TEC37 E20: Risks and Benefits of Hybrid Work
Nov 18, 2020
Join host Robb Boyd and a cross-architecture panel of WWT thought leaders from Security, Digital Strategy and Digital Workspace as they introduce the Hybrid Work spectrum, and help organizations better understand both the risks and benefits that long-term remote working presents. “Hybrid Work” as a term has taken on new meaning since the pandemic. Hybrid work refers to organizations bringing some workers back to the physical company workplace while other worker groups remain working from home, as well as giving workers the choice to alternate between working at a company site and working remotely. In this episode, we introduce the hybrid work spectrum as a framework to help IT leaders prioritize the competing demands of optimizing for remote work and being ready for returning workers.
Please view transcript below:
Robb Boyd: Well, hello and welcome everybody. Today, we're talking about hybrid work. We're talking about methodologies and experience that could be learned from each other, trying to figure out if we're doing the right thing these days. Organizationally, some of us are at home. Some of us have to go to work. Organizationally speaking, we're trying to figure out what is the next plan for... Heck, what's the plan for next week, much less the one-year, five-year, ten-year plan, but there are some people that are doing really well. And there are some people that can offer guidance in terms of what we could be doing better and how to even benchmark yourself against others. It's all about hybrid work on today's TEC37. It's World Wide Technology and TEC37, your home for technology, education and collaboration. My name is Robb Boyd.
Well, all right. Gentlemen, so glad to have you with us. I've been excited about this topic. You guys each bring a unique perspective that I think is important to consider for this notion of hybrid work and really helping the audience as we discuss amongst ourselves, leveraging your experience about how do we know if we're doing it right? Everybody's in some different form, it feels like organizationally still figuring out how to be effective in this environment. Some are probably doing it really well. Some maybe not so well. Some are just curious if they are somewhere in there. And we'll talk about how they can do that in just a moment. I want to start with some introductions. So first, Charlie, I've had you on before. I wonder if you could tell us who you are and what you're responsible for there at WWT.
Charlie Lawhorn: Sure, happy to. Thanks for having me back. I'm a chief digital officer here at World Wide. And so, I spend most of my time out with our clients really thinking through their customer or interactions, their employee interactions, what those experiences look like. As you can imagine, hybrid work is thrown all that into a bunch of new topics. So, excited to be here and talk with you about it today.
Robb Boyd: Absolutely. Well, good to have you back. Thank you, man. Well, David, I just met you as a fellow Texan down in San Antonio, I think, it was, if I remember correctly.
David Rosenblat...: Houston, but close enough. Yeah.
Robb Boyd: Oh, Houston. Okay. The other big city without hills. Perfect. Well, I wonder, David, could you tell us a little bit about you? What do you do for World Wide?
David Rosenblat...: So I'm the principal solution architect for a digital workspace at WWT. So I specialize in engaging with a lot of our largest customers around their broader digital workspace strategies and capabilities. For us, digital workspace encompasses the broad set of technologies that people engage with in order to perform their work, so everything from end user compute and collaboration tools to applications.
Robb Boyd: All right. It sounds like a nice narrow area to focus on there as well. All right. Well, last but not least, Rick Dudeck. Rick, I think you're a security expert with the practice there. I hope I'm stating that correctly. Tell us your full name and what you're responsible for at World Wide.
Rick Dudeck: Sure thing, Robb. Thanks for having me. Rick Dudeck, I'm a senior practice manager inside of our security consulting services group. So our group is focused on helping our customers stay safe, really what can they do from technology and services and governance and compliance to maintain the integrity of their business and stay safe out there.
Robb Boyd: Well, I think staying safe has so many meanings these days, but we'll stick with that. And so I think we're going to lean on you heavily at all the stages within here. And guys, we had met earlier, obviously talking through how we should approach this topic, and you guys have been writing on this. You guys run various workshops and briefings for customers. And so you've also had various levels of customer experience through this whole time. So the nice thing is you've not been lazy during the time period, like I have, taking advantage of as much, streaming video as I can.
But I broke it into three areas and this is a little bit different because you've got a few more areas, but I think they all work together because for one, I want security, of course, throughout all of that, as you do. But the way I was looking at this as I saw, but correct me if I'm wrong, operational and business risk considerations, and specifically, I'm going to ask Rick to set some foundational stuff for us right off the bat with security at the top, but that doesn't mean we're going to be done with security. Rick, I'm just letting you know ahead of time. I'm going to start with you in just a second.
