In the 1980s, Glenda Brungardt’s most useful work tools were a fax machine, a corded phone, and an HP 150 — one of the first touch screen computers — which now looks like an ancient artifact with its boxy shape and neon-green interface. Today, she emails and chats with colleagues on a sleek, portable HP laptop, and collaborates over video calls with noise-canceling headphones.
Brungardt’s career at HP has spanned massive transformations in the way work happens, with rapid changes over the past few years, including the proliferation of hybrid work, high-powered mobile computing, virtual meetings and collaboration, and artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere. Employees have had to adapt quickly to new technology and ways of working, while always anticipating the next innovation and the changes it will bring. At a time when the median tenure for US employees is less than five years at the same company, perspectives from people like Brungardt who’ve spent over 40 years with one employer illuminate how our approach to work — and work itself — continues to evolve.
“I didn’t last 46 years at HP without adapting and without embracing change,” says Brungardt, now HP’s global events manager, who heads up HP’s presence at events like CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), which draws tens of thousands of attendees annually.
The Garage recently talked with three longtime HP employees — all of whom worked under the leadership of one or both of HP’s founders Bill Hewlett, who was CEO until 1978, and Dave Packard, who was chairman of the board of directors until 1993. Stories from their combined 136 years at the company reveal their experience adapting to change and what they believe has remained consistent over their decades-long careers.