On Workplace 3.X from 36 Leading AV/IT Manufacturers

On Workplace 3.X
(Image credit: Future)

This year, more companies require that employees return to the office at least three days a week. Employees are pushing back when office and meeting technologies are not in place.

Let’s not forget the hybrid workforce who never worked in the office and the client meetings from around the globe that always needed a better audio, video, and collaboration experience.

We reached out to 36 AV/IT industry thought leaders whose companies are innovating technologies for the new era workplace to share their insights and best practices for ensuring meeting equity for all employees and how to deliver the best collaboration experience regardless of location.

Check out the sidebar to the right, for the full interviews of all 36 companies to gain more insight into the Workplace 3.X.

Following are a few highlights from our interviews.

Absen's key accounts manager, Jeremy Hall said, "We are beginning to see a major trend in using dvLED in a video studio setting for corporate and even external messaging. We can create everything from virtual static or moving backdrops all the way to full Extended Reality Studio environments." Click here for the full interview.

Avocor's senior vice president, Dana Corey said, "Accelerated with the introduction of Microsoft Teams Front Row, the 21:9 aspect provides a bigger collaborative canvas. Not only can you view colleagues in a side-by-side format, you can also view multiple work assets simultaneously. It’s a more practical and productive solution that offers better meeting efficiency, as well as equity." Click here for the full interview.

BIamp's executive vice president of Corporate Development, Joe Andrulis said, "For the AV manufacturer, if standardization is the benchmark, then products need to be simple to install, configure, and use. The conferencing system should deliver an experience that is simple, fast, and incredibly reliable. To get there, AV professionals must look at all types of users that engage the meeting room, physically and virtually." Click here for the full interview.

Hall Technologies' vice president of Sales and Marketing, Hal Truax said, "Some businesses are attempting to entice workers back into the office by offering a flex environment, and we’d like to think that technology plays a big role. For business and technology leaders, one of the things they want to improve upon will be the tools and services that workers can use to enable them to be productive, engaged, and efficient regardless of the location of their office. Staff should be able to connect whether they’re traveling, in a hotel, in a coworking space, or in the office." Click here for the full interview.

Jabra's senior vice president of Intelligent Vision Systems, Aurangzeb Khan said, "2023 will see the shift from task-based workspaces to interaction-based workspaces. Companies will begin to scale back real estate and distill super offices that enable next-level collaboration. This means downgrading real estate footprints for more concentrated and purpose-built offices with technology that enables people to experience authentic interactions with all their colleagues, whether they’re in the building or not." Click here for the full interview.

Jupiter Systems' regional sales manager of Client Experiences, George Astacio Jr. said, "Work from anywhere has the potential to offer employees better work-life balance along with flexibility. The challenge faced by these executives is if these spaces are not designed correctly, it could lead to a decrease of inclusion and performance, along with a decline in employee retention. We may see improved employee wellness, engagement, and retention if done correctly." Click here for the full interview.

NETGEAR's director of SMB Product Marketing, John Henkel said, "Prior to the shift towards remote work, poor connection from employees “dialing in” was attributed to the individual, but now companies employing a hybrid workforce need to take things into their own hands—and their AV technology needs to be up to snuff to do so. A company that successfully employs a hybrid workforce must be underpinned by reliable, fast network connectivity, acting as a fluid substrate that brings everything together—people, apps, and devices—regardless of location." Click here for the full interview.

Nureva's chief executive officer, Nancy Knowlton said, "We spend about a quarter of our available time at work each week. Teams form and engage in social behaviors around work and outside work. While some teams have had remote members for some time, most people would concede that the entirety of their interactions contribute to their ability to work together productively." Click here for the full interview.

Panasonic Connect's director of Pro AV Solutions and Connected Ecosystems, Petro Shimonishi said, "AV systems for meeting spaces need to be thoughtfully designed with both in-person and remote attendees in mind. PTZ cameras with auto-tracking capabilities are necessary in these types of environments, as they allow remote attendees to feel like they are in the room following the conversation. The same goes for 360-degree camera speakerphones. These devices take the stress out of meetings by allowing presenters to capture footage and audio using one device, ensuring clear sound collection and amplification. Speaking of sound, wireless handheld microphones are also great meeting space tools, especially those optimized for speech intelligibility and featuring background noise suppression technology." Click here for the full interview.

Planar's vice president of Product Marketing, Steve Seminario said, "Video meeting application software has evolved and improved dramatically since 2020, and it’s become pervasive as nearly every in-person meeting is a hybrid meeting. These advancements in meeting room software and accessories coincide with so many companies returning to in-person work, which is giving way to many meeting room upgrades." Click here for the full interview.

Sennheiser's insights manager, Business Communication, David Missall said, "While video and streaming technologies are often top of mind, the most critical element of any meeting remains the audio. We’ve all experienced how a meeting can be suddenly unproductive if someone is on mute—or worse, if the screen freezes and both audio and video experience interruption. Therefore, in any collaborative meeting space—no matter where participants are located—audio should be the first concern in any AV or IT integration. Getting the first mile right is key; by choosing the right microphone technology in your meeting space, participants can be heard clearly." Click here for the full interview.

Shure's senior manager of Global Accounts, Troy Jensen said, "What’s needed is a broad audio ecosystem comprised of hardware, software, and accessories that seamlessly work together to boost employee engagement and productivity. Remote and in-room meeting participants must be integrated into a single, connected experience. The future corporate meeting space is designed to encourage collaboration among employees—including anything from having the right audio equipment in a meeting room so remote participants can hear the conversation in the office, to ensuring that in-person participants can clearly view a shared graphic on the display."  Click here for the full interview.

Sony's business manager, Professional Display Solutions, Ken Kobayashi said, "It’s also important to consider the compatibility and interoperability of the solutions and platforms you’re using to make the meeting experience as seamless as possible. Other aspects to consider are standardizing on solutions that are agile and can easily be updated to grow with the user, expand capabilities to further protect their investment, and ensure the technology addresses the latest standards and expectations. Additionally, in order to implement a successful AV system, looking to hardware and software systems that can be accessed and updated from the cloud is also an important factor. Finally, it’s imperative to analyze and leverage the data provided by your technology to fine-tune and create more beneficial experiences." Click here for the full interview.

Yamaha UC's director of Marketing, Laura Madaio said, "We’ve hit a culture shift in employment where the playing field is leveling out for those working remotely, which means an equitable experience for remote and in-office employees regardless of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, et cetera. Employees are often encouraged to decide how and where they work best, without having to provide justification; and employers are often expected to provide their workers with the technology required to work successfully." Click here for the full interview.

Check out the sidebar to the right, for the full interviews of all 36 companies to gain more insight into the Workplace 3.X.

Cindy Davis
Brand and content director of AV Technology

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology (AVT). She was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. Davis moderates several monthly AV/IT roundtables and enjoys facilitating and engaging in deeper conversations about the complex topics shaping the ever-evolving AV/IT industry. She explores the ethos of collaboration, hybrid workplaces, experiential spaces, and artificial intelligence to share with readers. Previously, she developed the TechDecisions brand of content sites for EH Publishing, named one of the “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 25 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners and sampling local IPAs. Connect with her on LinkedIn