The “new normal” hybrid model of remote and onsite working necessitates an efficient video-conferencing technology to ensure increased performance and productivity.
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Remote working went mainstream at the start of the pandemic and video-conferencing tools helped companies keep the wheels turning. Now that offices have reopened their doors to staff with a hybrid model that combines remote and onsite work, how can technology enhance the best of both worlds?
Hybrid work looks here to stay, with recent research from PwC (Balancing Act: The New Equation in hybrid working) showing 74 per cent of workers want to work from home at least three days a week. It also has a positive effect on productivity, with PwC research from November 2021 indicating that 57 per cent of organisations performed better against workforce performance and productivity targets in the 12 months to November 2021.
In a hybrid model, boardrooms may once again be the hub of meetings, but with some attendees dialing in remotely. Tracy Sheen, founder of technology consultancy The Digital Guide and author of The End of Technophobia, says companies should assess the quality of their display and sound to ensure their technology is fit for purpose. “Hybrid meetings can be just as effective as meetings held in person,” says Sheen. “It comes down to having the right technology and ensuring that everyone is confident enough to use it.”
Empowering remote work
Hardware and software platforms may support hybrid working, but Sheen says they’re only helpful if people get the most out of them. “In the rush to adapt to new ways of working, many companies invested in new tech, but overlooked the importance of education — and many are still playing catch-up,” she says.
“Does everyone know how they get the most out of Microsoft Teams, for example? Do board members know how to share their screen if they are running a virtual presentation, or will they experience undue pressure because they have to try to figure it out on the spot? Does everyone know about features like whiteboards or breakout rooms that can be used for board committee meetings?
“It’s vital for organisations to have the right technology to enable hybrid work model, but they need to back up that investment with education, so that everyone feels confident with new ways of working.”
While visual display technology has evolved to enhance new ways of working, Sheen notes that some organisations may also overlook the importance of sound quality. “People attending meetings from home might plug in their Samsung Galaxy Buds or the wired mic that they use with their smartphone and it clangs against their jewellery or tie pin,” she says. “All the other people in the meeting will hear is annoying audio interference.”
To boost voice quality for video conferences or webinar recordings, Sheen recommends organisations use plug-and-play USB microphones. “They will make a huge difference to the quality of audio and deliver a much more professional sound,” she says.
Background noise can also impede the quality of video conferences, so Sheen recommends using noise-filtration software. “Apps like Krisp run noise suppression across your mic and your speaker, so if you're in an important virtual meeting and your neighbour is using the leaf blower outside your home office window, it will suppress that background noise.”
Quality screen time
When video conferences became the norm at the start of the pandemic, many tech companies reviewed their product offering to ensure they remained fit for purpose. Phil Gaut, Senior Director Display and Memory Solutions at Samsung Electronics Australia, says the design of its display technology has “changed dramatically” over the past two years.
“Features like video conferencing weren't on the roadmap before COVID-19, but the new range of products has incorporated key features to help businesses transform and adapt to change,” he says. “Resolution and picture quality are obviously important, but our range has expanded to incorporate things like connectivity and interactivity, because no matter where people are working from, the modern boardroom or meeting room remains the hub of a conversation.”
Gaut explains Samsung’s new QHB, QMB, and QBB Professional Displays feature built-in video-conference solutions that support USB-type webcams and conferencing apps. “Now you can stick a screen on the wall, plug a webcam directly into it and host a video conference directly from the screen,” he says. “This makes web conferencing accessible and simple to install.”
Samsung’s new Professional Display products include features such as an upgradable web engine, so you can upload almost any piece of content. The Custom Home feature allows administrators to maintain control of specific meeting room settings, and Samsung’s partnerships with technology leaders such as Logitech and Cisco help to deliver a streamlined boardroom experience.
Learn more about hybrid work and video conferencing with Samsung Professional Display.
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