April 6, 2022

Day in the Life of a Hybrid Worker

Day in the Life of a Hybrid Worker

This week, Heather chats with Ben Murphy, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, about Microsoft's latest Work Trend Index report and the state of hybrid work.


Topics

  • Microsoft's Work Trend Index report
  • Hybrid work is on the rise
  • How does it feel to go back to the office?
  • Recreating "hallway moments" as a remote worker
  • Can the metaverse fix hybrid meetings?
  • Uncertainty about when to come into the office
  • The importance of trust in the workplace

Meet Our Guest
Ben Murphy is a senior program manager for Azure Virtual Desktop at Microsoft. He has over 10 years experience as a product engineering and product management executive in B2B settings. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ben was the senior director of product management at Lakeside Software.

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

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Transcript

Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In the series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they're facing, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, that'll help you to get to grips with the digital workspace inner workings.

Heather Bicknell 0:31
Welcome, Ben to the digital workspace works podcast. Could you introduce yourself for our listeners? Welcome back, I should say.

Ben Murphy 0:38
Well, thanks, Heather. Yes, absolutely. Some things have changed. So my name is Ben Murphy. I am now a senior program manager at Microsoft working with Azure virtual desktop. So previously, I was at Lakeside. I have been at Microsoft now for just over two months. So very clearly an established player in Microsoft at this point. But yeah, very nice to be back on the podcast, and thanks for having me.

Heather Bicknell 1:07
Absolutely. How are you liking Seattle so far?

Ben Murphy 1:10
It is very nice. When it's not raining, which, sadly, is probably about 20% of the time that I've been here I moved in about, let's say, January, 5 or so. And for the most part, it's been kind of gray, overcast, dreary, good indoor working kind of way through, if you know what I mean. But I hear the summer is nice. So I'm looking forward to that. hasn't been too bad, though. Lovely people. I like the area a lot. People are very friendly. Then kind of taken and a lot of the local places and enjoying that. Intro interesting area, very different from Denver, which of course very different from scenic and Arbor, Michigan.

Heather Bicknell 1:57
Yeah, you've bounced around quite a lot. Since we were last in person together, which would have been now. Pre 23, march 2020 2021. We

Unknown Speaker 2:12
we recorded a demo. Oh,

Heather Bicknell 2:15
how can I forget that? Yes. So it hasn't been all that long? Forgive me? Well, yeah, today, I think we wanted to chat about Microsoft's new report that, you know, your company just put out on their 2022 work trends. So there was some really interesting findings there around the current state of work, particularly around hybrid and remote. And just the sense of how employees and companies are managing this time and how people are feeling and what the opinions and sentiments around a lot of these shifting workplace trends are shaping out to be. So I thought we could start there. So maybe just to highlight, one of the kind of interesting findings from this survey, is that hybrid work is up seven points year over year to 38%. So that's kind of the current picture of what the hybrid workforce is looking like now. So it has grown, and then 53% of people are likely to can consider transitioning to hybrid in the year ahead. So I think it's pretty clear that for a lot of companies, hybrid is a mode that is becoming more real and kind of moving from the realm of consent, you know, this idea that we're probably going to shift to it to be more fully implemented bringing back larger percentages of their staff kind of having more of this flexible work model.

Ben Murphy 3:54
Yeah, I think it's a very interesting time. I mean, in general, it's easy to understand why a lot of people have found it interesting to work, because being forced into full time remote work, you get exposed to some of the net positives, and I think a lot of people have found that helps them prioritize their personal time, that helps them prioritize things that need to get done, like childcare, self care, things that are a little bit easier to do if you're not, you know, spending an hour each way, let's say, commuting to an office somewhere. But I think as we'll get into, there are certainly challenges with that model. And that's why I think it probably does make a lot of sense for hybrid to be the way forward versus full time remote or full time in person. Because I think that there are certain things that just lend themselves better to an in person meeting. But anecdotally for myself, right, like a lot of the meetings that I participate in, are not with people who are physically present with me in an office anyway. So there's not much of a net difference because Between me having that conversation, you know, sitting in my PJs somewhere at home, versus being in an office and having, you know, quite literally the same conversation with the same people who are all also, with with that kind of a model, I think it becomes a lot easier to understand why people would like to spend at least a portion of the work week working.

