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Keysight Technologies boasts a rich and evolving history at Winnersh Triangle, from its roots as Hewlett Packard (HP) through its ongoing development and relationship with Frasers Property to its current role in the business park.

One of the first occupiers on Winnersh, originally operating from the site that houses the Crowne Plaza Hotel, this $6 billion global tech innovator employs approximately 60,000 employees across more than 48 countries.

We sat down with Julia McDonald, Workplace Solutions Manager for Keysight Technologies, who manages the offices and its real estate portfolio across the UK and EMEA, to hear her unique perspective on the company’s journey in the business park.

Innovation and Change

With nearly two decades of experience working with both Keysight and Frasers Property, Julia has been instrumental in the development of the offices.

“Negotiating deals with Frasers Property is like talking to an old friend,” says Julia. “I’ve known Rupert, their Commercial Director, for so long now, we almost don’t need an agent to secure our leases. I can just pick up the phone and say, ‘Here’s what we’re thinking of doing,’ and he works with us.”

Since moving to its current location at 610 Wharfdale Road in 2011, Keysight employs about 120 people at Winnersh Triangle, the majority of whom are hardware engineers.

“The space has transformed significantly since our HP days,” recalls Julia. “Back then, we had US-style cubicles. Now, it’s all open plan. The Senior Managers sit in the same space as the engineers, creating an environment that fosters communication and collaboration.”

The 27,000 sq ft of space is divided between labs, offices, and communal areas, with the majority being used by their engineers.

Attracting Talent

With a strong focus on expanding its capabilities in 5G and 6G technology and across a range of industries, including Cyber Security and EV technology, this proactive approach to growth has led to several acquisitions to bring new blood and opportunities into the company.

“We’re a very cash-rich company,” Julia reports, “And the acquisition of the AI-driven global digital test automation and monitoring software provider, Eggplant, marked a significant shift toward attracting younger talent.”

As Keysight Technologies looks to the future, it’s clear that the company values both its history and its role in driving technological advancements from its base at Winnersh Triangle. With a committed team, a strategic location, and a forward-looking management approach, Keysight is set to continue its legacy of innovation and excellence.

With evolution, however, comes increasing competition. “The industry is so much more competitive. We’re all trying to attract the same up and coming talent, and consequently, location and offices are far more important,” adds Julia.

“There’s a rich labour pool in the area, and it’s important that you offer a high-quality working environment with benefits and a good salary.”

Vibrant Community

“Our team enjoys the vibrancy of Winnersh Triangle and its socials, and the younger generations utilise the onsite Move HQ gym. They keep up to date with events through the park app, Pip, and enjoy summer and Christmas socials on The Green and the pop-up street food vans.

“We do have our own café, but many prefer to take advantage of the business park’s café, The Exchange. They’re always keen to join in and be part of the community.”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Keysight Technologies was able to continue operations at full capacity across two sites, with Winnersh being one—thanks to exemption certificates and a proactive management approach.

“We took the decision to close down a week earlier than the government and changed the meeting rooms into labs. The majority of the engineers need to be in the office because of the equipment. however, since then we have been successful in employing 25 remote contractors.”

Shifting Work Patterns

“It did change things. There is definitely a more hybrid way of working in operation, and like many businesses, Mondays and Fridays are always our quietest.”

“I personally really enjoy coming into the office and staying connected. I always feel really proud walking around the floors,” says Julia, smiling. “I helped design this one personally, and I think the layout works really well, integrating the different uses and making everyone feel connected to the company and the space.”

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