Hybrid work

Delivering equality of meeting experience in a hybrid work setup

Of all the changes bought on by the pandemic in our lives, one of the most interesting developments has been in the way we work. Over the last eighteen months, we have redefined the meaning of ‘work’ and ‘workplace.’ It has become clear that where the work is done is not as important as people once thought it was, and work is no longer a place we go to but what we do, regardless of the location.

From my many conversations with customers and industry analysts, it has become clear that remote working is here to stay, at least in some form or another, and many companies are now opting to embrace the hybrid working model. In fact, according to data from Microsoft’s recent report on hybrid work culture in India, nearly 73% of business decision-makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to accommodate hybrid work environments.

Hybrid work: The future, and tips to consider

The data is clear: extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace. Increasingly in the future workplace, employees want to work asynchronously, completing tasks on their own schedules and preferred work locations (at home, the office, or a coffee shop), which may differ from those of their colleagues.

One of the challenges for business and IT leaders while designing hybrid workspaces is ensuring that every employee has an equal say and that the work experience is consistent regardless of their location. No employee should feel like they are left behind.

For hybrid working to succeed truly, it is important to close the gap between those working in the office and those working remotely.

Here are a few tips on how organizations can ensure equality of meeting experience to their employees and bridge the gap between remote and office workers–

  1. Remember, one size does not fit all. It is essential to understand the workstyle of your employees – Research shows that 92% of employees can be categorized into six distinct workstyles that represent how and where people work in today’s enterprises.By understanding these workstyles, you can better match individuals with the audio and video solutions they need for meeting equity—whether they work in cubicles or shared spaces at the office, at home, or on the go to provide the best hybrid working experience.

Persona-based buying makes life significantly easier for IT and business leaders. Once an employee is placed into a persona, you can automate the purchase of equipment and licenses, as well as the IT support required to get them started.

  • Encourage a video conference culture – even for those in the office to give remote employees an opportunity to be seen and heard.

Are your meeting spaces equipped with video conferencing devices so that the entire room can be seen rather than just one person in front of a laptop? Some companies are even outfitting open spaces with video conferencing equipment so that it’s easier to conference someone in on the fly when impromptu meetings happen. Invest in good video conferencing equipment for all employees, regardless of location.

  • Invest in quality audio equipment –one of the most important aspects of a meeting isthe audio quality. It is essential to hear clearly and be heard.

By equipping your entire workforce with the audio equipment of their choice (headset/speakerphone), which cancels out the background noise and lets employees focus on their calls, you can not only help improve employee productivity but also give the power to your employees to work at any time, to stay connected from any location, and to collaborate and be productive whenever inspiration strikes.

  • Invest in solutions which can operate with multiple cloud platforms – For hybrid working to succeed, IT managers and CIOs are looking for sophisticated collaboration equipment that is easy to use, works across cloud platforms (across multi cloud environments), gives best in class experience supported by services capability to manage complete deployment of devices.

Collaboration vendors that offer these features and are platform agnostic is the need of the hour for customers. Hybrid working offers employees a whole new level of flexibility – something that many workforce members have been seeking for years. But making hybrid working a reality takes careful thought, planning, and the right technology. It’s up to IT and business leaders to bring all these ingredients together to create a future-proof communication and collaboration strategy.

The article has been written by Ankur Goel, Managing Director for Poly India and SAARC

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