Heather Bicknell 5:23
Absolutely, I think the flexibility and work life balance that you've pointed out is, is essentially a key benefit that a lot of people who were able to work remotely have now, you know, experienced and don't want to let go of, and then kind of what you're speaking to as well with the challenges around making, setting it making sense to be in the office, right? If you're someone who you're only coming to the office and continuing to have virtual calls. And that's really, it's just a change of place, like does that make as much sense to someone who has more opportunities for in person collaboration? What does that middle ground, kind of look like? But I guess, maybe dialing back a little bit, I'd love to hear about, you know, we just heard this stat around how hybrid work is increasing year over year? Obviously, you have moved from a remote position to a hybrid one. Was it weird to go back to the office? Like how, how do you feel? Does it feel normal now? Like, what was that transition? Like for you?

Ben Murphy 6:30
Yeah, that's a that's a great question. And really, for me, there are two things that were substantially different. So I was full time remote for basically two years. So coming back to the office was a bit of a change of pace, just because now you have regularly a place to be at a particular time. So like determining when do I want to be in the office is like an actual consideration that I wish was different? Because before work was, well, when do I have meetings, or when do I need to start working on something and it was a little bit more flexible. But I would say for me, the second thing that was kind of interesting. And this is kind of unique to my situation is at the same time that I went from a remote job with, you know, a smaller organization on the order of, you know, 200 people or so, I transitioned to a company of 180,000 people, which is pretty substantially different. So even when I was going into an office, when I worked at Lakeside, it was a different experience than here, where now I'm on the main Microsoft campus. And it's a little overwhelming to go to a place where now all of a sudden, you're you're really literally surrounded by people, which was kind of tangent base, so I had to get kind of used to it. And with that, I think the big change is, yeah, I had almost forgotten how to have just casual conversations with people, if that makes sense. Like just working from home for so long, you get kind of isolated, I guess. And you get into a mode where the only time that you're talking to someone, for the most part is when you are remotely having a conversation with them. And the dynamics of the conversations are substantially different. So there was a little bit of a transition of like, oh, yeah, I can actually bump into somebody making coffee or something like that. Or, you know, I knock on someone's door and talk to them in their policies, which obviously you couldn't do before. Just take some getting used to and kind of what am I looking for here restoring some of those people skills that kind of died in the in the real depths of remote work?

Heather Bicknell 8:48
Yeah, I still am in that. How do I interact with people face? And I think that, that is one of the harder, you know, from my perspective, as a fully remote employee joining an organization with the intent to stay fully remote, you know, I don't live in one of our office HUB areas, and it would be actually, I'd be traveling to kind of one end of the country to, to go to one of them. So I you know, for the foreseeable future, this is my reality. And I think to kind of what you're speaking to around joining any organization and being larger, although mine is not as massive as yours, it does. There's that question around how do I build a network? How do I build new relationships? Like how do you do that in a remote sense? And I think something Ryan I have talked about is, you know, how do you have, you don't get to the same level of conversation on a remote call as in those like hallway moments or whatever you want to call them, right? Because you can spend the first few minutes maybe catching up, you know, kind of exchanging Some surface level conversation, but the longer you do that, there's also the acknowledgement that, you know, you book time and everyone's calendars are full with meetings, like, do you want to spend this meeting? How much of this meeting you want to dedicate to like a casual conversation? And, you know, are you are you holding your colleagues time by are not being efficient by not using the meeting for its like, you know, intended purpose. So, how do you, you know, how do you balance that and form new relationships? So do you do you feel like that is just where the office shines, and something that, like, how did that ease your transition into a new company being able to have in person interactions?

