Guayente Sanmartin, HP Inc.: “fostering and maintaining employee wellbeing should be the top priority for companies”

The hybrid workspace is here to stay, but striking the right balance to empower employee connection and productivity remains challenging. Without the right technology, remote, hybrid, and office workers can struggle to perform at their best.

We spoke with Guayente Sanmartin, Global Head of Commercial Systems and Displays Solutions at HP Inc. – a global leader in the personal systems and printing industries with a portfolio that spans products and services for individuals, businesses, and communities – about why customer needs across personal and professional spaces are so important.

Per Sanmartin, “The right technology and tools are essential for building a culture that fosters connection, increases productivity, and builds engagement while keeping people secure.”

Would you like to share a little bit about your journey throughout the years? How did you land at HP?

HP’s passion for innovation, meeting customer needs, and supporting their people are the reasons why I joined the team as an intern over 20 years ago. Throughout my professional journey, I’ve gained a deep understanding of the company’s strengths as a products and services leader, as well as areas where we can strive for improvement and embrace new opportunities.

I’ve also learned how to foster a culture of continuous improvement, optimizing our teams and processes for greater efficiency and quality. This not only sets HP apart, but also lays the foundation for our long-term growth and success.

I am very proud to have contributed to HP’s legacy of innovation, customer-centricity, and operational excellence, and I’m excited for what’s next.

You recently launched a line of products set to enhance hybrid experiences. Can you tell us more about the vision behind it?

Data-driven insights and a deep understanding of our customers’ needs are at the heart of our innovation at HP. Our latest research showed that, now more than ever, there is a need to make hybrid work actually work for everyone.

Surprisingly, only 22 percent of workers describe themselves as ‘thriving’ in hybrid work. Companies are clearly still trying to figure out how to make hybrid work, but they’re not sure how to or struggle to find effective solutions. Our HP Future of Work study uncovered that 80 percent of workers want to be in the office some of the time, but subpar technology experiences are deterring their return to the office.

Having the right technology and tools is essential for building a culture that fosters connection, increases productivity, and builds engagement all while keeping people secure. Enabling companies and employees to thrive in hybrid environments – whether at home, in the office, or in between – was the driving force behind our newest line-up of computing solutions empowering the next era of hybrid flexibility.

How have recent global events with the COVID-19 pandemic affected your field of work? Are your customers running into any new challenges?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on our industry. The transformation of how and where we work, something that would have taken several years to change, happened in a few months. Now, companies are facing a new set of challenges when it comes to their return-to-office plans.

Before 2020, we only occasionally worked from home. The office was our primary hub for collaboration and productivity. The pandemic forced us to completely reshape our routines and adapt to working from home where many of us were not equipped with efficient work setups. Then, in 2022, the transition back to the office proved difficult as both employers and employees faced sub-optimal experiences with their technology and setup.

Now, we’re in the midst of a new era of hybrid flexibility, where we need to strike a balance between the benefits of working in the office and the comfort of working from home.

While HP has spent the last few years perfecting the ideal home setup for hybrid workers, our customers are currently struggling with technology that is falling short in the office. For example, less-than-seamless transitions between Zoom calls at home and in-person meetings in conference rooms.

HP stands out as the only company meeting these evolving needs and making hybrid work across all spaces with a comprehensive ecosystem of devices and solutions designed to keep people connected, productive, and secure.

Our HP and Poly solutions offer intuitive video conferencing experiences that empower employees to look and sound their best. Our next-generation PCs redefine next-level performance, with enterprise-grade security features and collaboration tools that open up new ways of working together.

As we navigate this latest shift, HP is committed to empowering our customers to thrive with the right tools and technology – wherever they may be.

In the age of frequent cyberattacks, what security tools do you think businesses should be investing in?

In today’s hybrid environment, employees are often in and out of the office. Combined with the acceleration of cloud computing and sophisticated cyber threats, effective, remote PC management at scale is more complex than ever before, yet more essential.