But second one we'll hit after that point is around trends in the landscape. And David, I think you and your team have been working on some tools to use to actually enable organizations to plot their experience and just give people some ways because I think that's really important here and I think that's going to be one of the best outcomes of this conversation is probably just knowing where are we in relation to others in our vertical, in our industry, and what does that imply in terms of what we should be doing or not doing maybe, if that's the thing.
And then my favorite always, and I'm sure this will be sprinkled throughout, but I have it as a third area, anecdotes and lessons. And Charlie, I'll probably look to you to kick us off with some customer stories that back this up. But all this stuff obviously is intermingled. And so it is hard to make distinct lines between them, but let's do it for the sake of conversation. And Rick, from a security perspective, what are you seeing as the primary challenge that is revealing itself from a security perspective perhaps that's unique since we started going into this heavy duty work from home with no advanced notice type thing back in March?
Rick Dudeck: Exactly, Robb. I think everyone was caught by surprise. One day everybody's working as normal. The second day the offices are empty. And our clients were struggling with business continuity issues. Security wasn't necessarily top of mind at that point. It was, "How do I maintain my business running now that everybody's remote?" There was the scrambled for hardware. Laptops, you couldn't get laptops, remote access, VPN hardware. It was just a matter of business continuity, and that ran for a period of time there.
And then we shifted into second phase as everybody got connected in businesses realized they could still function. They went back in from a security aspect and really started to evaluate, "Okay. What mistakes may I have made in the rush to maintain my business? And how do I start shoring that up? And what do I need to do now to make sure I'm just as secure as I was when everybody was in?" And then this next phase that we're in, as we start to bring people back, there are clients who are reevaluating what they're doing today is, again, a third time of, "What does the long-term mean as I move forward?"
Robb Boyd: Well, I feel like part of-
Rick Dudeck: That's kind of the landscape, Robb.
Robb Boyd: Yeah. No, thank you. And I feel like part of this and I just want to acknowledge it upfront is there's the whole... Whenever I'm talking to a group of technologists about what everybody is scrambling, because I watched different customers at different levels struggle with making these transitions, some still are, some have really aced it in this type of thing, but in general, it feels like everything everybody is going through is something that each one of us in our own different way has been preaching in the past to be prepared for. In other words, the ultimate business resilience exercise is happening in real time at this point. But still on the topic of operational and business risk, David, I wonder if you could weigh in on your perspective on the important things to consider in this category as we're approaching this subject of hybrid work.
David Rosenblat...: Yeah. One of the key things that you really pointed out was what we saw across our customer base was groups that had embraced the any concept. The ability to work from anywhere from that perspective really did well or did better initially because they had already kind of adopted some of the tools and some of those capabilities that allowed people to return from home. And some of them leveraged some of the legacy strategy around VDI and other capabilities in order to execute that.
But those groups that previously had adopted those sets of policies of being able to work from anywhere, and many of them were initially really seen as perks, employee perks and other aspects, that became kind of a cornerstone of their business continuity and their ability to deliver and maintain productivity as they sent people home. And as Rick has pointed out, a lot of these people did reasonably well. They limped forward, at least initially when they first send people home by leveraging those sets of strategies, but then they very quickly ran out of capacity and capability. Or as time went on, they ran into issues around patching and then maintenance and maintaining security and other aspects associated to those areas. And those became some of their primary business challenges.
And those were some of those technology hurdles that we helped our customers to scramble in and deploy out either infrastructure to add additional capacity or even to build out new methods of work or capabilities and new process workflows to take advantage of cloud and other solution sets. And those sets of those incremental changes really kind of accelerated some of the activities that a lot of organizations were already beginning to go down. So it it was just one of those pieces of, "Let's first slap as many band-aids and triaged as much as possible. And now, let's transition that over into how do we take these tactical decisions and make them more strategic or align those strategic decisions to a future set of capabilities."
