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Looking Ahead!

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2020 was most definitely the year video communication came of age and there’s no going back, it’s here to stay. 

Many people have found that remote meetings have worked well enough for them and are planning to continue with many of these going forward. Some experts are expecting to see the frequency of working from home in the post COVID-19 world to be double that of pre-pandemic levels. 

There are other areas where perhaps video hasn’t worked quite so well for people; training over video is not quite the same, the generation of creative ideas and building relationships is also more difficult. Many miss the social side of working from the office, which video doesn’t truly replace.  

For these reasons, the use of office spaces and meeting rooms is still very much here to stay too but will be re-evaluated by many organisations, skimmed down, and refreshed to accommodate our new ways of working and to support a hybrid mix of home and office workers. 

Welcome to a new year and an evolving new way of working! 

Our Predictions 

As we move into a new year with an evolving new way of working, we take a quick look at some of our predictions for the year ahead. 

  • Consolidation 

All businesses will be looking at their current solutions and evaluating whether it’s the right fit for them, whether it does everything they need it to both now and for the long term.  

With the massive adoption of video applications and tools to support homeworkers it’s likely that we will see an increase in hardware solution investments, as companies start to bring these new tools back into the office and into their meeting rooms.  

We are also likely to see some swapping and changing of solutions/providers in the coming months as companies evaluate the tools and applications that were adopted during a time of crises but may not be able to pass rigorous security and IT testing requirements.  

A current period of evaluation will lead to consolidation over the coming months and years with a focus on security, scalability and longevity future proofing any further investments. 

Prepare your meeting rooms for a return to the office
  • Vendors 

We’ve seen the big players in the market rise to the top, becoming household names; Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex and GoToMeeting to name just a few. There have also been many new solutions/platforms coming onto the market. 

We expect to see all the vendors continue to add features and improvements to their services and products all vying for the top spot but more importantly from our viewpoint we hope to see a returned focus on making meetings easy to join, no matter what your platform of choice. 

  • Meeting Room Collaboration 

The first trend we are predicting in the meeting room is one of evaluating how meeting spaces will be used and the technology that will be needed to enable our new ways of working. A technology refresh may be required to provide consistency for your hybrid workforce, enabling easy meetings between staff in the office and those at home.  

Most definitely, incorporating the applications and tools that have been adopted to support homeworkers will be key here. How do you get all the Video Conferencing and Video Collaboration tools you’ve been using from home, working in your meeting rooms?  

  • Ideation / Visual Team Collaboration 

Alongside Video Conferencing, Ideation or visual team collaboration tools became ‘mission critical’ for many organizations in 2020. Incorporating these ideation tools into meeting rooms will be key to those companies who have been working in this way and relying on the technology. 

  • Control in Meeting Rooms 

As we start to plan the safe return to our meeting rooms the use of control systems can become invaluable. There are so many ways of using control to keep our users even safer, from automatic settings triggered to turn on screens and lighting when people enter the room through to the use of personal devices or voice control to manage meeting rooms. The possibilities with control are almost endless! 

  • Workplace Management / Desk & Room Booking / Visitor Management 

As we are exploring and evaluating ways of returning to the office safely, the tools and technologies to help us do this are coming to the forefront. Flexible and smart workplace solutions allowing booking of meeting rooms/spaces and work desks, together with visitor management, wayfinders and interactive maps are ideal solutions for supporting a safe return to work. 

Who to work with? 

Suppliers who can advise & support their clients with all these areas and those who provide easy room solutions for varied sizes of meeting room and all-in-one solutions or well refined bundles will be the winners here. 

We’re here to help! 

We are here to help with planning your meeting room technology for when you can start returning to the office. Now’s a great time, offices are empty, time is on your side to prepare and be ahead of the rush of demand for products and services. Our engineers are still working and installing equipment in our clients meeting rooms.    

Give us a call and start your planning! Now’s the perfect time to be proactive and discover what your people need, want, and expect in your meeting rooms. Plan and be ready for a new year and a new way of working!

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