Ascentae

Corporate

How Smart Technology Can Help You Maintain a Hybrid Workforce


Organisations know the importance and value of great communication and collaboration. They’re now having to figure out how to make all that happen in a hybrid working world.

Easier said than done, especially if you focus on the wrong things.

Ascentae Managing Director Jon Knight and Product Manager Nick Palmer provide some guidance as to how smart technology helps to support a hybrid workforce. Watch the video below.



How to Maintain a Hybrid Workforce

Speaker Jon Knight

Well, I think there’s very little doubt that remote working is here to stay for most, but hybrid working means a mixture of people coming into the office and working remotely.

So, the most commonly predicted strategy for this is what people are calling a 2-2-1 strategy. So, two days at home, two days in the office or out and about visiting customers, and then one day that might be flexible.

So, if that prediction is correct for most – and, again, there will be differences where some people will work more remotely others will come more into the workplace – but if that general prediction is correct, then this creates a massive challenge for a lot of organisations.

And the first challenge it’s going to create is the quality of the meeting room audio. Everybody has been sitting at home, working remotely using headsets, headphones, webcams.

Often, we hear about people who’ve been upgrading their own home working experience using their own money or being given money by the organisation, through their expenses, in order to improve the quality of that remote working experience.

And although there’s been lots of broadband providers that have made various adverts about the joke around having good quality broadband, the audio has always remained pretty good for most.

So, imagine that now coming back into your workplace.

Are your meeting rooms provisioned for good quality audio, where your employees can socially distance within those meeting rooms?

Have you enabled meeting spaces of the right size? We’re hearing about lots of organisations who need to focus on medium to large sized spaces and provision those with good quality audio.

Speaker Nick Palmer

Having good quality audio and visual in the room is critical to having a high-quality meeting experience. The same is absolutely true for remote participants who may be sat at home on a broadband connection, using a headset and a webcam.

The technology exists today to have high quality cameras and audio at home running on your home computer. And the same is true in the meeting room.

And depending on that meeting room application, then for full collaboration environments where you are not necessarily going to be sat at the meeting room table all the time – and you may stand up to put notes on a whiteboard or engage with an interactive touch screen – it’s important to have audio solutions that provide whole room pickup, such as the Nureva HDL series with its painted Microphone Mist technology…

… and have cameras that can ensure all meeting room participants are correctly framed and adjusts automatically so that, as users migrate around the room to make use of the resources within that room, they continue to stay in picture – so remote users can not only hear them but see them.

Speaker Jon Knight

The second thing that we predict happening as another future trend in relation to supporting ongoing remote working is the need to address visual collaboration.

So again, this is going to be something that will come out later this year, as organisations start to have to adopt hybrid, where are we going to hear about employees saying, “I can hear you, I can see you, but I can’t see what you’re talking about” … “I can’t see the whiteboard you’re working on” … “I can’t participate in what’s going on within that meeting space.”

Speaker Nick Palmer

Organisations need to define and understand what they really mean by collaboration.

Does that mean something as simple as having a standard whiteboard on the wall that you scrawl notes on and use post-its?

Does it mean that you want a interactive whiteboard experience, which may be visible to people on the far end of a call, or do you want a fully interactive solution that empowers both in room and remote participants to engage and edit on a shared workspace?

Now, Ascentae have solutions for all of those environments.

So, if you want a very simple solution for a notepad or flip chart, then the Huddly Canvas Camera can be attached to capture that content and then deliver that within your video calls to remote participants.

And this then scales up to a fully interactive collaborative canvas, which is embedded within the Valarea room application, enabling people within the room to edit and annotate rich media content. And for those remote participants to fully engage with that content as well.

Speaker Jon Knight
Visual collaboration and the general trend around creating uniformity and flexibility and choicefor both the employees who are in the rooms themselves or in the offices themselves and those remote workers – and creating a experience, which is standardised across all, that’s going to be a key challenge.

And it’s certainly something that we, at Ascentae, are very focused on with our technology partners and providers.

Speaker Nick Palmer

One of the key things for organisations to consider, when deploying technology, is creating a standard.

That means their meeting rooms have the same look and feel and functionality, as this will encourage adoption by the workforce.

If your meeting rooms differ from size to size, and functionality within the room, then, users will be slow to adopt. Particularly in light of the fact, with hybrid working, they’re going to be in the office on fewer occasions.


Author: Michael Wilcox

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