Ben Murphy 10:45
Yeah, I think you're touching on something very important, which is, I think, implicit in the way that we book meetings remotely, is this idea of an obligation to remain on topic because you're trying to respect everyone's time. So if I book a meeting, I mean, like you mentioned, to talk about subject a, and I spent 30% of that meeting, talking about just random chitchat. So it doesn't feel very fair. And you always kind of wonder if you're imposing on the other person, like, maybe they don't want to have this personal conversation right now. And I think that, yes, to answer the explicit question, it is easier to feel a sense of belonging, if you can have those casual conversations with people because it helps with the basic acknowledgement that you are working with other human beings that have lives outside of work that do things that, you know, you can have actual genuine conversations about. Now, the way at Microsoft, they had attempted to kind of get people into that mode is explicitly booking time that was intended for non Work Chat. So the organization that I'm in right now, every Tuesday and Thursday, have basically 30 minutes set aside for people to kind of join a team's meeting, which granted is kind of has its own issues, to just have casual conversation about, you know, whatever it is that they want to talk about. So it could be a I saw this pool dog the other day, or it could be, you know, my kid is, I don't know, doing something at school, like whatever it happens to be. It's explicitly intended to be kind of that casual chat. Now, what's interesting is we've maintained that even though Microsoft is at stage six, so the offices are open and everything. And Microsoft did stages, by the way, just for clarity, and stack, I forget what all the stages are. But basically, stage six is in person offices open, no masks by mandate in Seattle. But at any rate, now, we kind of hybrid meeting. So we have this other problem that you probably have run into were having people in a physical, like actual office, now, we have people go into a meeting room, and there might be two or three of us in a meeting room. And then we still have these remote people joining. So you've got two or three people on a teams chat. That presents some interesting challenges with maintaining like a really natural, coherent flow of conversation. I think that is a fundamental problem, sometimes with remote work and just with the technologies as they exist. But you know, that being said, things have gotten a lot better. We're but I think that it's just fundamentally challenging to have, you know, half of the participants remote half the participants in an office, if you're physically with people, I think just human nature is you have a tendency to prioritize conversation with those people a little bit more, because you get all of the things that you can't really get remote, like full body language, more natural pauses, because you don't have that the implicit delays that you get sometimes with a team's chat. And that can be challenging in and of itself. But I think it's necessary to have some time that is not really dedicated to we are going to talk about this topic. That's all we're going to talk about, and then have like eight hours of those types of meetings today. I think that for for basic cohesion, you do need to have casual conversation, because you need to see your co workers as people. And that can be very hard. If you're spending all of your time talking about business. You can kind of think of them as like little business robots instead of the actual human beings that they are.

Heather Bicknell 14:43
Yeah, I think your point around body language and all of that and being able to read people is so key. I think one of the maybe underestimated parts of the casual chat is the ability to walk away and when you have a virtual environment He can't escape it as easily like you need to. It's almost like a, like you're on some sort of awkward coffee date or something. It's like, how do I extract myself from the situation? Or how do you know when it's like over or part of it too, is like the artificial setting of, obviously, we're booking chunks of time, right? You booked 15 minutes, you booked 30 book an hour. So you naturally kind of tend to fill that container. And then the end of that becomes kind of one and ends because people have to move on to their next thing. Whereas in person, like you're not bound to like space and time, and you can, you know, just move on much more easily.

Ben Murphy 15:40
That's a good point. And I mean, I think it cuts both ways, because there are times where you might be in a conversation. And, you know, you're legitimately enjoying it. But if you're artificially bucketed into 30 minutes, it's not like, you feel obligated to end it when the time is up, rather than ending it more organically. So I think that that's both in artificially extending it. Because if you know, if you book one on one time with someone, you have a tendency to think, Okay, well, I booked it for 30 minutes, I darn well better take 30 minutes. But if you want to squeeze a 45 minute conversation into a 30 minute window, it doesn't really quite lend itself to organically ending the way that you would want it to. So that's a lot easier. If you are just, you know, in an office next to somebody and you walk over and just start having a casual conversation, it flows a lot more naturally, I think, rather than feeling force.

Heather Bicknell 16:36
Yeah, one thing I did want to touch on, and this is outside of the work Trends report, but just curious if you have an opinion on it, because we eat spoken a bit to the challenges of meetings that are, you know, hybrid in their own sense between remote employees. You know, on a conference screen, you're, you know, you're on, you have a speaker Puck or something in the middle of the room, there's some people in person, some people who are these, you know, heads on screen, right. And it can be really hard to manage a conversation for people to even just be heard, like, in a physical sense, like heard and understood and, and not not even to mention being able to contribute to the conversation in the same degree. Because when you know, as soon as AV kind of becomes an issue, it's really easy to get disconnected and detached and not really being able to fully participate. So back to where I thought I'd love to get your opinion on. Something we haven't actually chatted about is the metaverse. And do you see this as an answer to this kind of problem?

