This is an excerpt from Crestron’s new eBook, “Keys to the Digital Workplace.” Download the full copy here.
We’ve seen a massive rise in the number of businesses whose staff includes a mix of remote and hybrid employees — and that’s led to the rapid expansion of video conferencing platforms.
So how does one choose what’s best for the digital workplace?
The right platform will provide effective solutions for each of three pillars of the digital workplace: video conferencing, wireless presentation, and scheduling.
The right video conferencing solution is key to the success of your digital workplace. Aspects of a system include:
Video – Ensure you have the right camera for the space, whether that lens needs to provide coverage for a room full of people or a single individual at their desk. Make sure that camera is supported by an intelligent video solution with features such as framing and tracking to ensure that all participants have an “equal seat” at the table.
Audio – Speakers and microphones are just as important as video considerations — arguably, even more so. (As long as a team member has audio, they can participate in a meeting.) Mics that provide proper coverage for the size of the room, speakers that are free from distortion, and features such as echo-cancelling facilitate more natural conversations and effective presentations. Remote workers or participants from a single desk or office space may choose a headphone rig with an attached mic — providing for those preferences is more than a morale boost, it can be important if an employee’s joining the team from a crowded space and needs to shut out ambient noise.
Wired vs. Wireless – Is a meeting participant presenting from a laptop via Wi-Fi® connectivity or are they sharing content via USB and/or HDMI® cabling? Does the platform allow for one or both? If the connection is completely wireless, is the Wi-Fi in the space robust and reliable? Are your remote workers joining a meeting via Wi-Fi or a cabled connection? Have you ensured their connection is reliable as well?
Hybrid work requires the ability to host a meeting from anywhere, whether everyone is in the room, working remotely, or a combination of the two. You’ll need a solution that provides the flexibility to share, present, and host a local or hybrid meeting from one device. Whether you’re in a huddle space, auditorium, board room, together with everyone in one location or distributed across time zones, you need a system that efficiently integrates devices for effortless collaboration, presentation, video conferencing, and digital signage throughout your enterprise.
As hybrid work becomes the standard, businesses must provide the technology necessary to ensure every employee has a space to meet, collaborate, and conduct independent work and be productive. An effective scheduling system prevents the team from wandering around the facility, hunting for a space to work.
Scheduling elements to consider include:
Booking – In-office work will consist of a mix of hoteling or hotdesking for independent work and meeting space booking for employees to collaborate. As employees come and go on different schedules, managing available spaces will need to be top of mind. Solutions that include both room and desk bookings are optimum.
Availability – A system that can identify the right space and determine if rooms are available for ad-hoc meetings is extraordinarily helpful; solutions that include an external indicator such as a light, panel, or shingle let the team quickly determine if a space is available.
Utilization – To make the best decisions about designing your workplace, you need detailed insights about what spaces are used, how they are used, and by whom. If a system provides the proper data analytics, you’ll be able to make more informed planning and budgeting decisions: What type of spaces do we need? How many? Where? To support what activities?
Flexibility – Does the hardware or infrastructure natively support your preferred scheduling application? If your organizational needs change and you want to change software, you should be able to do so without having to “rip and replace” any of the installed devices.
Scanning and Sensing – Does the system include options for badge scanning to start and end a meeting? Can occupancy sensors be added to the mix to gather usage data?
Along with the scheduling features mentioned above, room control is another factor. Aspects include:
Localized, Automated AV Control – Does the system allow you to configure the room so the occupancy sensor or scheduling panel, when activated, triggers the room to enter a specific state? For example: Upon entering a huddle room, the shades come down, lights increase in brightness, and displays and other devices come out of sleep mode.
Integration with Third-Party Devices – Does the system provide an open platform that automatically recognizes and integrates devices that aren’t native to the system? As new technologies become available, having a system that can integrate with other peripherals seamlessly is important — and this is yet another way to ensure that your system is future-ready.
For more info and a handy checklist of action items, download the full Crestron eBook “Keys to the Digital Workplace.”