What will office collaboration look for the rest of this year and beyond? Certainly, it will be different to what it was at the start of 2020. For those returning to the workplace, there’s understandably a feeling of anxiety about how safe it is in terms of office hygiene and social distancing. Many employees will continue working from home, so there will be fewer people sharing rooms.
Alongside enabling videoconferencing solutions keeping remote and office-based workers connected and working together, the office space in which meetings are held will change.
How will these changes manifest themselves? According to Kevin Smith, UCANZ Director for Integrated Systems at Shure, “The discussions we’re currently having with clients are centering around increasing the estate of small rooms for one or two people to utilize, downsizing space so larger meeting rooms host smaller groups, and encouraging people to use their own devices to minimize shared touchpoints.”
As enterprises focus on creating safe and effective spaces, offices are being rearchitected to enable social distancing. It’s becoming clear that banks of standalone desks across open floors will become a much less common sight.
We have identified two specific trends in office space and collaboration:
At Shure, we anticipate these changes in office space to have an impact on IT and AV spending. More elements of the business will require high-quality solutions that enable teams to keep in contact, wherever they are located. This will see conference room upgrades that may have been lower down the agenda at the start of the year now being seen as crucial. It’s about ensuring people have the space to communicate safely and effectively across the business.
Here’s where we anticipate some of the budget being spent:
Whether working in a new satellite office, a small room in the main building, or from home, employees need to be able to connect effortlessly with their colleagues and business partners. Flawless audio quality and consistent speech intelligibility is essential. In a survey of 400 professionals in the US (before the COVID-19 lockdown) 82% had experienced a negative impact of poor audio quality, such as rescheduled calls and damage to their brand. And they don’t like it, with 96% saying they were frustrated with their virtual meetings.
It’s no surprise therefore, that we expect new-look office meeting spaces to feature superior virtual collaboration solutions. Reliable technology that captures every nuance, from every workspace will enable distributed teams to keep collaborating, from anywhere.