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From productivity to humanity, technology is enabling work and life li Skip to main content

From productivity to humanity, technology is enabling work and life like never before.

Tue Oct 20, 2020 | Genesis Technologies


Most of us have had to adjust to a new work-life balance, involving a lot more working from home. For many of us it required a rebalancing of work hours and home commitments. How about you and your team?

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of research done on how best to use technology to simplify this balance.

HP had developed an approach called OneLife aimed at making work-life balance more fluid. In this post, HP’s Kobi Elbaz talks about how to evolve the model for your own situation today.

When HP first envisioned what we call “OneLife,” we had no concept of the blunt reality we would all be confronted with in 2020. OneLife is the idea that technology must seamlessly permeate our personal and professional lives. At the time we conceived the nomenclature, it reflected a growing desire to have devices that serve multiple purposes, making life more fluid overall.

Today, as lives are turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic, OneLife represents nothing short of necessity. Technology has proven to be an absolutely essential tool as millions of people around the world adjust to new realities.

For the demands of work and managing everyday life, success requires a blend of three things: a digital-first mindset, the right tools, and an adaptive schedule to balance priorities. Here’s how I’m encouraging my teams to evolve their own approach to OneLife—as I do the same.

Staying Productive in a Tech-Enabled Home Office

Before the coronavirus crisis, about 43 percent of employees in the U.S. worked from home at least some of the time, according to Global Workplace. Now, that number has skyrocketed, with some network specialists seeing remote user traffic surge by 800 to 900 percent. Fortune 50 companies are being run from kitchen tables. Historic decisions are happening, not in boardrooms, but rather right from leaders’ own homes. We’ve each assumed hybridized routines that are inextricably powered by technology.

At HP, I’ve been immensely impressed by how well our 50,000+ employees worldwide have augmented their homes into highly functional workspaces quickly and maintained productivity. This has been enabled, first and foremost, by leadership trusting that good work can truly happen from anywhere. Network infrastructure and security protocols are also critical. On a more personal level, however, agile, home-based technology ecosystems have never been so important. Google data shows that year-over-year search volume for devices has climbed sharply since early March. Searches for laptops are up 72 percent; printer searches are up 59 percent; monitors are up 74 percent. PCs with quality sound—to support video conferences—and noise cancelling headphones are also more essential in a house where everyone is coexisting.

For myself and my team, I’ve seen what a difference the right set-up has made during this time. Having confidence in your tools means being able to focus on deep work and driving efficiencies in your day. Employees who mirror the digital perks of a traditional office—from setting up a dual-monitor for viewing ease, to using a wireless keyboard and mouse for comfort, to having a headset ready to go for high-quality video calls—thrive while working from home.

Beyond work, though, colleagues have leaned on technology to connect on a human level. Teams are leveraging the habits that have enabled remote work for years in order to bring more stability to the rest of our lives.

Trusting Technology to Keep All Facets of Life Moving Forward

Technology ecosystems are evolving quickly because our lives—not just our jobs—depend on it. Devices now serve as full-time classrooms, doctors’ offices, stores, virtual gathering places for friends and loved ones, and much more. Our homes are command central.

Like so many others, I have school-aged kids at home whose demand for connectivity is just as important as mine. My middle-school-aged daughter, for instance, is juggling online projects and assessments every day while also trying to stay engaged with her classmates. I also know people who need non-emergency medical care right now. Their best—or only—option for getting an existing prescription refilled or getting a new one is telemedicine. As doctors and patients rely on video calls, secure and reliable technology makes a life-changing difference. My family, like many households, is also adapting to using technology more for groceries and meals. One study showed that 97 percent of respondents who were using online grocery services during this time planned to continue doing so in the future.

On top of all these necessities, though, families want to find some enjoyment. Streaming videos, listening to playlists and gaming are all sources of fun that can be done safely from home. In fact, the gaming destination Steam saw a record-breaking 20 million concurrent users in March—well above its previous record of 18 million. As a society, we’re looking for creative and stress-relieving outlets. Whether that’s writing or some form of digital art or helping mobilize a philanthropic effort online, technology is augmenting nearly every facet of daily life.

But the concept of OneLife doesn’t just mean having more technology. Rather, it’s about finding novel ways that our devices can facilitate fluidity, simplicity and flexibility in how we live and work.

Right now, we’re putting OneLife to the test. Each of us, through a bit of trial and error, has to create a technology ecosystem and define the boundaries that will allow our work and wellbeing to prosper under the unusual—and often challenging—circumstances we’re all facing together. As a result, our digital lives will be fuller and more connected than ever.

Contact Genesis Technologies and tell us about your current work model so we can help your organization move to a hybrid remote and office work model.

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