Dell Technologies vice chairman and COO Jeff Clarke tackled some weighty topics during the company's second quarter earnings call.
Clarke said on Thursday's Q2 earnings call that Dell employees were still largely working from home due to the Covid-19 crisis, and that 60% of its workforce will stay remote or have a hybrid schedule where they largely work from home, but come into the office once or twice a week.
"The novelty of the new normal has worn off," Clarke said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "After all of this investment to enable remote everything, we will never go back to the way things were before. And we are not alone. Recent data shows that work from home is likely to increase by 20 points across all-size companies across all sectors."
Clarke said that in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic: "We paused to listen to our team members and society at large given what happened three days before we were last together: the murder of George Floyd."
"What we heard through a series of listening sessions was consistent: our Black team members want better representation, equal opportunity, efficacy and to see measurable progress against our Diversity & Inclusion 2030 goals," Clarke said. "That's what we all want. And the work of real change within our now virtual walls is well underway."
The Covid-19 pandemic did lead to a boost in demand for Dell's notebooks and software products for remote workers and online learning. The pandemic has also increased cloud use as remote workers, teachers and students access their data, services and applications from various clouds.
Government orders increased by 16% in the second quarter while orders for the education sector were up by 24%.
On the flip side, data center sales dropped by almost 5% to $8.21 billion as companies shifted their spend to remote work solutions.
Dell's total revenue decreased by 2.7% from the same quarter a year ago to $22.73 billion, and barely beat analysts’ average estimate of $22.52 billion.
Dell's net income fell to about $1.10 billion, or $1.37 per share, from $4.23 billion, or $4.47 per share. Excluding items, Dell earned $1.92 per share, exceeding estimates of $1.40 per share.
Based on its second quarter earnings results, and the prospect that it might spin-off VMware, Dell's shares were trading 6.6% higher at one point Friday morning.