Ben Murphy 17:45
Um, it's an interesting question. And I guess what I would do is is maybe couch my answer in terms of the way that technology has progressed thus far. So to start with, I think we're finally just now getting to a place where telepresence is becoming a little bit more like being physically with someone in the barest sense. So if you look at teams, I have something that allows me to at least be a little bit more involved. I can like raise my hand or reaction or something like that, that thing gets populated people. You know, I've got a webcam. Obviously, we've got voice chat. But I think the question is, how far do we need to go in order to actually replicate the in person feeling? So the concept I think of the metaverse, there is a little bit closer to the team. I think that though the supporting technology for it is just not quite where it needs to be in terms of ease of use. So if I if I think about what it would take for right now today, if we were going to have this meeting in the metaverse. implicit in that is I need to have some augmented reality system or a VR system or something that I'm physically putting on myself, to go and meet with someone. And even with that, the input that you get for what your avatar does, is not really feature complete. So like a lot of people talk with their hands, well, that might get picked up a little bit. But like a lot of the more subtle stuff that you would pick up like someone rolling their eyes that say it's something, you know, you're just not going to get that in what the technology supports today. So to me, it almost gets into, we're not close enough to for it to be like uncanny valley, but it's a little uncomfortable because you're seeing a representation of a person, but it's really a stripped down version of what a person's expressions really would be. So to answer the question at the moment, I think the metaphor metaphors, it would just be a little First, if I you know to be to answer to just to my thinking, because the technology is just not quite to where we need it to be to really make it like a fully immersive experience. Now, that's not to say that we couldn't get there. In fact, I think it's highly likely that the technology will get there at some point. I just don't think that we're quite there right now. And it may take a fundamental shift in what the supporting, like actual devices in the meeting room do in order for that to become really super common. So if I would, if I think about, like, holographic projections, like, Star Wars, maybe that that helps us, but I think that the more you introduce peripherals, things that you actually have to work with in order to interact with someone, the less likely it is that someone's going to want to do it. Because I mean, that's be honest, right? That's imagine that you've got six people in a meeting room, and you've got six people on some Metaverse server meeting somewhere, do you really want to have everyone put on their VR headsets so that they can chat for an hour about whatever it is? Maybe, but it's seems unlikely to me that that would be kind of a common answer.

Heather Bicknell 21:15
Yeah, I think there's, it's interesting, there's so much kind of potential there to be a way, you know, you know, obviously, Microsoft's making that that meta is making that, but there's investment in it. And some of that does come back to specifically trying to solve these kinds of problems around meetings and togetherness in to spread distance, you know, situations. But I do think that what you were saying around there, the hardware and the software limitations that they've given that to a natural experience, and one that doesn't feel like burdensome. I think I don't recall, I was having conversation who's Ryan, who brought it up around, like a device like connect being used, like something that you wouldn't wear as a headset wouldn't need? Like, the more it's kind of like a video game, I think the stranger experience, stranger, the experience would be to try to bring that into an office environment. But if there's ways that, you know, something like connect or something that's just in the room, right, like the room does it kind of for you, and you're not forced to put anything on? I don't know, there's potential there. But it is hard to kind of track that into something that, you know, is more than novelty that people don't try out a couple times and then say, well, this, you know, I don't really like doing this. And do I want to wear a headset all day, it's kind of uncomfortable. And why don't we just go back to the old way was, this isn't really an improvement.

Ben Murphy 22:55
I think that you're exactly right, that the question is, how burdensome is it to the participants to make it happen? And if you're over a certain threshold, and we're over that threshold, right now, there's because of all the stuff that you have to use to support it, the less likely it is that someone's going to be interested in doing it for large scale. And you also have to ask some logistical questions too. Like for a company like Microsoft, am I buying 180,000 VR headsets? Probably not. I mean, so But thinking about the direction of things, is it worthwhile to invest in and let's just talk about some hypothetical future where we have a very connected, like, motion tracking system that's based off of motion and some ability to project a representation of someone, then I think, yes, that that would potentially make sense. If it's a pasta dish, right? If you could actually. telepresence project someone in a way that's pretty close to replicating what they actually do. That could make sense.

Heather Bicknell 24:06
Yeah. He said as well, maybe just to pull out another stat from the survey. So 38% of hybrid employees say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office. I think this is still a sticking point in a lot of back to Office rollouts, particularly ones where you know, a lot of companies that really starting with the you know, the carrot or the cupcake, right, they're trying to entice people back they're having pizza parties, they're making, you know, they're redesigning their office they're trying to make it fun and engaging and kind of given purse right to attract people back but then there's also like, us at a certain point, I feel like this tension where, okay, we've tried the nice approach now like good cop, bad cop. A lot of I have a sense, a lot of companies are kind of navigating where to take this approach. And I think something that employees are rightly concerned about and pushing back on. And we had touched on this earlier with the, why do I need to be in an office, when I'm on video calls all day anyway, it's like, you really need to have a sense, you need to have a purpose for coming in and justifying the commute, justifying the, you know, inconveniences the need to adjust your plans around, you know, the rest of your life and kind of give up that integration. That's a benefit of remote work, where you can kind of more naturally do the things you need to do. Like, for instance, my cat needs medication throughout the day, it's really challenging to imagine now if I were to have to go back to an in person environment, my partner as well, like, we need to find like a cat, sitter of some kind could come and give her medication throughout the day. So she's like, more complications. So, you know, I guess maybe we could just chat about the that challenge and knowing when and why and maybe how you're seeing it mitigated from your perspective? Or do you still think there's more that companies need to do there to like, give employees a reason to come back?

