Creating Spaces for Effective Collaboration
Re-opening can mean many things to different organizations. For many, it means a fresh start and a new approach.
When it comes to optimizing environments for collaboration, there may be some changes needed after the pandemic because the way that we work has changed. We imagine that many facilities, HR managers and IT Directors are allotting valuable time to make sure employees are ready to come back to the office safely, and comfortably. That is because not is the perfect time to re-assess the AV before employees return to work.
Before the pandemic, huddle spaces were perfect for smaller teams. They were not setup for videoconferencing, but for focused collaboration and presentation. We imagine that these huddle spaces will now need to be re-imagined including videoconferencing, audio conferencing and other solutions that were more common in larger spaces.
Spaces that were previously unused, or not set up as meeting rooms are now being equipped with conferencing technology with the expectation that they will be easily adapted by returning employees. At VisionPoint we know it’s not always that easy.
Selecting the Right Technology
The problem with the scenario above is that the majority of employees who will be using AV on a daily basis are not apart of the decision making process, and they will ultimately determine whether the proposed technology has been a worthwhile investment for the organization. This is why trusted AV integrators like VisionPoint always conduct a cultural analysis to make sure technology is focused around the end user, and the organization’s culture. Unfortunately, many organizations find themselves selecting AV integrators who develop solutions around the expectations of the IT Executives and other managers, without consideration of the employees who will be using the technology on a daily basis. We have a multi-pronged approach that helps to bridge the gap between all key stakeholders to avoid this issue.
Because we have witnessed organizations ending up frustrated with their AV, we only propose right-fit solutions to ensure longevity, and ease-of-use. If technology is not intuitive, it quickly becomes forgotten, and obsolete. Especially when it comes to spaces that serve different purposes (i.e Training Rooms, Conference Rooms, Board Rooms etc.), solutions can become complicated due to the flexibility that is required of them; they need additional customization to make sure they function properly.
Types of Solutions
With most spaces, it’s usually clear which types of technology would be better suited for the environment. For example, sound bars work particularly well in huddle spaces since these rooms typically fit 3-4 individuals. They can mount on the wall easily, and are often equipped with a PTZ camera, paired with a microphone as a simple all-in-one solution. Sometimes huddle spaces require more complex solutions, and customization depending on how the room is setup. Therefore, you cannot always just mount an all-in-one solution on the wall and call it a day. Sometimes these spaces need acoustical treatment, and additional considerations to make the room work effectively.
Pre-pandemic, conference rooms setup to support one UC application were not a huge issue. One room can be setup to use WebEx, Zoom, or whatever platform was preferred by the organization. During the pandemic, remote workers were using the platforms that they preferred. UNIFY by VisionPoint helps to bridge the gap between different UC platforms.
We have also noticed increased demand for cloud-based interoperability solutions drastically increase as life is starting to slowly go back to normal. Cloud-based solutions that can easily connect with any platform makes it easier to do business on hybrid environments.
Making the Transition
Before organizations start the process of returning employees back to the office, we recommend sending out a brief survey, or exploring solutions that can support hybrid environments so employees can remain productive as they come back to the office (or working remotely with their teams).
We also recommend reaching out to an AV integrator for a quick chat about what they should be considering before the big transition. Many integrators, like us, are happy to chat without any commitment or strings attached. In many cases, we are happy to hear how organizations are planning on returning employees back to work.
Finally, we hope that organizations can thoroughly analyze their spaces beforehand, and consider the importance of selecting the right technology for the job, without assuming what should be installed in pre-existing spaces. The way that we work has changed, therefore we have to adapt and consider an investment in AV to be one that requires a deep-dive into company culture, and a long-term investment into the daily operations of businesses in every industry.
Contact VisionPoint at any time, even if you are thinking about a future project, or want to discuss the concerns that you may have at your organization; we are here to help!