the program has increased team member satisfaction and productivity. In addition, a reduction in real estate also has a positive environmental and financial impact on the company.
HPE CEO Antonio Neri, who has been in position since 2018, has significantly strengthened the focus on company culture, including in areas such as inclusion, work-life balance, social and environmental responsibility. For example, the Work that Fits Your Life benefits program launched in 2019, introduced six-months fully paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, and more recently granted six additional wellness days off in the summer of 2021 to help team members wind down after an unprecedented year.