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Rethinking the Way We Work in the Next Normal

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AdobeStock 377572090 1240x600 Working from Home in the Next Normal

Even for the most forward-looking CEOs, the future came early this year.

Across industries, leaders are grappling with issues they had not anticipated facing for many years, if ever. Chief among them being where and how we work.

Making the decision to curtail employee travel and keep workers safe at home was a straightforward call when COVID-19 hit. Even from the front lines of 5G where we help make hyper-connectivity possible, we know that technology alone will not provide all the answers. That is why for Spirent, and many companies around the world, 2020 has been a year of considerable reflection.

Just a short time ago, where and how teams work may have been purely a commercial decision. The decisions companies are making now will shape not just the future of their organizations, but the future of work itself. While we are evaluating what it means to be effective, we are engaging in long overdue conversations about culture and giving employees a louder voice than ever.

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Though physical offices will remain in our foreseeable future, they no longer define how our people conduct business.

Where we work

It is through the lens of evolving global circumstances along with our guiding principles that we weigh how and when our people go back to the office. Many of us, upon reflection, would now agree that where we work has become a lot less important.

But at the same time, work/life balance is more crucial than ever to employee well-being. As the distinction between work and home environments has blurred, it’s become important to set healthy boundaries. Though physical offices will remain in our foreseeable future, they no longer define how our people conduct business.

Now that work is less dependent on location, there are new considerations to think through. Recruiting and relocation are going to be very different than pre-COVID. Our culture, previously centered around our offices, needs to adapt to a more remote workforce. Driving a consistent culture regardless of where or how we work must now rise to the top of our minds.

Being a Good Global Citizen

In our interpersonal relationships, we’ve learned to judge people not only by what they say, but what they do. As consumers, we now hold the businesses we support equally accountable. We want to know what they believe and what drives their actions in a global marketplace.

At Spirent, we expect our customers to demand the same of us. We don’t just want to earn business because we have the best solutions and services. We aspire to be respected and admired for how we treat employees, protect the environment, and contribute to society.

We have been increasingly focused on understanding our impact on the environment and the communities we call home. We know that environmental social governance is key to sustainable growth and, to that end, our Future Positive initiative emphasizes being a responsible corporate citizen.

As we evaluate our future work environments, we recognize the sustainability benefits of a more remote workforce. With a decrease in commuting, physical office space, and utilities, we are decreasing our carbon footprint while giving our employees more flexibility.

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Flexibility is key

What we have learned through this crisis is the importance of flexibility and adaptability in uncertain times. We were forced to adapt our business to help our customers navigate this new reality. From the onset of lockdown, our sales and marketing teams ramped up our digital efforts, through webinars and remote demos. We tailored our solutions to help our customers cope with the tsunami of bandwidth demands and reduce the need for on-site support.

Though I wish the strides we are taking were happening under different circumstances, we are making great progress on the path we’ve chosen. Today, we look to the road ahead with optimism, as we innovate new solutions for emerging challenges.

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Tags: 5G, Automation, Ethernet + IP, Mobile Networks
Erik-Updyke
Eric Updyke

Chief Executive Officer

Eric Updyke is Chief Executive Officer of Spirent Communications. In his 30+ years in the communications industry, Eric has led transformative growth programs on a global scale. As CEO, Eric is focused on driving sustainable, profitable growth as he works to make Spirent the leader and trusted partner for innovative technology test and assurance solutions. Prior to joining Spirent in April 2019, Eric was on the Executive Management team of Amdocs. In his capacity as Group President, Services at Amdocs Ltd., he had global responsibility for the entire Managed Services, Testing and SI businesses, comprising 10,000 employees and roughly $2 billion in revenue. Previously, he was Division President for North America at Amdocs, where he managed a $1 billion P&L and was responsible for the relationship with North American communications service providers. Before joining Amdocs, Eric held executive roles at Nokia Siemens Networks and AT&T. Eric has an MBA in Finance and a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Symend.