There is no question that our workplaces don’t look like they used to. If you go into a workplace at all, you’ll notice that the offices with doors and the dedicated conference rooms are gone and in their places are open plan hot desks and tiny call rooms. At the same time as our workspaces are trending towards the tiny and communal the need to collaborate has never been more important to being successful at work.
With distractions and disruptions in the workplace now the norm, smart workplaces are looking to deploy collaboration technology that allows their employees to get the job done effectively and efficiently. “One of the primary challenges that employees face when trying to collaborate with remote teams and colleagues is terrible audio quality,” shared Poly’s Brian Phillips. “Even when employees can escape the open plan office and head to a huddle room, there’s still a lot of noise transfer from those walking the halls on their phone and those who insist on putting the phone on speaker.”
These complications are only compounded if teams attempt to video conference. Now, not only are you dealing with possibly bad sound quality but you’re trying to get a decent picture. “Traditional video conferencing equipment was designed for the big boardrooms of the late 1990s. Back then you wanted a super-wide angle to make everyone who was at the table visible,” said Phillips. “But now days in these huddle rooms that’s not the view you want; in fact you want camera technology small enough to focus in on the one person in that room without being so close that they are distorted in other dimensions.”
And, of course, there’s always the challenge of dealing with the tech-challenged employee. “If you can over come the challenges of audio and video quality, then you’ve still got to overcome the challenges of standing up conferencing equipment,” shared Phillips. “While it might be easy for the IT team to setup a laptop, connect the right widget to the right port on a laptop, it’s not always so easy for everyone else.” Moreover there are other issues, such as being the person to sacrifice your laptop for the duration of the meeting, the constant visual disruptions on a laptop from email notifications, instant messages, virus scan updates, which range from being annoying to embarrassing.
While the conferencing situation might seem dire, Phillips assures us that there are solutions that address all of these challenges without breaking the bank. “There’s a solution for every need that address all three of these major issues today,” he shared. “If you have a small huddle room there are all-in-one video bar solutions that are designed for small spaces and don’t need a laptop to run and provide superior sound quality. Alternatively, if you have a tech-savvy workforce there are BYO and plug and play solutions. The most important thing is that these days none of these options need to cost a lot or deliver poor audio and video quality.”
Get ready to collaborate here!