Tommy Edlund, 2020-10-13
How to equip the new hybrid environment
Everyone can attest to the fact that we have changed our way of working – if not forever, then for a very long time to come. Some members of the team work from home and others in the office. Important customer meetings need to take place online, since business travel is not an option. All this demands new thinking on how we equip both the offices and the homeworkers.
Global Workplace Analytics has conducted one of the largest surveys of homeworking during the pandemic. In their Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey*, the respondents stated that before Covid-19 they worked at home around half a day per week. When asked to look ahead, they expected to expand their homeworking to two days a week, on average.
The Work-from-Home Experience Survey shows that before Covid-19 the respondents worked remotely for half a day a week, during the pandemic that figure has risen to five days, and they estimate that they will be working from home two days a week in the future.
Nemertes, a US research-based advisory and consulting firm, conducted a survey of 460 companies in eight countries**. Around 70% of those questioned said that they will continue to work from home in some form even after the pandemic is over.
Video conferences much more important
All this will require changes to both office workspaces and the home office. Fewer people are on site during a normal working day, we want to sit further apart and more people have to be able to hold distance meetings. Those who work from home or some other location need support in making this happen. You can read more in our Academy article: Our new way of working – five steps to an effective hybrid environment.
Above all, the hybrid way of working is going to demand much more from the video conferencing technology. It has to be easy to use and something that is not going to tire out the user, no matter how long the meetings last or how many meetings they have in a working day. Good solutions are needed both at home and in the office.
30 years of distance meetings
Here at Konftel, we have spent over 30 years developing technology for distance meetings and we believe we have a great deal of practical expertise to share as our workplaces adapt to the new normal. It is important to get things right from day one so as not to lose productivity or be forced into costly workarounds if the solutions are not scalable or compatible.
Here are six points that will help you create the right conditions for your company and your employees in the new hybrid environment:
- Identify the specific needs of all the employees, so the technology properly meets their requirements, both in the office and at home – what different scenarios do we have to account for and what technical equipment do we need? You can read more about this in our Academy article on hybrid environments
- Eliminate any technical complications by using conferencing equipment from the same supplier, if possible, for the homeworkers and for the various scenarios in the office. Have a look at our range of video solutions for different environments
- Create clear guidelines on who needs professional distance meeting equipment at home, and make sure that these people are trained in the skill of leading a meeting. Read our guide on seven steps to better meetings
- Remember that the sound is extremely important – invest in video solutions with good audio. This is about not only making your employees’ meetings easier, but also creating a good impression of your company.
- Make sure all the meeting rooms are adapted for social distancing while still maintaining audio and video quality. Do we need expansion microphones or should we connect up more devices in a daisy chain, can the camera’s field of view get everyone in?
- Cut down on the contact surfaces and the risk of spreading infection – let the employees use their own computers to run the video conferences and use tools such as the Konftel Unite app to control the conference equipment remotely.