Robb Boyd: Yeah. What do you guys think in terms of patterns that have maybe are starting to reveal themselves? Because one big question I feel like always comes up is how much... What kind of things have we learned already that we know for sure are going to continue? Because there's been some positives out of this, then there's some other things that are... I know quite a few people, I'm thankful that my kids are older, but anybody that's got younger kids and have any kind of homeschooling going on at home, my heart continues to go out to anybody dealing with that, because I don't know that there is any good answer for that. It is what it is. And hopefully, you don't lose your mind in the process. But what kind of things are you guys seeing patterns that you think we're going to stay or the things that should stay?
David Rosenblat...: Well, just if you don't mind, I'll drop this real quick. But I think one of the first things that we see is there's a lot of coverage in other areas in the media and other things along those lines that remote work is the only way to work or everybody's coming back into the office, that kind of all or nothing model. And what we're seeing across the board is that's not the reality across most large organizations and enterprises. In some very specific niche technologies and groups and smaller organizations, there may be 100% decline in the office or change.
But what we're seeing in most larger enterprises is really kind of a spectrum, where both the organization, somewhere on the spectrum between 100% remote work and 100% onsite, but additionally, different job aspects, different job roles within the company, as well as even the same company in the same technology vertical may treat things very differently across different organizational roles, and people kind of fit in that spectrum. Or you may have the return to work is more now tied to almost like a negotiation between what that job role is, the culture of the organization, the vertical and what they need to do.
And if you're returning somebody to work, then very often, or into the office, there's a compelling reason to do so, either they need access to equipment or capabilities, they're a frontline worker or something along those lines. Or you're delivering them an experience they can't have when they're remote, whether it's a project team that's going to go into a project war room or an agile space in order to execute or launch a new program or project, or if it's a very personal reason, like what you were pointing out. My home is not conducive either for poor lack of connectivity, or in my case, five kids, where being able to concentrate and do those other sets of activities while they're home and you're homeschooling or something else along those lines creates additional sets of difficulties that you need to overcome and reduce your productivity within the organization set.
Robb Boyd: Well, I want to come back to you in a second and talk more about the spectrum. But Charlie, was that you just about to jump in? Can we get your perspective? Yeah.
Charlie Lawhorn: Yeah, throw in a couple of other thoughts. So the essential workers were one of the first groups that we helped get back to work, right? And a lot of that was in healthcare, in retail and education. We spent a lot of time working with different organizations just to get those essential workers back. We also had a lot of essential workers in manufacturing and distribution and logistics, people that had to get into plants or facilities. So a lot of that was focused on safety and security at the personal safety and security around health and policies and all of those types of things.
To David's point, what we're starting to see more of now is kind of that second line of people deciding whether or not they'll come back. And what we're seeing is, to David's point also, around collaboration type activity, whether that's war rooms, as you mentioned, or sporting teams or whatever it is in the software type world or development and delivery world. What we're seeing is the return for collaboration is a big need, right? We've all been out of the office for months, depending on where you are in the country or world that it's been several months to six, eight months for some of us. So that [inaudible] for collaboration is a big [inaudible 00:13:29], not as much about returning back to work for individual productivity. We've all kind of figured that out or been forced to figure that out, however we could. But it's those the need for the communication, the collaboration, the softer things.
And Robb, we're also getting into... It's becoming a cultural discussion as well around, "Do I need my people back? Do I trust my teams? Do I trust my employees in the field? Are we having a good result? Do I need them up because we're not having a good result and things aren't effective and efficient?" And so, culture is playing a big part of this now, too, we're starting to see, and whether or not people will return and when they will return as well.
Robb Boyd: Yeah, I used to be-
David Rosenblat...: I mean, just to piggyback on that, I could not agree more around the cultural aspects and how you measure productivity. We've seen quite a few customers, including some large global banks and other things, that when we were talking to them, they saw an increase in productivity, but their metric was how often was somebody logged in or engaged. And then you have to almost ask yourself, "Is it eight hours to nine hours? Was that swing in productivity or that increase in productivity when people went home? Was that actually an increase in productivity?" Or was it that the tools that you were giving them just made it take an hour longer to get their job done? What is it and how do you measure that? And what are your measurement of success? And I think that's one of those critical aspects that you have to ask.
