The COVID 19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for businesses across the world. It has shown how organizations must be prepared to be flexible with their operational policies and enable staff with the right tools and platforms to work remotely for long durations. Studies have shown that nearly 77% of leaders have never managed a fully remote team for such a long duration. As the pandemic created a new normal of work, some of the traits that employees developed with such a long period of remote work have already become habits. Companies that had no visible signs of productivity drop over the remote work arrangement are now willing to offer remote working as a permanent option to their staff.
While flexibility to work in their own comfort zones is a huge boost for employees, they also need access to top-notch digital infrastructure to enable them to carry out tasks as efficiently as how they did back in the office. Businesses too need to work on identifying the right assets that employees need to deliver at their best and to help them handle the challenges of working from home.
A key factor in this regard is building a powerful infrastructure that helps create a collaborative environment for people to work jointly on tasks or projects.
While talking about infrastructure, it’s clear that for remote employee communications to be just as effective as in-person interactions, companies need to enable a seamless Audio Visual (AV) environment. Such an environment will enable communications that allow employees to virtually meet and interact with their peers to face to face meaningfully. In the context of the enterprise, there are multiple areas where such interactions are necessary.
Here are 3 AV solutions that your remote workforce needs to ensure a sustainable long-term remote mode of working:
While a standard (free?) web conferencing solution will address the needs of communication within smaller teams and more informal communications, other requirements like those at an organizational level for an all-hands meeting or demonstrations to customers require a more powerful conferencing solution.
As our partner, Sennheiser has just said, “What is the most expensive word in business today.” Larger meetings, more important interactions, and high-profile discussions need outstanding clarity and quality. In such cases, businesses need to ensure that they have a webcasting solution in place which allows a large number of participants to join a live session with improved video streaming quality, a larger collaboration environment in real-time, and better file or presentation capabilities for demonstrations. A proper webcasting solution can offer professional-grade video and audio quality for the session, clearly better than the normal webcam quality offered in intra-organizational communication platforms. Such webcasting solutions are inherently capable of handling large sessions without disruptions even in lower bandwidth internet connectivity when compared to normal web conferencing solutions that offer disruptive experiences that could create an unsatisfactory experience for all involved.
Remote Training Solutions
While the way people work may have changed due to the pandemic, the fundamentals of any work culture remain the same. Employees need to be constantly upskilled to meet industry standards in knowledge to ensure that the services delivered by the company are on par with the best.
In the traditional office environment, dedicated training rooms can offer a seamless training environment, but when employees work remotely in large numbers, even as mixed online + offline modes get applied, innovative workarounds are needed to offer an impactful training experience.
Using highly specialized AV solutions, it is possible to create virtual training rooms that foster a collaborative learning environment with 2-way AV communication. These strategies can augment the training experience provided onsite and extend the experience to remote employees too. The infrastructure and AV technology need to be scalable to accommodate future innovations too. For instance, interactive AR/VR based training content is already being consumed in forward-thinking enterprises. AV solutions can also empower live events for testing knowledge like virtual hackathons with video oversight. Such mechanisms are great to keep the training culture alive during remote work.
Digital Whiteboard Solutions
Collaboration is a key component of discussion and solution creation to drive successful work delivery. The pandemic may have made it nearly impossible for employees within teams to be physically together in one place to brainstorm and come up with ideas or solutions to problems. But there is no stopping them from using intuitive AV communication solutions like whiteboards with integrated collaboration to help them “think” together.
A digital whiteboard can capture the inputs of the presenter and provide the same to all attendees of a session and also allows team members to record the presentation as well as the digital whiteboard content for future reference. They can use this as the platform to collaborate and build together. This will greatly enhance co-creation virtually on difficult problems that require strategic thinking from multiple people.
Audio Visual communication will become a key enabler in ensuring sustained remote work culture. Gartner predicts that nearly 74% of companies that moved to a large scale work from home culture due to the pandemic are likely to permanently shift to this model of work. The demand for better collaboration will be a key challenge for such businesses to address. Modern AV solutions may well be the best way to solve those challenges.