That’s why we recently introduced HP Wolf Connect, an IT management connectivity solution that enables IT to manage devices even when powered down or offline. HP Wolf Connect with HP’s Protect and Trace protects sensitive data on the move, protects against threats, and ensures IT teams can manage a hybrid workforce no matter where the work is taking place.

Besides implementing security measures, what other best practices do you think companies should follow? Especially when teams are working remotely?

Regardless of the work environment, fostering and maintaining employee well-being should be the top priority for companies. The hybrid work model is here to stay, and encouraging engagement and productivity among employees goes beyond providing the option for remote work or being in the office. A stronger understanding of their day-to-day work processes and the tools and solutions they need to perform at their best is critical.

For example, are you speaking with an engineer who requires a high-performance workstation with computing power for intensive tasks like data analysis? Or are you interacting with a field worker who needs devices and supplies conveniently delivered to their doorstep to minimize disruptions to their productivity? So it’s really about having the right device and technology matched to the requirements of the job.

It’s also important to make sure technology is seamlessly blending into employees’ workflows, avoiding an influx of video meetings and calls. As HP research shows that 39% of workers now struggle with focusing on tasks, enabling employees to work flexibly with the right technology while setting clear boundaries is essential for success in a hybrid workplace.

It's evident that sustainability is extremely important for HP. What tips would you give to organizations looking to make their operations more sustainable?

It’s no longer enough to focus on your own operations and make them more sustainable – that should be a given. Organizations must go beyond and do more for the planet and their communities. Employees and customers alike are looking to companies to create a more equitable and sustainable future. Doing less harm is an expectation; companies also need to do more good.

Last month, HP released our annual 2022 Sustainable Impact Report. We were proud to report a reduction in our carbon footprint by 18% since 2019 in our path to net zero emissions by 2040, as well as a 55% reduction in single-use plastic packaging. We’ve also accelerated digital equity for more than 21 million people with an end goal of 150 million people.

And, HP has already surpassed its goal of enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025, with more than 103 million students and adult learners already benefiting from HP’s education programs and solutions advancing quality learning and digital literacy.

What advancements and innovations in the personal device landscape do you hope to see in the future?

There is a clear need to incorporate personal devices more seamlessly into our lives, and I’m excited for the innovations that will make this happen. We’ll see PCs that deliver more immersive, intuitive experiences with enhanced audio and visual capabilities and AI, while also reducing our environmental footprint with more sustainable materials.

Imagine a HP and Poly device that takes your virtual connections to the next level. A camera that captures your image and creates a 3D representation of your real-life surroundings. Paired with 360-degree surround audio, this interactive setup allows you to collaborate with others as if you’re physically in the same room. Sharing ideas and working together becomes a more engaging experience – all from the comfort of your own space.

I’m also hopeful for the endless possibilities that AI can bring to personal devices. Our PCs will learn from our behaviors to deliver a more integrated experience – intelligently optimizing user performance to provide all-day battery life or providing hyper-personalized recommendations tailored to your work environment for maximized productivity. It’s a future that has the potential to revolutionize our daily interactions with technology to create a more personalized and connected user experience.

In terms of our environmental impact, at HP, we’re already taking bold steps to drive climate action. We’ve created the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio with 100% of PCs and displays launched in 2022 – 2023 containing recycled materials. I believe more companies will join us and focus on personal device product design that enables a circular economy to protect our planet.

Share with us - what’s next for HP?

We are very excited about HP’s Future Ready strategy, which positions us for growth across our entire portfolio, operations, and talented teams. The way people engage with technology while living, working, and playing is constantly changing, and there are exciting new opportunities for HP to redefine digital experiences and what our products can do in the age of AI.

HP is also continuing to build out the most comprehensive end-to-end portfolio of hybrid solutions so our customers can continue collaborating and creating at their best from anywhere. But we’re also looking at what other innovative solutions we can develop to support the evolving needs of the hybrid and in-office workplace.

Our commitment to sustainability is also making great progress as shown in our recent impact report, aligning with our strategic focus areas of driving climate action, advancing human rights, and accelerating digital equity.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to explore how we can continue pushing boundaries, embracing new technologies, and making a positive impact on both our customers and the world around us.

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