Is your office set up for hybrid video meetings?

By Courtney - 12 Nov, 2021
Collaboration

Is your office set up for hybrid video meetings?

The right tech is essential for hybrid workplace success

Meetings when everyone is in one room – easy.

Meetings when everyone is connecting remotely via video conferencing – pretty straightforward.

But, what about when there’s a mix of people in the office and people connecting remotely? How can you ensure your meetings are productive and engaging for everyone when a mix of technologies is involved? How can your remote workers feel just as connected and included as the team working in the office?

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to many people that remote work is a viable option.

Unsurprisingly, many employees don’t want to come back to the traditional five-days-a-week in the office model. According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index:

  • 70% of employees want flexible remote work trends to continue
  • But 65% also want more in-person time with their teams
  • 66% of business decision makers are planning to redesign office spaces to better accommodate hybrid work
  • 46% of remote workers plan to move to a new location because they can now work remotely.
This is the challenge businesses face as more people want to embrace hybrid working models – a mix of time in the office and working from home.

Finding ways to give staff the flexibility they want and the connectivity they crave, while meeting your organisation’s productivity needs is the next frontier of workplace management.

Going back to the way things were pre-pandemic is not an option. Employees are rethinking how work fits into their lives and if your business can’t adapt, they will change roles to a business that can. The transition to a hybrid workplace over the coming months will be essential to the staff retention plans for many organisations.

The right foundations to support your hybrid workforce

Hybrid workplace success is reliant on some strong foundations to strike the right balance between flexibility and productivity. But that means more than a desk in the office, a laptop for at home, and a strong internet connection. Creating an engaging employee experience starts with getting the right mix of technology and processes in place, including:

  • Collaboration tools including cloud storage, document synchronisation, file sharing and instant messaging
  • Office capacity management tools for booking meeting rooms and desk spaces
  • Mobile tools for remote connection
  • Documented security software and policies
  • Video conferencing software
  • Robust cameras, speakers and microphones that give remote employees the same sense of connectivity and capacity to collaborate as onsite employees.

The new world of hybrid video meetings

Video conferencing took on a new life during 2020 (the Microsoft Work Trends Index reported that time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings more than doubled between February 2020 and February 2021) and this is only expected to continue. With a mix of employees working from home and in the office (not to mention client collaboration), businesses should be working from the assumption that nearly every meeting will now have participants joining via video.

But is it enough to provide everyone with a link to a video conferencing platform? What about when you’ve got some of the team in the boardroom and some connecting from home? Are you optimised for one on one, one on many, and many on many meetings?

Do you have the right audio and video equipment in your meeting spaces? Or are staff using the speaker, microphone and video on their laptops? Is your IT infrastructure limiting how people can participate, especially in multi-person meetings? When you’re relying on staff using individual devices rather than having dedicated in-room equipment, there can be a lot of wasted time as people try to connect incompatible devices. Not to mention challenges with different collaboration technologies, especially when interacting with clients and prospects.

As stated in the Harvard Business Review article, “What It Takes to Run a Great Hybrid Meeting,”:

‘”There’s simply no going back to the world of “squawk boxes” on the conference room table, with those on the phone straining to hear, being “talked over” when trying to speak, or guessing what’s on that PowerPoint slide on a screen only their colleagues in the room can see.”

It’s time to do better. By designing hybrid offices that consider remote and onsite experiences as equally important, we can create a platform that gives everyone the same chance not just to participate, but meaningfully contribute and have their input be valued.

Get support to provide your team with the best video conferencing experience

Hybrid work and video meetings are the new normal. Investing in the right technology to ensure you can work flexibly, collaboratively and productively is now an essential requirement. As experts in video and audio technology, New Era Technology can help you scope your technical needs and provide recommendations on the best equipment, as well as room design and implementation to help you and your team thrive in hybrid work environments.

Our partnership with Poly means we can help you access some of the best video conferencing tools in the market.

Used in collaboration with a platform like Microsoft Teams, Poly can provide a better native video conferencing experience. This includes access to:

  • A comprehensive range of native devices including headsets, speakerphones, desktop phones and video solutions so your team can effectively connect from their home, desk or meeting rooms
  • A pro-grade user experience with functionality like cameras that track and frame speakers so people can move around the room
  • Better sound quality through audio features like NoiseBlockAI to minimise background noise and turn any desk or shared space into a ‘quiet zone’
  • Centralised management of devices and software with the Poly Lens dashboard for IT administrators.

Whether your team are working at home, in the office, at a client site, or even taking meetings from the car, we can help provide the right mix of devices and technology infrastructure to successfully manage environmental challenges. This means everyone can focus on getting work done, not on getting the technology to work.

Our equipment includes devices that seamlessly integrate for your remote workers at their homes and video conferencing cameras and phones for meeting rooms to help everyone feel connected, even if they aren’t in the room.

Does your business need help getting the foundations in place for successful hybrid working?

There are so many more options available for video conferencing other than personal laptops. We can help you determine what solutions will suit your needs best and allow you to create a hybrid workplace that brings everyone together – no matter where they are joining the meeting. Our audio and video conferencing specialists can help you proactively plan for disparate technologies and find that sweet spot between flexibility and productivity that you and your team are searching for.

We’re here to help guide you and get set up for successful hybrid working. Contact us to find out more.

Author: Courtney