As businesses and people continue to adapt to our current global environment, we’re focusing on what we can do to help candidates and employees adjust and thrive in the future construct of working at VMware. To better understand the thinking behind the Future of Work initiative, I virtually connected with (left to right) Rich Lang, Sr. Vice President of HR; Ann Cleland, Director of Governance, HR Workforce Planning and Contingent Workforce; and Anthony Alvarado, Sr. Director, HR Workforce Planning and Contingent Workforce, to get their take on the topic. Read on to see what they had to share.
VMware Careers: Has COVID-19 shaped how VMware views work and the workplace?
Rich Lang: Definitely. Although we had been working to evolve the way our people collaborate together, COVID-19 provided an opportunity for us to accelerate what the future of work looks like at VMware. What would have been a multi-year, phased project — reimagining our workforce, our workplaces, and our work practices — has become one of the top priorities for VMware in 2020 and the years ahead. VMware’s Future of Work initiative enables us to build a dynamic, global workforce of the future where VMware employees can work from any location in order to accelerate their productivity and deliver the most innovative solutions for our customers.
VMware Careers: It sounds like you’re talking about distributed work, a phrase and work concept that has been a topic of conversation as the pandemic has persisted over the last year.
Rich Lang: Yes. We’re redesigning our work practices in such a way that assumes people will not always be together in the same location, and in a way that does not disadvantage those who are not in physical proximity to one another.
VMware Careers: What does this look like from a job opportunity perspective?
Ann Cleland: We are providing people the choice to work from a VMware office, a home office, or other places that enable them to meet their professional and personal goals. The distributed work policy covers three options – fixed, flexible, and remote.
- Fixed (assigned workspace employees) – employees who work in a VMware office location most days and are assigned a desk in that office.
- Flexible (unassigned workspace employees) — employees who work from a VMware office some days during a week and otherwise work from non-VMware office locations. These employees are assigned to a VMware office or “neighborhood” in a building but are not assigned a desk.
- Remote — employees who do not generally come to a VMware office for their work. These employees are not assigned to a desk, office or “neighborhood” in a VMware office.
VMware Careers: Can you share a few examples of the roles or functions of Fixed employees at VMware?
Anthony Alvarado: These are mainly jobs that require a physical presence in an office; for example, a role that has a technology dependency, requires internet access to be stable, has a security constraint, or involves work to be done in a VMware office because of local laws and regulations. In addition, employees may choose to work as a fixed employee because they simply prefer to work in a VMware office the majority of the time. The key is that our people have choice and flexibility around where they physically work.
VMware Careers: Are there benefits to working in a distributed workplace?
Rich Lang: We’re already seeing the benefits of working in a more distributed manner. In a recent internal survey, over 80% of our people feel that moving to a distributed workplace is beneficial to themselves and to VMware’s long-term success. More than half (58%) feel that working in a distributed model increases their productivity (above what they experience working in an office). Providing flexibility for where our people work is improving work-life integration. There’s more discretionary time with less commuting, and over time, a smaller physical footprint from VMware offices supports a greener planet. And of course, from a talent perspective, we have much greater access to sourcing and retaining diverse, innovative talent when people can work where they want to live and work versus where our VMware offices are located.
VMware Careers: How is VMware supporting employees’ work, wellbeing, and growth in a distributed manner today?
Anthony Alvarado: Our executive leadership team and people managers know the role that they play when it comes to fostering an inclusive, productive, and healthy workplace environment. By sharing team norms and strategies for working in a distributed manner, empowering people with the right collaboration tools, and being intentional about building a distributed team culture, our leaders are working to ensure that every employee has the same opportunities and experiences at VMware.
We know that stressors can still arise from integrating work-life with personal-life – no matter where and how you work. To manage this, we’ve provided all employees with ten days Pandemic Leave and seven surprise company days off where every employee and intern takes the day off to recharge. Everyone being off on the same day allows people to really focus on the day instead of their email and meetings. We’re also providing enablement trainings and new benefits – such as the expanded Wellbeing Allowance – for our people to be and stay well. Read more on this topic here.
We’re All in This Future Together
In speaking with Rich, Ann, and Anthony, it’s clear that with the right technology, collaboration capabilities, and work practices people can do their best work and be their best selves – individually or together – wherever and however they show up to work each day. VMware people are moving towards this new future together.
Inspired to join us as we realize what’s possible? Explore our open job opportunities today.
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