Category AV in Meeting Spaces

Q&A on Flexible Workplaces and the Future of Work

 In the following Q&A with workplace solutions experts Dusty Duistermars, you’ll learn about changes in the workplace: what’s driving those changes and how companies can adapt. Dusty Duistermars is the senior vice president of digital solutions for JLL, which specializes in professional services in real estate.

Interview With Dusty Duistermars

Q: What is the flexible workplace and what makes it so attractive?
Duistermars: Technology — specifically, mobility — has been impacting where and how we work for over two decades. The flexible workplace is simply space that allows employees to work in non-traditional ways, including remote work, co-working and desk sharing/hoteling. Flex space is typically higher-tech enabled, allowing employees to reserve space based on the type of activity they’re performing and only for a limited duration. These activity-based working spaces include a variety of supportive technologies like interactive video conferencing and wireless sharing of content that can be annotated in real time by participants.

We can trace this to a couple of factors: millennials and technology. Millennials have grown up with the technology that allows them to be in touch with one another on a 24/7 basis. So it’s no surprise that they expect the same of their work environment.

Q: Are we at a point where people can say “no thanks” to a company that doesn’t offer them the experience and resources they need?
Duistermars: Absolutely. Due to the overall talent shortages, employees have options. They could also go freelance; we’ll see the gig economy double in the next five years. If employers are not leveraging their space as a differentiator to both retain and attract employees, they will ultimately fail.

Q: What does this shift look like from the company side?
Duistermars: It’s no longer about occupancy, it’s about utilization and productivity.

Q: So instead of permanent assignments to space, assignments to real-time usage?
Duistermars: Right. You might have 200 or more people assigned to a designated area (typically referred to as a ‘neighborhood’) that only has 100 desks, and that will work because they’re not there at the same time.

Q: To do this, don’t you need a culture that welcomes and supports people working in and out of the office?
Duistermars: Yes, and you can build that culture by making collaboration technology systems and spaces available to them. Focus groups, design partners, and IT will help figure out how flexible to go in those areas. They’ll also account for work types, as on-site engineers will require different types of space than say the national sales team who’s rarely at ‘their’ desk. The idea is that more personalization and flexibility add to the employee experience.

Q: Where are companies at with the move to flexible workplaces?
Duistermars: First off, this doesn’t happen overnight. There are multiple steps, including detailed change management and communication strategies that are needed to be successful. That being said, we see, on average, about 5-10% of client portfolios being flexible. It’ll grow to roughly 30% within the next five years.

Q: What will account for that increase?
Duistermars: Talent is driving a lot of this. Millennials want the flexibility. It also a much better cost model for employers. A dedicated space can cost employers on average, $10,000 annually. That’s a lot of money for someone who’s only in their seat about half the time. Thus, desk sharing makes business sense too.

Q: Let’s shift perspective to the IT side. As more spaces become flexible, how does that affect their management?
Duistermars: It makes managing those spaces a challenge if you don’t have the right tools in place. Some platforms are capable of managing numerous aspects of the ecosystem. Or if you’re using a point solution/best in class model, you’ll want to make certain that it’s integrated properly and that you’re getting the right data (typically utilization) out of each system and able to analyze holistically.

Q: How is JLL helping companies that need employees on site?
Duistermars: That’s a great question. Allow me to break this down: First, we involve our consulting and labor analytics group to make certain the company is choosing the right markets/locations based on the type of talent that they need.

From there, we help them create great spaces where employees want to be. We also lean on partners like AVI-SPL to make sure the experience from desk to meeting spaces is frictionless.

Q: What advice do you have for companies that haven’t yet bought into the idea of workplace transformation?
Duistermars: The only constant is change. If you’re not getting ahead of this by focusing on your people and your technology, you won’t need to worry about any of this in five years; your company won’t exist.

Webinar Recording: Creating a Customized Collaboration Space for Any Environment

Learn about the NEC solutions that are designed to improve collaboration between teams in the same workplace and across different locations.  During this on-demand AVI-SPL webinar, Chris Feldman, product manager for NEC Display Solutions, addresses:

  • Roadblocks to incorporating collaboration technology
  • NEC solutions for team collaboration, wireless presentation, and interactive whiteboarding
  • The collaboration challenges solved by NEC’s Mosaic Suite, CB Series, and InfinityBoard.

You’ll also discover how you can choose from NEC’s hardware and software options to create the collaboration solution that works best for your organization.

During the Q&A, Feldman addresses how to save work from a session, typical equipment and capabilities in a huddle room, and the best system to use in a classroom environment.