Robb Boyd: Well, what do you recommend on that subject? Because I think that's fascinating actually, because that's an age old problem well before this, right? Which is if you measure the wrong things, you're going to be rewarding the wrong results or pushing things in the wrong direction. And so, it does get more difficult. And the comment I was going to make earlier is I remember when I had to manage people and I don't miss those days, but also when I had gone to work for Cisco and I realized that most of Cisco, not everyone, but most of that company was good about letting people work remotely for the job roles, obviously, that were conducive to that. There's some that aren't. But there was still a difference. And there was some managers that were what we called or what I heard referred to as line of sight managers.
They had no ability to assume that you were doing the right job or a way to measure and say, "I think they're doing a good job," if they didn't see you because they measured it based on seeing you in the office. And obviously, that's got to be... For those types of managers, not that they're bad managers, it's not someone I want to work for, but nonetheless, they could be fantastic in other areas, they must be going through quite a change when they're forced to not do that. But are you guys seeing or are you recommending different metrics and ways in which to what kind of things people should be looking at? Or is it straightforward, it's just realizing it's a problem and addressing it?
Charlie Lawhorn: I'll jump in on that one because we spend a lot of time around thinking about process and behavior and tying that into experiences and working with David and team on the tools, then to support all of those things. And so we are watching people define new measurements, not just in employee behavior, but also in just KPIs that are important to the business. Engagement models have changed. And whether the companies have fully accounted for that or not, we hear all of these, I'll pick on retail as an example, tremendous stats about 1,000% increase in e-commerce for some of these big retailers or 500% increases, but it's not actually statistically correct. I mean, technically it is. Yes, their e-commerce is up, but all of their in-store sales are down so much that they're focusing on a metric that doesn't really change things.
Now, it does change their behaviors from a technology perspective and an omni-channel perspective and being ready for wherever the customer is or wherever that behavior is. We're saying the term omni-channel that came out of retail moving into healthcare, being able to help a patient anywhere anytime, right? It's not about getting to the hospital anymore. It's about providing healthcare wherever you can. We're seeing that in education, where at least here for me, my boys, they're finally back to school, I'm so excited, but they have the option. And with the option means you've got to be able to support both scenarios of virtual school or in-person school. And so, the schools now figuring out how to teach anywhere anytime.
And so, that term omni-channel is one that's come up a lot, tracking that, measuring that, behavior for that. I'll pick on, again, example of teachers, Robb, but being a teacher and having half your class in-person, the other half at home, trying to talk into a camera while you're talking to students, trying to have an effective experience is tough. And so measuring the engagement of your classroom, measuring grade patterns of students is different, looking at how do you get them to build the behaviors that they need to complete their homework. So thinking about KPIs all the way down to our kids, it's all changed. And so people are having to understand and [inaudible] new patterns for what's important.
Robb Boyd: Yeah. And this, of course-
David Rosenblat...: That's-
Robb Boyd: ... we assume everybody has access to these tools as well, because when it comes to families and stuff, not everybody is fortunate enough to have the connectivity we do at our homes and perhaps live in the neighborhoods that are going to have that type of thing, high quality in the laptops and the other devices and stuff that are required for this type of thing, much less the ability to interoperate with them in an effective manner, depending on your age and what it is you're studying. Rick, where you jumping in there?
Rick Dudeck: No, I think David had something to add to that.
Robb Boyd: Got it. Go ahead, David.
David Rosenblat...: Yeah. Actually, I think the KPI thing is one of the core pieces that we always look at when we're investigating these things, because every organization has different aspects that they want to measure from an employee engagement perspective, from a patient outcome perspective, from a student outcome perspective that are the real metrics, that they drive their business, whether it's a repeat engagement with your customers, or it's proving out that you're delivering better patient outcomes from less travel and derisking capabilities. People are afraid to come into the doctor's office. So, can you engage with them from home so they don't feel like they're putting themselves at risk?
Those types of outputs and looks are what we always try to drive towards. And we try to build those outcomes into the business capabilities and metrics that we're trying to measure, because we can then try to translate what does it take to deliver that experience or that outcome. And then work our way from there, back down from that into, what's the business requirements to deliver that outcome? From those business requirements, what's those functional requirements that help to deliver that set of experience into that set of capabilities? And then that becomes then what's those technical requirements that drive that piece.
