Most historians agree that The Old Admiralty Office built in London in 1726 was the first example of a dedicated office building. For nearly three centuries since, most people have thought of work as both something they do and someplace they go.
That concept has been thoroughly upended in the last 12 months.
The mass transition to remote work has led to a fundamental rethinking of how, when and where we work. With remote work likely to remain a permanent option for most organizations, some would argue that the conventional office environment is no longer necessary. If workers are shuttling back and forth between home and company headquarters, does everyone really need an assigned office, cubicle or desk?
Business leaders have begun challenging basic assumptions about what the workplace should look like. According to a recent PwC survey, 87 percent of executives say they expect to change their real estate strategy over the next year with an eye toward consolidating office space, retrofitting offices to accommodate flex-work, and shifting to smaller satellite locations.
The Evolving Office Space
One common change is the repurposing large conference rooms outfitted with room-sized audio/visual systems. In the pre-COVID world, these rooms provided space for large numbers of people to meet in person, with a few others joining remotely by video conference. Now, the model has been flipped, with just one or two people hosting video collaboration meetings with large numbers of remote employees.
One new approach is to break up large meeting rooms into multiple huddle rooms, smaller conference rooms used for informal meetings and rapid collaboration. These rooms are typically outfitted with high-quality A/V and unified communications (UC) technologies.
Huddle rooms make more efficient use of office real estate, and they don’t require the formal trappings. They won’t need fancy chairs and tables, special lighting, acoustic treatments or cable management systems. Most important, desktop-based systems provide all the required collaboration functionality without the price tag of room-based video conferencing systems.
Enhanced Conferencing and Collaboration
Lifesize, a pioneer in immersive video conferencing solutions, has made numerous enhancements to conferencing and collaboration portfolio to support the ongoing workplace transition. The company’s solutions range from large conference room platforms and huddle room systems to desktop conferencing solutions.
The company’s Icon 500 and 700 solutions deliver 4K image quality, ultra-high-definition content sharing, superior sound and a powerful 20x zoom to create an immersive meeting experience. The Icon 300 solution is purpose-built for huddle rooms and smaller meeting rooms, with an ultra-wide field of view that allows all participants to be easily seen, even in tight spaces. The Lifesize desktop and web apps allow remote users to make and receive video calls from their browsers.
Recent enhancements to the Lifesize cloud video conferencing and collaboration platform make it easier for remote employees to set up and join meetings. Updated add-ons for Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps incorporate scheduling into existing workflows, and new digital whiteboarding features facilitate collaboration and brainstorming with remote team members and colleagues.
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the transition to remote work, and Lifesize’s solutions deliver the collaboration and conferencing experiences that enable employees to work effectively from any location. Let Verteks show you how we can help you leverage these solutions to support your remote operations.