CDW Tech Talk: Get an overview of the top IT trends of 2021

2021 brought a change in employee expectations

As organizations transitioned to a hybrid work environment in 2021, there has been a growing awareness of new cultural issues. Collaboration has become essential to success, but the way employees work together is changing.

Andy Rhodes, Managing Director and Global Head of Business Systems and Display Solutions at HP, joined a CDW Tech Talk webcast in October to highlight the need for collaboration in a hybrid work environment.

“I think the big challenge we’re going to have is that people have gotten used to having their personal setup mostly at home. End users are going to demand the same amount of service. And when I say service, I mean, “I want the same ability to be productive, I want the same freedoms to move around and I want them in this new environment,” Rhodes said.

These evolving expectations will require different responses from executives as well as IT departments, Rhodes said. “I think IT needs to understand that productivity is going to be measured in a lot of different states, not just in the home, and that’s going to be a big challenge, because how do you set up the office? How to arrange people’s houses? How do you prepare them when they travel between these states? And how do you do this without incurring huge costs for the organization? “

Rhodes cited an additional challenge specifically related to hybrid work: leadership needs to make all employees feel like equal contributors. “It’s about having everyone as a first-class citizen in these environments, so that we don’t go back to those old ways where there are four people in the room, there are two people at a distance who are ignored, ”he said. “They don’t hear what’s going on, don’t pick up on nuances and body language. So, I think that’s going to be one of the big challenges on the IT side.

LOOK: Find out how to leverage technology for better collaboration.

2021 required a reconsideration of the corporate culture

In a separate webcast in October, Cisco’s Shari Slate, Head of Inclusion and Collaboration and Senior Vice President of Inclusive Futures and Strategy, and Gianpaolo Barozzi, Senior Director of Human Resources and Business Management talents, raised concerns similar to those expressed by Rhodes.

“We created our Collaborative Commitments to provide individuals, leaders and teams with three pillars, with clarity on how we expect them to behave and work together on accountability, inclusion and accountability. well-being, ”he said.

“The one I love the most is the area of ​​inclusion, which says we are committed to building trust and making sure everyone’s voice is heard, no matter where they work. It’s simple and powerful, ”he said.

Slate summed up his approach in one word: empathy. “Empathy has long been a leadership skill we all aspire to, but it has never been more important than it is today. Empathy touches everything from innovation and retention to how people feel about inclusion.

Barozzi pointed out that before the pandemic 14% of meetings included remote participants, but going forward 98% of all collaboration meetings will have at least one remote participant. “This is why empathy becomes so critical between participants from multiple places. I like to call it the gravitational field that holds the organization together. At Cisco, we call it our superpower to create an inclusive, hybrid, and empathetic collaboration experience. If there is no empathy, surely we will see more burnout, video fatigue, lack of connection and commitment. It is not enough to provide the best technology and the best training on how to use it. We need to create inclusive and collaborative empathic experiences in a much more deliberate way. “

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