Today, work is a thing we do, not a place we go to. Think hot desk, home office, train table or coffee shop – more employees than ever before are part of the growing ‘work-anywhere’ culture. So, what are the benefits? What do employees need to work effectively? And where are the opportunities for resellers?
The will of the people
2020 is predicted to be the year that remote working reaches a tipping point, with 50% of UK employees no longer tied to a desk at the office. It’s easy to see why. Employees want the flexibility to work whenever and wherever suits them best. They want to spend less time commuting, have more time with family and achieve a better work-life balance. This is especially true for millennials who now make up the largest generation in the workforce. And Gen Z will be even more demanding in this respect.
Freedom makes business sense
Far from fighting to keep employees in-house, businesses are seeing advantages in enabling new workstyles. Fewer people in the office means less floor space required to house them, giving businesses the chance to reduce their physical footprint and save money. In fact, many big businesses already operate a rotation system for employees, requiring people to work remotely on certain days. Barclays is just one example, asking people to work from home regularly, so several employees can share one desk. It’s a tactic that lets businesses expand and employ more people while keeping running costs under control. Building remote teams also lets businesses tap into the widest talent pool, as telecommuting makes location irrelevant. If the best candidate for the job is 1,000 miles away, it’s no problem.
Old tools don’t cut it
New workstyles, such as remote and agile working, require new tools. This is particularly true when it comes to meetings and collaboration, and this is where video conferencing comes into its own. Although this is not a necessarily seen as a ‘new’ tool for businesses, many businesses are still using it in an old-fashioned way – with only one or two rooms, like the boardroom, set up for video conferencing.
Contrast this with a company culture where video calls are part of daily life, where it’s not just the rooms that are video-enabled, it’s each individual. It’s this shift in thinking that’s particularly important when it comes to making a success of remote and agile working. This is where resellers have an opportunity to work with end customers to equip their workforce and optimise their performance.
Looking at it from the employee’s perspective, video is immensely positive. As much as employees want the flexibility to work from home, the reality of not being in the office can prove a bit of a shock. Suddenly, you don’t have that face-to-face connection with your colleagues. You can’t have a quick chat in the kitchen. Or pop across to someone’s desk to ask a question. And when you’re looking to bounce ideas and get honest feedback, body language sometimes tells you as much as spoken words. In this respect, audio-only calls only do half a job. For new joiners coming in as part of a remote team, building connections from scratch is tough if IM and email are the key means of communication. Being able to connect instantly by video changes everything. Quick chats, spontaneous brainstorms, roundtable sharing sessions or even hanging out over lunch – video is the next best thing to being in the same room together.
Creating a culture of pervasive video
The foundation of a video-enabled company culture is leading-edge technology that works as well for remote and agile workers as it does for in-house teams. For many businesses, that means current equipment needs refreshing with the right hardware and software. At the heart of this is the right webcam – one that gives remote workers a truly immersive, ‘in the room’ experience – such as Logitech BRIO. This premium 4K ultra high-def camera provides crystal-clear video. Automatic lighting correction cleverly counteracts low light or strong backlight. The webcam clips to the top of a monitor or sits on a stand, making it easy to position to achieve a comfortable (and flattering) angle. It means workers can create a professional impression, presenting themselves and their work on camera with confidence wherever they are.
Headspace to hear yourself think
Another must-have for effective agile working is a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled headset, like Logitech Zone. Not only does it give workers hands-free convenience, it can improve audio quality and cancel background noise, allowing collaborators to hear others and share their thoughts without distractions whether in a cab, café or client’s premises.
Made for meeting rooms
Enabling individuals to collaborate across different environments is part of the solution, but what happens back at the office is equally important. There need to be more video-enabled places for teams to gather, where they can collaborate with distant co-workers and clients. For huddle rooms, a conference cam like MeetUp packs big features into a compact device. Advanced beamforming mics capture speech clearly and the camera automatically adjusts position and zoom to find and frame people in the room.
The more the merrier
With larger meeting spaces, there’s the challenge of making sure everyone can be seen and heard. That means video technology has be able to identify active speakers while blocking out unwanted noise. In bright rooms, the camera has to be smart enough to reduce glare and shadows so everyone’s face is visible. It also has to dovetail with existing software, such as Google Hangouts Meet, Microsoft Skype® for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. It’s a big ask, but Logitech Rally is powerful answer, delivering studio-quality video, unmatched voice clarity and the ultimate convenience of one-touch video conferencing with Logitech Tap.
Win big with better performance
By embedding video conferencing into daily workflows to improve collaboration, businesses can achieve remarkable results, boosting productivity and revenue. In fact, Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and many others show that workers who telecommute are 35-40% more productive. Similarly, research shows that businesses with higher video use rates enjoy accelerated decision making, improved customer service and great business competitiveness. At the same time, remote workers are empowered to perform while benefiting from the freedom and flexibility that makes them happy.
If you’d like to know more about enabling remote and agile working with Logitech’s video conferencing solutions and Ingram Micro, get in touch. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org