AVT Question: It has become clear that the proliferation of hybrid meeting solutions has dramatically altered the landscape of the office—shifting the physical space requirements of organizations and opening up seemingly limitless possibilities for the hybrid employee.
We reached out to the industry thought leaders whose companies are innovating technologies for the new era workplace for their insights and to share best practices to help ensure that employees can enjoy the same immersive meeting experience, regardless of their location. [February 2022]
Thought Leader: David Albright, Business Development Manager at Legrand|AV
Working from anywhere is easier than ever, giving employers access to a broader set of talent, but we need to culturally support this. Work from anywhere puts significant new demands on in-office meeting environments. We’ve adapted to working from home and have come to enjoy the personal one-to-one communication we get with Teams or Zoom. There are ways to optimize that setup, but as people slowly migrate back to the office, problems arise.
Meeting spaces have largely been optimized for people in the room. We have to look at how we adapt these spaces and technologies to enhance the experience for everyone. Meeting equity impacts culture, space planning and technology. If we don’t do these things, we risk alienating our remote and hybrid employees that rely on digital connection to the workplace.
In terms of optimizing the space, it’s essential to re-orient people in the room around a camera and display(s), with enhanced room speakers and microphones to ensure everyone can see and hear, and be seen and heard. Analog collaboration like brainstorming on a whiteboard is lost on remote attendees; we need to adapt new habits for working in these environments supported by technology, like digital touch screens, capture cameras to digitize analog content, and so on.
Lastly, consider the importance of room lighting and acoustics. How is the room set up to support good lighting of people in the room so they can be seen on camera? A lot of rooms have poor acoustic control to minimize reverberation and echoing. Ultimately, this all ties back to culture and connection. How will we optimize our spaces to ensure we’re bringing everybody together in a robust manner? In this sense, “good enough” isn’t good enough when it comes to supporting meeting equity for all.
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