Ben Murphy 26:19
Yeah, yeah, I think it's an interesting and kind of nuanced question. And to me, I almost see it as kind of a workers right, to have some business justification for why should I be in the office? So I think first and foremost, it is down to an organization to outline to their employees. Here are some guidelines, and here are our thoughts around what the benefits of working in the office are. I think that that's something that baseline people are, I think that if that company is just saying, well, we want you to come into the office, because you used to come into the office, well, okay, that's not a very compelling reason. That is maybe compelling to someone somewhere who might want to keep track of productivity or be, I don't know, aggressive about making sure that people are in nine to five, or whatever it is that the thought process is, but I don't find that to be a particularly compelling message. And, to me, it is up to the business to have thought about a real reason why someone should be coming into the office on a day to day basis. I don't know that a lot of companies have really put a lot of thought into it necessarily beyond, you know, we just want people in the office. Like, as an example, Microsoft, I think, has a pretty good and nuanced approach to saying, we're going to let you pick days where you choose to work remote, so they're doing the proper hybrid thing, and leaving it at the employees discretion, when it is that I choose to come in or not come in, which I think is a pretty good one, I think for the most part, people need to trust that the people in our organization have a sense of what is it that I personally get out of working in an office versus working remote. Because, you know, for me, I come into the office more frequently than a lot of the people that work in the same organization as me. But that's just because, you know, I kinda like the structure. It's not an inconvenient commute for me. And I enjoy being able to have like physical in person conversations with people. That being said, that's just a personal preference. It's not really like a necessity, because a lot of the times I'm still talking with people on teams meetings or something like that. I think there are plenty of companies though, where, you know, imagine that I need to be in more of a creative collaboration space, where I'm working on a project with some people, and we have to have a more organic flow of ideas, like brainstorming or something like that. I feel like that's a lot more simple and straightforward. If you are physically present with someone, because, you know, you might choose to sit in a shared office space, and you're working quietly on whatever it is you're working on. And then you turn around and can just organically have a conversation with someone. But I think that the key is trust. And that's something that for some organizations, they don't seem to have a whole lot of they need to trust that their employees are going to make an appropriate decision. I think that unfortunately, there's still some legacy thought that when people say, Oh, I'm going to work hybrid or I'm going to work full time remote. What management hears is going to take a vacation day to day, which I feel like is fundamentally unfair, especially since working remote can actually like you can actually end up in a lot more meetings and actually spend more time working then if, as an example, I started commute at seven o'clock in the morning, rolling to the opposite eight. And then I have to leave at three or four, because maybe I have to have family obligations. And I have to pick kids up from school or something like that. So I have to commute back an hour versus working remote, where it you know, it's a 15 minute endeavor, maybe at the end of the day to go pick the kids up and you come back and you pop right back up back on waiting. So you might be getting more productive time out of people than if they were physically coming into the office. So it might be self defeating. But to answer that, the explicit question, again, I think, my opinion is that there needs to be trust that the employees are going to make correct decisions about prioritizing their own time. For me, I kind of know when do I need to come into the office to have a conversation with people who's going to be around in then, you know, take the odd remote work day when maybe I just don't have any in person meetings or anything, and I need to focus on work. That's right.

Heather Bicknell 31:07
Yeah, I completely agree. I think, to me, there's a sense of if you don't trust your employees working remotely, why are you trusting them in the office, you know, if there's this, you have to get to that point. And we've as a culture, but so obsessed with busyness and busy work, and appearing productive instead of focusing on outcomes, and what really matters, and I think maybe it's more work to manage that way, and to set clear goals and expectations and to kind of project manage in that way to ensure that performance is really happening. But in a way, it also removes that bias of just a manager, seeing that you're in the office, and you're the last one to leave, when in reality, like you could just be you could have really inefficient work processes. Or you could be, you know, feathering your time away in one way or another, like, just being present doesn't mean you're being productive. And I think that there's a lot of people who have come around to that understanding, but there's still this really old school mentality that if we're not kind of watching people, they're not going to be doing what we think they should be. And I think that just needs to go away, and that the companies that will succeed by attracting the best talent are going to be the ones who have that trust in their people offer those flexibility benefits. I think I saw it's like one in seven job postings right now is remote. And it used to be like one in 30, or, or that would that used to be the ratio. So you know, there was there's a lot of choice. And one of the another stat from the work index surveys, 52% of Gen Z, and millennials are likely to consider changing employers this year. So you know, the companies that are rigid and don't, you know, learn to trust their people and to change the way that they think about managing them are going to lose that talent pool lose out there. I think.

