2020 IS ALREADY BEING REGARDED AS THE YEAR OF THE VIRTUAL WORKPLACE.
Recent months have seen thousands of businesses impacted by COVID-19. Functioning headquarters all over the country have fractured into millions of individual home offices, with social distancing forcing employees to collaborate almost exclusively via virtual means. This drastic transition to remote working is largely made possible by one thing—a reliable unified communications platform.
As we’ve come to realise throughout this pandemic, it’s more important than ever to remain connected. And not just socially but professionally, too. Our productive and collaborative capacity has thus far been determined by our ability to engage in clear and seamless communications with colleagues, clients and customers alike.
However, as restrictions loosen, offices across the country are gradually re-opening their doors, ushering in a new era of hybrid workplaces, with staff spread between the workplace and home office. This will create challenges for staff and IT alike, and place an increasing burden on workplace technology.
HOW WILL THE MODERN WORKPLACE HAVE CHANGED?
In a matter of weeks, working from home went from being a luxury to a country-wide mandate. And for many businesses it’s proven just how functional this working arrangement can be. Particularly for those team members who have reaped the timely and financial rewards of cutting out their daily commute. Needless to say, little argument remains against ‘telecommuting’, leaving little doubt that what began as a work perk is slowly becoming the norm.
But the question now remains for modern workplaces that when your doors open again, will you be ready to accommodate this new flexible and distanced way of working?
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WORKPLACE IS READY?
The thing is, you don’t just need to be ready to accommodate flexible working within your own team, but within all of your external business relations. The increased adoption of video conferencing and collaboration technologies has afforded the entire industry a new level of convenience that means meetings no longer have to be conducted in person.
So, put simply; to be ready, you need to be connected.
Is your office equipped to conduct virtual conferencing calls and meetings? Do you have dedicated rooms to facilitate these occurrences? Is the conferencing platform you are using reliable? Are your staff trained in the use of these platforms? What platforms need to be supported within your organisation? Can your IT infrastructure sustain an increase in video conferencing?
These are important questions to ask of your workplace. This is because the disruption caused by COVID-19 was something very few business’ continuity plans had accommodated for but one that they have nevertheless adjusted to. This has therefore created an expectation, and even an assumption, that your workplace is now virtual. And unfortunately, you could potentially lose out if it’s not.
HOW CAN I GET READY?
Workplace technology is about to endure its toughest test yet and being properly equipped to weather it is the best move for your business. These spaces need to be designed to accommodate the flexible nature of communications in the post-pandemic era, something that can be achieved relatively easily through the rapid enablement of dedicated Huddle Spaces and small meeting rooms. These rooms can be enabled with the right collaboration technology without the expense and complexity typically attached to the larger meeting rooms.
It’s important that these meeting spaces have a considered approach with a common user centric workflow, ensuring simplicity and ease of use, whilst still meeting your collaboration requirements. If flexibility is required, this may mean designing a collaboration solution around a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) strategy, where staff can use their own laptop to join their conferencing tool of choice. If consistency is required, there is a raft of dedicated room solutions available for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting from vendors like Crestron, Poly, Cisco, Yealink, Logitech, Dolby and others.
The Converged Technology team are experts in designing and integrating meeting room technologies. It’s our job to keep atop the constantly evolving world of audiovisual and video conferencing technology. We love working with businesses like yours to design the right technology solution, and to help get your team collaborating–wherever they may be.
If you’d like to find out how your workplace can be better equipped for modern working, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how.