Manager’s guide: knowing when to have virtual meetings and when to travel
These days, you could travel every day and spend all your time in meetings, but in this time-poor world we need to work →
The workplace as we know it has changed significantly in just a few years, with shifts from open offices to spaces more purposefully created with collaboration and productivity in mind. According to Aruba, 70% of employees attribute enhanced collaboration to digital technologies. And as our collaboration needs change, meeting rooms are being replaced by huddle rooms equipped with the technology to match a new culture of collaboration.
Ensuring that smaller, more flexible spaces work for you and your business is just the beginning. According to the Wall Street Journal, 73% of meetings involve only two to four people, but 53% of conference-room space is built for meetings of seven or more. Technology is creating a wealth of opportunities for employees to take quick video calls with remote colleagues located all over the world, reducing the need for business travel and increasing global growth opportunities. According to McKinsey, a 20-30% increase in productivity is provided by online collaboration tools and digital workplaces.
But businesses must look beyond the needs of today and explore how they can future proof their huddle rooms too.
Huddle-room meetings will grow to represent almost 70% percent of all video conferencing room meetings by 2022Frost & Sullivan
Considering that 85% of employees with access to collaborative management tools are more likely to perceive themselves as happy in the workplace, it’s crucial that you get it right. While lighting, furniture, whiteboard access and other elements are still important, creating a seamless technology experience is the most valuable aspect of future-proofing your huddle-room investment. According to Biz Tech, 64% of businesses had video systems set up in a huddle room in 2017.
In terms of future-proofing meeting room spaces, video collaboration tools are offering increasing edge AI and camera capabilities. At the same time, we are seeing a rise in field of view that enables cameras to act as sensors and process image and video data. While options range from traditional 72° cameras to full 180° panoramic options, there is a strong argument to be made for blanketing your huddle rooms with a video solution.
Using a huddle room calculator reveals how businesses can maximize their real estate with smaller, more efficient meeting rooms through panoramic video. 180° video is also capable of processing image data, and using future AI technology to automate processes like meeting room bookings, maximizing utilization of collaboration spaces. According to Cisco, 53% of businesses believe AI-powered smart meeting rooms will improve business processes, while 95% of employees think that AI can help enhance their job quality.
From conversations we’ve had with clients, we’ve seen that hour-long meetings could be cut down to a much more efficient 30-40 minutes with the right tools in place. Effective collaborative working environments can promote greater communication, engagement and aid productivity.
The days of waiting for seven days for the next meeting are disappearing. Our digital world moves at a much faster speed now. With more space to collaborate in a faster-moving and more agile way of working, businesses can quickly begin to see the return on investment.
Ensuring that your entire workforce is in the picture is a crucial step in eradicating information silos from your organization. Research from Queens University showed that 75% of employers consider collaboration as crucial, but only 18% receive communication assessments in their performance appraisals. Clear Company also found that the right communications tools helps retain staff. The presence of an effective communication system decreases employee turnover by 50%.
The experience economy is not just for consumers; we are all bringing these rising expectations into the workplace too. Ensuring that everyone has the right devices to engage with remote teams and connect with potential business partners or customers is the new standard.
We now need new ways of working to provide seamless collaboration, regardless of where we are located. The lines between our physical and digital world are already disappearing.
Businesses should consider exploring the world beyond the limited view of a 72° camera lens when communicating with the world. The future-proofing of meeting rooms, doing more with less space, and building a culture of collaboration is already proving to be a game-changer.
It’s time to look at the bigger picture and taking a 180° panoramic view of the evolving business landscape. What does the future of work mean to you and your business?