If you go with a technology first approach to it, very often, you can miss the mark. You can be four or five degrees off. I mean, there are certain things and capabilities and technology pillars that you've built your infrastructure on and your capabilities that you should leverage in order to fast track these sets, but you always have to make sure that you have those KPIs and those business-oriented outcomes as your North Star in your decisions around those technology pieces. So that way, you can unify the direction across all these different disparate technology pillars, so that your collaboration tools fit in to allow you to do that seamlessly integrate into your workflow processes.
Your application delivery to any device anywhere fits in so you can give people the right applications with the right access anywhere where they need to be, that your network infrastructure matches that up because now that people are home or going back and forth into the office, you have that trifecta of latency and security and other aspects, where decisions can hairpin you down and create a poor experience, both for your customers, as well as your internal employees. And that becomes really critical in your ability to deliver these outcomes of that success.
Robb Boyd: And David, so I want to know how much this fits into... We kind of teased this tool set that you and your team have been working on, that you referred to, I believe, as the spectrum. And the idea of being there, as I loosely understand it, is that being able to identify where you are in a range of possibilities, so that we can visually see. And I think that's going to be something we share attached to some of the things people can link to after the show or during the show when they're watching this. But I wonder if you could walk us through what is the spectrum? How did this come about? What is it good for?
David Rosenblat...: So one of the things that we very early noticed on was even ahead of the pandemic is there was a lot of geo-diverse workforces finding the best employee, the best candidate anywhere in the world as one of those ideal areas associated to that. And the future of work was for some organizations to remote work, right? And we also saw that there was some pushback from remote work and open office concepts and other things associated with groups, as well where people were focusing and saying that, "No, we needed to bring people in the office because of aspects around that interoffice collaboration and other aspects."
And really, both sides of that was that size nine shoe problem. One size fits all. Everybody's going to get a size nine shoe. And that model just has not worked across our enterprise customer set, that one size fit all just doesn't fit it. It doesn't fit everyone. So the really identifying the personas, the workflows and the culture of each individual organization becomes very important. And it's hard to come in with a prescribed OEM-centric, "Here's the tool package that you need to do this," without first sitting down and really understanding what's the culture of the organization, where they want to go and what they want their next generation set of experiences to be, and everything from their digital tools and capabilities through to the physical workspace and how they engage in and out of the office.
And that evolved into a lot of persona-based activities and not just those traditional set of personas of, "Here's a knowledge worker and an executive and a frontline worker," but really drilling down into what are the real capabilities and where does that sit in. Intuitively, some of these generic personas, we'll see a construction worker as a persona and you can say, "Oh, that's pretty specific." But then when you really think about it, the tools, that digital capabilities and the tools that you deliver are different, even within that persona, just like you know intuitively that the tool belt that you give an electrician and the tools that are on there are different than the tools that would be in a plumber's tool belt or the guy doing your roofing.
And I know somebody was about to tell a joke that they told the last time too, but that's fine, plumbers don't wear a tool belt kind of joke, but I'm sorry to beat you to it. But that kind of concept and piece, and doing kind of a fit for purpose type of identification so that your field sales group, for example, might sit on that spectrum mostly geared towards remote work that comes in for either project or sales events and other aspects associated to it. So they fit in that spectrum geared more towards that 100% remote work aspect, but that may be different, as you're pointing out, into the culture of your organization, where maybe field sales are expected to be in the office two or three days out of the week to engage with the internal sales or other engineering teams.
And that may be the same or different within the same industry or the same vertical, or company to company or division to division. So you really have to understand what those nuances are within the organization and really engage with them and find out what the outcome that they're trying to drive towards so that you can deliver the right tool set and the tool ecosystem in order to deliver that outcome.
Robb Boyd: Well, let me ask you... And we all left you hanging on your joke there for that that dead silence feedback that we all love on remote conferences of any sort. But I saw Charlie smiling, so I'm assuming that he was thinking about plumbers and whether or not they wear belts. But I actually want to ask Rick about when he talks about the personas and the different things that are happening as we redefine how we look at work getting done. From a security perspective, is it fundamentally different or is it... I feel like a lot of us, anyone that's touched security first always goes back to the basics that we never seem to do right and I figure those probably never go away, but are there some unique things that are being done differently or mistakenly perhaps that we should be aware of in this area?
