Hybrid Meeting Rooms – The Future Of The Modern Workspace
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces experienced a revolution. Even before the pandemic, there was already a significant shift towards more workers and companies embracing hybrid work models. COVID-19 simply accelerated the trend. Now, organisations are navigating their way back to “business as usual”, employers are largely divided into two camps: those looking to bring employees back to offices, and others trying to accommodate the needs of workers planning to remain in some type of remote environment.
Hybrid working blends an on-site and off-site approach to work, providing employees with flexibility regarding where they physically partake in their working duties. A hybrid meeting is a meeting where part of the audience joins from the office and another part joins remotely, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology. Often participants will also use online content sharing solutions to support collaboration.
It is important to note that regardless of whether a board meeting is conducted in-person or online, the objective remains the same. With that said, there are modifications needed to adjust for means of delivery, and not every company suits the same form of delivery.
What changes can your company make to accommodate hybrid working methods?
Video solutions for meeting rooms
The first step is to ensure you have a suitable meeting room solution for video conferencing.
Meeting room hardware solutions are available for all popular video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, often with tabletop touch screen interfaces that combine camera and audio solutions to turn any meeting room into an easy-to-use video conferencing suite.
Equipment such as this allows for a streamlined hybrid meeting experience, making collaboration in the workplace simple, enjoyable, and inclusive – no matter where attendees are calling from.
In a hybrid meeting room, the main speaker will change from in-room to on-video participants without notice. So, for a hybrid meeting to be a success for all participants, you must have microphones that can pick up sound from wherever a person may be in the meeting room.
The key is to choose suitable products for your space that can identify between background noise and the people speaking
Display screens and screen sharing
The most successful hybrid meetings allow all attendees to collaborate and share content as they would if they were all in the same room.
There are two ways you can achieve the best results, either through a large single screen or a dual-screen setup, using mid-sized panels. Both options allow in-office participants to see everyone in the meeting, plus crystal clear content.
Secondly, a tool for wireless screen sharing is key. Many video platforms offer basic content sharing and a whiteboard as standard, but a solution that also allows content annotation is an essential tool for true hybrid meeting collaboration.
Smart cameras and speaker systems
In a hybrid meeting, video participants may need to change their view of those in the room from a group view to an individual close up.
A smart camera that can pick up these changes automatically is the best solution for an easy and natural meeting experience.
Consider those working from home too
Meeting quality is extremely important for both those in the boardroom and for the hybrid worker choosing to stay at home. Engagement levels must be high for both parties, and to ensure that happens; the right tech needs to be considered in all environments.
Choosing the right solutions for your organisation takes a great deal of consideration. Call quality, security, interoperability, ease of use, and reliability are all factors, as well as cost, maintenance, and scalability.
Real World Experience May Differ From Manufacturer Spec Sheets
It's important to be aware that sometimes a product's specifications may not work for your office requirements. Certain manufacturers or products may claim to be able to integrate with certain other hardware or software solutions but it might not be in the exact way you need it to work for your space
For example, a device spec may tell you it will support Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Miracast for wireless presentations from your Windows 10 laptop, and Apple AirPlay.
What might not be stated is that while the device may have all of those features, they may not all work at the same time. Perhaps you can use Microsoft Teams and Apple AirPlay at the same time, but you can’t also use the USB function for BYOD connectivity. Oh, and the device doesn’t have the full Microsoft Teams build, only a modified version that lets you point and click but not use the device like a full touch screen.
Be aware that real-world applications can affect the functionality of your AV system. This is why we recommend working with an AV partner who you can discuss your exact requirements with so that they can then suggest the best option/s for you, ensuring you get the most functionality out of the system you require.
At Powerhouse Dictation we ask you all the right questions so that we can get the full picture of your setup and what you need to make your space function better. We only work with high-quality, well-known brands to ensure that we have the experience and support to back up our solutions.
A final thought on the future of meetings
The meeting is a staple of office life - an organisation cannot run smoothly without the collaboration of it's various divisionas. But as circumstances force the workplace to evolve, the way we approach meetings must adapt too.
Inclusivity is key, as is the right technology to support a modern meeting room. AV equipment, virtual communication tools and meeting room bookign software all have an important role to play in ensuring that meetings remain effective business tools, and that they’re enjoyable, engaging and inclusive.