17 nov. 2020

3 easy steps to equip your hybrid meeting room


Slowly we’ll be moving from an all-remote meeting culture to a mixed meeting model. The hybrid meeting, with both remote and in-office participants, is the way forward. Employers need to find a new balance and start to prepare their office meeting decks for hybrid. It’s possible to turn a regular meeting room into a hybrid meeting room with just a few, simple steps.

Will remote meetings change the role of the meeting room?

Today 1 in 2 meetings is all remote... The pandemic sweeping our planet has doubled the amount of remote videocalls in just a year. The number of Zoom, MS Teams and Webex users grew exponentially. Due to lockdowns, companies changed the working culture overnight and invested in tech for home offices and WFH policies. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that in future this total number of fully remote meetings will still go up.

The meeting room is not dead, it’s actually making a comeback. Slowly and at a different pace in every region and country we’re moving into a more balanced meeting mix. In future 62% of meetings will be held in a meeting room. Not all meetings will be face-to-face, a large percentage will also be hybrid.

Decision-makers are finding a new balance

With COVID-19 companies are forced to be creative and constantly rethink the way they organize work. Today, decision-makers are looking ahead and finding a new balance, they are shifting their work model from a fully remote to a mixed hybrid one. Tech leaders like Microsoft are launching hybrid work policies and prepping their vision on the future of work.

No matter when lockdown measures will be softened or dropped, companies will need to be ready for this return-to-the-office scenario. Today is the time to redesign and invest in safe, efficient and fully equipped offices and meeting spaces. Within the next 3 to 12 months 70% of companies will be ready to support a mixed work model. They will upgrade the workplace with more video-enabled meeting rooms, so in-house employees can collaborate with home office and remote workers seamlessly.

Tech at the heart of seamless hybrid collaboration

To connect remote workers and office workers, you need technology. Especially in the meeting rooms, where you need video-enabled tools to bridge the distance and enable seamless collaboration and communication. The meeting room is still the place where decisions are taken, projects move forward and information is shared, even if not all participants are physically present. If you can’t have a face-to-face discussion, hybrid meeting is the next best thing.

Investments in setup of video-enabled rooms and in better video conferencing technology are number 1 priority for organizations. Be it rolling out new or uniform UC platforms in the entire enterprise, equipping meeting spaces with SWAPS like camera’s, mics, speakers, soundbars for good audio and video quality, investing in decent display and visualization solutions or enabling wireless content sharing, collaboration and conferencing for more engagement.

Turn any meeting room into a hybrid meeting room

The most used office spaces are meeting rooms, with the video conferencing room gaining momentum. So why limit video calls to these conferencing rooms alone? Any meeting room can become a hybrid meeting room by taking 3 steps and creating the best AV set-up possible for hybrid meetings.

1. Invest in UC tools & platforms

Deciding which UC solutions works best for a company, is an IT decision. UC combines multiple enterprise communication channels like voice, video, data, messaging, voicemail and content sharing. These user-centric solutions simplify the workplace and create one environment where employees have everything to productively connect, work and share. There’s is the option to go for just one preferred solution companywide. A straightforward choice, not always the easiest one. Because customers, suppliers, sub-contractors or freelancers might be using another solution instead. No matter how many solutions like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex companies decide to enable, they need to provide at least one. We simply can’t do without in the hybrid meeting culture.

2. Equip rooms with SWAPs

The ideal AV setup with Sofware Agnostic Peripherals SWAPs provides the best possible audio and video quality in your hybrid videocalls and greatly improves the overall user experience for meeting hosts and participants. In order to clearly see everyone, inside and outside the room, a room camera is need. Preferably one which has a wide angle, so it can capture all in-room participants in just one view (even respecting social distancing). To hear all conversations loud and clear, sound of impeccable quality is required with (conference) speakers or soundbars and an easy accessible mic. There are many players in the market selling these AV peripherals and there are also different solutions for different room types available. So possibly not all meeting room tech in one and the same building are from the same manufacturer.

3. Add wireless to the mix for flexible, seamless and simple video conferencing

Since videoconferencing became our natural way of collaborating, the most used business tool ever, is the laptop. It’s our window to the world for communicating and conferencing. In the meeting room as well, we want to continue this laptop-first experience and we host calls from our own device. 56% of employees prefer to host video calls from their laptop, compared to an in-room system (19%) or their smartphone (18%). Wireless conferencing solutions turn the laptop into the hub from which users connect to the SWAPs available in the room and from which they share apps onto the room display.

Wireless conferencing solutions like ClickShare Conference bring all technologies in the room together, in one easy, seamless and wireless way. They’re removing the cables hassle to connect to both SWAPs for a good AV quality and room displays for content sharing. They’re flexible, fully agnostic and integrate with pre-existing meeting room solutions (with no vendor lock-in). They’re turning on the power of BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting) in any type of meeting room and enable an open rooms-concept, tailored to the user’s device, workflow and preferences. They are equipping any room for better hybrid meetings.