Rick Dudeck: Sure, Robb. The persona example is great when you look at it from security. We see customers wanting to take that even a step deeper than just the persona and down to the individual. And you start talking about identity, and identity being the foundation of what's now the buzz word, again, after decade is zero trust. A lot of our clients are wanting to dive into what the zero trust mean. That's actually matching the individual users through their identity to the data and the applications that they should be able to access and nothing else, right? Trust no one, but explicitly grant that trust. And we're seeing a lot of conversations around that, especially now with the dispersed workforce because you have that access. Companies at one time had that traditional virtual private network.
When you worked remote, you dialed into the central site, you had equipment sitting there. Well, as I mentioned earlier, when we moved everybody out, there wasn't enough elasticity there. They couldn't expand fast enough for... I was supporting 10,000 remote users. Now, I'm supporting 50,000. I could not grow that fast enough. So the visibility shifted to the cloud, my cloud-based remote access. The other term you're hearing, the acronym is SASE, but it's Secure Access Services Edge. It's putting the security at the edge of the cloud versus backing that data center.
And as you start talking about that, coupled with zero trust, you start really narrowing down the personas, but getting it even further down to the individuals and looking at, "How do I get them connected securely to what they need to access and nothing more?" And we're seeing an awful lot of conversations. And that whole model also starts bringing in some economies as customers and our clients look at the central site and that stack of gear that they're putting in at their central site. If I moved a lot of that to the cloud, because along with SASE, not only remote access, but I also get data loss prevention capabilities. I get the visibility of being able to decrypt what's happening because most of the traffic on the internet is encrypted today. These services are providing a decryption to be able to look in for malicious files and what people are moving and insider threat.
So there's a lot of economies that come in to moving this out to that edge and being able to recoup some of a return on that investment of recouping the licenses and the hardware I no longer have to stack up at the central. And David also mentioned, as users move around, you sometimes end up with this hair pinning and latency and things like that, that starts to go away as well when you start having that central place to access. So the whole paradigm is shifting. Everybody's looking at this as, "Oh, it was a revolution that occurred because of the pandemic." Actually, people were talking about that as the next evolution of where we're going, right? It's not a revolution, it's the evolution. And that's the conversations that we're having today.
Robb Boyd: No, that's a good point. Forgive me-
David Rosenblat...: One of the things that-
Robb Boyd: ... I can't hear SASE without doing this.
David Rosenblat...: .... you mentioned around-
Robb Boyd: Yeah, go ahead.
David Rosenblat...: One of the things that you mentioned around identity, I think, is real key is one of the things that we're also trying to balance out is not treating everyone as a snowflake is the operational considerations within the organization that are tied to some of that persona-based modeling and other aspects, where you have that job role persona tied in with the security aspects with regionalization and different kind of almost flags that you assigned to those people. So that way, you can control access expectations and look for anomalies and what they're doing, how they're accessing stuff that drive those pieces and that general extraction, right?
There's kind of been this general move across end-user computing and other areas for this kind of device abstraction layer, where data is extracted from the device and resident across all your devices and stored within the cloud. Your applications can be delivered across whatever device that you're trying to access, whether you're on-prem or remote, or on a borrowed device and mobile device, whatever that is that any application availability, any tool capability, any service capability. And that expectation, that's all wrapped within that kind of security bundle piece, so that security... The tools become transparent.
You're engaging in your job flow, right? And you're just connected, right? Because that's one of the problems that we run into over and over again is without the right appropriate set of training and adoption and consumption of these things, then technology gets in the way of people performing their job. And it is not the job of the employee to consume the technology we provide. It really has to be the focus of us to provide the technology that helps the employee do their job better, faster, quicker, whatever those aspects are. And if we don't deliver that set of experiences and capabilities, that's where we're failing.
Robb Boyd: Yeah.
Charlie Lawhorn: Hey Robb, well, one thing just to toss in really quickly.
Robb Boyd: [Crosstalk 00:31:04]. We have about five more minutes, Charlie. Yeah, go ahead.
Charlie Lawhorn: Yeah, no worries. So a great example of this is a customer of ours that primarily their intake model and their communication model with their customers is around a contact center. And that was centralized, Chicago-based, high rise, high rent district, fairly well-paid employees right downtown Chicago, and moving to a decentralized model, having to shift all of that technology out to forward everything to home office phones or to iPhones or to a completely different set of tools. And so they're working quickly to figure out softphones, and to Rick's point, around security and efficiencies. There's a lot that's needed to be revised.
