CEO says employee safety is paramount, coming back to office will be voluntary
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is beginning to map out the delicate process of enabling employees to return to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CEO Antonio Neri.
The Lowdown: Even as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States and the world, federal and state politicians and business leaders are beginning to consider when they can start returning to something close to business as usual.
The Details: In a blog post this week, Neri outlined some of the steps the IT vendor is taking as it turns its attention to what the CEO referred to as a “rebound” from the public health crisis. Like almost every other company, HPE closed many of its offices and sent employees home as a way of adhering to social distancing measures in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
The company has set up a special team that’s working with HPE’s Crisis Management Team to begin looking at how its return to work will roll out, Neri wrote. A key first step is to map out an approach to ensure that it’s safe for employees to come back into the office.
He stressed that HPE won’t lift its work-from-home guidance based on federal and state government lifting orders, but rather based on when the company feels it’s safe to have employees return to the buildings. All of HPE’s sites will be modified to maintain physical distancing, and employees will not all return at once. In addition, returning to the office will be voluntary, the CEO wrote.
The Impact: As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in the United States and around the world, government leaders are looking for ways to begin opening up some businesses to help a global economy that has been battered by the pandemic. Complicating the issue in the United States is the lack of a broad nationwide testing program to help track the disease. Some states like Georgia are pushing ahead more aggressively than others that are taking a more cautious approach. According to Johns Hopkins, as of Thursday morning the United States had more than 842,600 confirmed cases and more than 46,000 have died.
The Buzz: “At HPE, we recognize that living our purpose to advance the way people live and work is essential not just in how we respond to the coronavirus, but in how we recover from it – and help our customers do the same,” Neri wrote. “Technology has never been as important as it is now to help the world weather and emerge from global business disruption, which is happening on a scale and at a pace never seen before. We see a tremendous need and opportunity to help organizations rebuild business models, create new experiences, and connect differently. In this new world, business continuity depends on solutions that advance IT resiliency, provide supply chain transparency, empower remote workforces, extend connectivity, reinvigorate customer engagement, and help organizations retool their business models. We have a unique ability to help with these needs, and we take that responsibility seriously.”