With offices bursting back to life, now is the perfect time for businesses to undertake a technology audit and overhaul, according to conferencing specialist Konftel – who are predicting record levels of video meetings.
Konftel is advising organisations to undertake a stocktake style analysis and ‘equipment MOT’, as hybrid working becomes reality. The collaboration giant says a rapid transformation is often needed to deliver safer, flexible and more productive working conditions.
“A lot of us are heading back into the office more whilst also working from home,” explained UK Sales Director, Jeff May. “Many companies are keen to re-engage with their workforces to develop comradery, team spirit and build a new culture, sharing ideas. Home working doesn’t suit everybody. Some want to return whilst others don’t.
“The key is for corporations to make it a managed and acceptable return that suits both employers and employees. Every company will be different. It’s happening on a massive scale involving tens of thousands of companies and millions of people. The approach will be many and varied even within each individual organisation.”
May added: “The approach we are seeing and being discussed in the channel is having solutions that are flexible for all eventualities. It’s going to be a considered return to the office. Social distancing will still be a consideration for many whilst others may prefer to wear a mask.
“It’s not going to be a quick return to normality. That means for those companies that have some people back in offices and others still at home, these people still have to connect so meetings still have to go ahead with colleagues who are just in different places. Some will be sat together back in a meeting room engaging with those dispersed elsewhere. This will equally apply to customers and suppliers.
“Companies are going to have to provision more and more meeting spaces because there’s going to be more online meetings. We expect record numbers. Once the shackles fully come off, some will be keen to meet face-to-face with people they haven’t seen for a while but once they start commuting and getting stuck in traffic many will realise they don’t need to travel. Meeting remotely saves costs too as well as being kinder to the environment.”
Konftel feels that with more and more offices being ‘turned back on’ a technology analysis is crucial. “Is their technology fit for purpose in a modern and dynamic world?” asks May. “A lot of equipment wouldn’t have been used for 18 months. Nobody wants to throw away their assets but previous investments would have been made for totally different reasons. Video conferencing is here to stay and it needs to be up to the job. Smaller scale meetings will be required more, in addition to the bigger boardrooms.
“As a result, organisations for whom smart connective technology has provided essential continuity throughout lockdown are now eyeing the hybrid working model and assessing whether they have kit that ticks the right boxes.
“Audio pick-up in particular needs to be assessed especially around social distancing and more space between people in rooms. Wider angle cameras is another consideration for successful meetings. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to offer video solutions for every meeting room. We’ve just developed a 3D interactive floorplan to quickly pinpoint the best solution and connectivity for all room types. Quality counts.”
May concluded: “Users are more discerning and demanding. Return on investment is crucial in the traditional back-to-work blueprint. One saved business trip often covers the costs of a small online meeting facility that can generate increased efficiencies day after day.
“More online group meetings than ever will take place. That could even be individuals working in the same building but on different floors, engaging with colleagues elsewhere. It’s become the way we do things. The mindset has changed and office technology needs to be up to the job if businesses are to continue to thrive and flourish. Now is the moment for them to take stock and ensure they are ready for the next iteration of the workplace.”