The other part of efficiency though is in working with their executive team, they've now realized that they can employ anyone anywhere. And so, the cost of employment for them is going to change. The ability to get high caliber employees in remote areas at a different price point than in downtown Chicago is going to change. So we're going to be shifting in economic models around employees and salaries and those types of things too, that are going to drive further efficiencies in the business model. So it's not just the tech efficiencies. I think we're going to see some greater efficiencies in the workforce and the models around remote workforces that we didn't see before.
Robb Boyd: Yeah, I think that's a point-
David Rosenblat...: And just to piggyback on that though or contrary [crosstalk] to that a little bit is that if you're not driving the right set of employee experience, there's a real opportunity cost associated with turnover and other aspects. And one of the things that we always see is the standardization and enhancement for technology and operations that you see as a commodity versus things that you see as a differentiator innovative within your business set, and if driving employee experience and the job roles and the capabilities, where there's a serious cost for employee turnover or tribal knowledge that is lost in those sets of engagements and not being able to tie that back in, as well as making sure that this is a snapshot in time. So how do you maintain this kind of like evergreen continuously evolving model as different job roles and capabilities change, as people change from one job role to another? And how do you handle that elasticity of engagement, as well as that elasticity of experience and capabilities to those employees? Sorry.
Robb Boyd: No, no, you're fine. Here's the thing, you guys know too much for a show that promises around 37 minutes of content, and that's not your fault. I know that you've tried to dumb it down for me, and I appreciate that because basically what you've raised is an extremely good considerations and I don't want to lose time and overlook the fact that these tool sets that you've worked on, these examples that you've been citing, and they come from the fact that you guys don't spend your time talking to people like me on a live stream, you spend time working with customers and the teams that you represent, because I know there's a lot of people behind you as well.
Can you comment on, if anyone is watching this and they're like, "Okay, great considerations," but if you peel back one layer of this evolution, as Rick says it, and it reveals 14 more? But you guys have been working with people and learning and applying this to more customers as we go along. How can someone engage with you guys? Is it a briefing? Is it a workshop? Is it maybe both? What would you recommend, Charlie?
Charlie Lawhorn: Yeah, we offer a host of both really. If you look at the platform, WWT.com, and you dive into a couple of these topics around remote work and collaboration, we have some business continuity things out there as well. There's a combination of briefings. That's usually the first point is for us to share what we're seeing and to learn more about the customer and where are they in this spectrum that we've talked about, understanding what's important to them at not just one office, but different offices, where they may have different challenges, and just getting a bigger picture of that and then diving in from that more into a workshop of what are the resolution points. And then it's usually not one, it's usually a host of things. And so yeah, more than happy to engage customers directly, do some briefings and workshops and really just help figure out where they are, not just technologically, but we talked about culture as well and what fits their business is important to figure out too, Robb.
Robb Boyd: Yeah, I want to thank all of you. I mean, as I go to recap here, just to wind it up, basically, as you're talking about, I keep coming because I think it's important, it's not a revolution, it's an evolution. I like what Rick kicked off with us there. I also liked the fact that you guys are taking in the employee consideration versus the ownership or those running the show because it's a two-way street and a lot of ways to be successful here. But one thing that jumped out, you guys were saying, "Hey, it's not about a certain tool set. There's nothing you're going to buy that's immediately going to solve these problems. So we can turn away from those magic bullets."
You're talking about the employee experience, being a definite slice of the pie. But design is important to fit for purpose. It's not a one size fits all, not a size nine, which made my toes hurt a little bit even when you said it as well, David. But there's there's pain that people are going through, but there's also some wonderful things to take advantage of and say, "How do we prepare for what we've learned and where we go next?" Because there's no question that the world will continue to move on. And it's all of us collectively are just trying to figure out how to be as effective as we possibly can.
And you guys are providing some awesome services. WWT.com is where you mentioned we get access to people like you, as well as the people that represent you behind the scenes and the stuff that you continue to provide. Well, guys, thank you so much for joining us on TEC37 for this commentary and chitchat, if you will, on hybrid work, a lot to consider, and I look forward to doing more of it with you as we go forward. Thank you very much, gentlemen.