Ben Murphy 33:12
I think that's very important. I think what you mentioned earlier is probably the most important point of all, which is that time is not productivity. So just because you're putting the time in does not mean that you're necessarily getting anything of any particular importance time. Like if I'm the last person to leave the office at the end of the day, but I've spent six hours playing solitaire, is that the same thing as me actually getting my work done remotely? Yeah, I mean, it's a matter of perception, I think. And I think trust is probably the most important part of all. And yeah, you're right. If you don't trust your employees to work, why did you hire them? Like? It's a very important question. And yeah, I think we are seeing a shift, or ideally now it's more of a an applicant's market, just based off of the direction that the markets gone. And I think it's a very important point for companies to have a very clearly articulated message around here is how we value your time. And to me, that's one of the key parts of remote work is acknowledgement that the employees time is actually worth something. And, you know, a hybrid approach where you can prioritize certain days where you know what, I just need to work from home because of this, that or the other. It's a it's a matter of utmost respect for for the people that you have in your organization, respect and trust.

Heather Bicknell 34:42
Yeah, treating them as people come back to that idea from earlier is we're not business robots. We are real people. I know we're reaching the end of our time. So maybe just one final question or thought. Do you ever see yourself going back to being a full time office workers that just not a reality that you would can see for yourself now kind of knowing the other side,

Ben Murphy 35:10
I could see it but well, there'd have to be a lot of incentives for it. I mean, we do fun stuff here, like there was a play, it's just gonna sound strange, but someone was making cotton candy characters and they one of the cafeterias the other day, like little ducks and mice, I'm not the world's most compelling benefit, but you know, it's kind of fun. So the more you can inject little organic things like that into physically working in an office, I think the more interesting it is to come back. I, you know, I wouldn't necessarily mind being in the office full time. But to me, it's a question of kind of what you get out of it. And the natural kind of conversation and flow of humanity, I guess, I would say, like actually engaging with people. But you know, there are people out there, but for better or for worse, especially considering that we're still in the midst of the pandemic, just literally cannot do it. So, you know, I anecdotally work with a couple of people that that are immunocompromised and you know, come into the office is just not an option. Luckily, I don't fall into that bucket. But I think we have to remain cognizant of the fact that there's a wide variety of people out there in the world with a wide variety of different needs that have to be respected. For me, it's not necessarily a necessity for me to have hybrid work all the time, it's more of a positive thing. Like, if I have things that need to get done outside of the office, I can take the time. So at some point, I might come back full time, but it's nice to have the flexibility, I guess, I would say,

Heather Bicknell 36:56
I think that's a really important point you made around, you know, we can't leave out the people from the conversation for whom this is not safe and not, you know, I like a good choice for them. And I think that too often is kind of left out wholly from the discussion is who's really drawing, you know, the shortest stick here. And you know, how much of this is preference versus just having, you know, strong, legitimate reasons why it's not an option for them? Well, it's been a pleasure catching up and talking with you about this. If people want to reach out or catch up with you or find out where you're at, where should they look for you on the internet?

Ben Murphy 37:38
Well, I deactivated my twitter so they can find me on LinkedIn. Ben Murphy, it's probably the best place to reach out where they can email me at Microsoft. It's been Murphy the enemy or pichwai@microsoft.com.

Heather Bicknell 37:52
Excellent. All right. Thanks so much, Ben. Thanks. So

Ryan Purvis 38:00
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Ben Murphy Profile Photo

Ben Murphy

Senior Director, Product Management at Lakeside Software

Ben Murphy is the Senior Director of Product at Lakeside Software. At Lakeside, he's led integrations for various solutions, including Windows Virtual Desktop, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, NVIDIA GPUs, and ServiceNow ITSM augmentation. With a decade of experience in end-user computing, he's also had the opportunity to share knowledge with IT leaders at industry events, leading sessions at Microsoft Ignite, Citrix Synergy, and VMworld.