Get the recording for “Creating a Customized Collaboration Space for Any Environment” >

Webinar Recording: Devices That Improve Cloud Collaboration

In this session presented by Sherri Pipala, you’ll learn how Poly devices bridge the gap between platforms and how they ensure the best collaboration experiences for your users. You’ll also learn about:

  • The prevalence of UCC solutions in the workplace
  • What people expect out of their workplace meeting experience
  • Top three collaboration pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Poly solutions for Amazon, Microsoft, and Zoom
  • How the AVI-SPL Symphony user experience application manages and monitors the Poly devices that drive your collaboration

Get the recording for “Why Devices Matter: Realizing the Full Potential of Your Cloud Collaboration Solutions” >

About the presenter
Sherri Pipala joined Polycom in 2008 and has held numerous sales leadership roles.  She currently leads the Poly Field Alliance Team, where she’s focused on alignment and joint solutions with Poly’s Strategic Alliances. Sherri has over 25 years of experience marketing and selling collaboration solutions and advanced services for the enterprise and global account markets.  She focuses on executive relationships, business development, and partner enablement to support the best solution engagements. Sherri brings a “voice from the field” perspective to ensure product solutions, marketing and support drive customer success.

Webinar Recording: Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room

During “Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room,” you’ll learn best practices for well-designed conference rooms and meeting spaces with exceptional audio. During this AVI-SPL-hosted webinar, Gino Sigismondi, associate director of technical support and training at Shure, explores topics including:

  • Benefits of high-quality audio in the conference room
  • How we measure speech quality
  • The three basic elements of the conference room
  • Phases of the room-design process
  • Microphone selection for video conferencing
  • Four ways to improve room audio performance

Sigismondi also offers examples of AV connection scenarios, microphone characteristics, and how different mic types respond to input.

Laurie Berg, director of services product management for AVI-SPL, explains the benefits of Symphony, the user experience application that supports an integrated collaboration workflow and helps manage and monitor your AV and UC estate, including Shure devices and the meeting rooms where they’re used.

Get the recording for “Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room” >

About the presenter 

Gino Sigismondi, associate director of technical support and training at Shure, is a Chicago native and Shure Associate since 1997. In his time at Shure, Gino has been a member of Applications Engineering and managed the Technical Training and Systems Support departments, assisting Shure customers with choosing and using the company’s vast array of products. He’s the author of the Shure educational publications “Selection and Operation of Personal Monitors,” “Audio Systems Guide for Music Educators,” and “Selection and Operation of Audio Signal Processors.” Gino was recently awarded status as an “Adjunct Instructor” by InfoComm Academy.

The Four S’s Are Your Keys to Collaboration Success

You want your workplace to be more than a building where people are obliged to meet for at least eight hours a day. It should be a home where teams can share and build upon ideas that help your company grow. To create the spaces that inspire your workers, AVI-SPL follows the “four S’s”: simple, standardized, scalable and serviceable. Each of these guidelines work together to form the workspaces that help meet your organization’s desired outcomes. Below, we look at what each of these principles means, why they matter, and how they work together.

Simple, Standardized, Scalable, and Serviceable

Simple — Are you going to use a conference room where the technology is an obstacle course of complexity, unreliability, and frustration? If you’re inclined to use a collaboration space, you want to work with colleagues on a project, not wonder why you can’t get the interactive display to sync to your device.

To apply simplicity to a space doesn’t mean you’ve limited its capabilities. Rather, you’ve removed the complex barriers to using and benefiting from those capabilities. This is usually the meaning when you hear someone describe a technology system as “frictionless.” Starting a meeting is streamlined, so that you can quickly start the display, audio, video, presentation, and get the purpose of the meeting underway.

Standardized — Regardless of where you’re working from, the technology experience needs to be the same among similar rooms in all locations. An employee that knows how to use a collaboration room in his or her home office should be able to do the same in another regional office. Applying standards and best practices makes the experience simple for the end user. Some of our clients have room standards that AVI-SPL must deliver reliably and in a way that allows their organizations to grow.

If you’ve yet to settle upon standards, AVI-SPL can help develop and provide them through its Rapid Rooms and Smart Spaces. These are collaboration spaces of various types that have been preconfigured with essential collaboration tools for various group sizes.

Your regional requirements may mean substituting one solution for another based on product availability. AVI-SPL lets customers know how their budgets may fluctuate based on those regional preferences. Because we are aware of differences within the same company, our designers, programmers and integrators ensure that your room functionality is consistent across locations.

Scalable — A scalable set of solutions are easily repeatable from office to office. By keeping room solutions simple and standardized, we can quickly deploy your rooms so that your regional locations stay connected. As your company grows and adds more collaboration spaces and solutions, so does AVI-SPL’s support of those solutions and your user experience through our managed services.

Serviceable — AVI-SPL considers serviceability as a design element when developing standards for your rooms and technology systems. That’s because spaces that are easy to use should also be easy to support. We assess the network topology where the solutions are being deployed so that the IT stakeholders can deliver and support the solutions on a consistent basis.

Serviceability means IT and/or  your managed services provider can proactively resolve issues and acquire the analytics that provide business insights, like how often your collaboration spaces are being used, the quality of the experience, and the number of service tickets that were generated in a particular time frame. From the data analysis of those standardized rooms, your organization continues to adjust its standards and conference rooms, and improve the user experience.

We find that customers are demanding actionable business intelligence about their collaboration solutions. They want to know if their technology systems are delivering ROI by improving productivity and if they need to reconfigure their collaboration spaces. AVI-SPL’s Symphony managed services platform provides the analytics to let you know whether your systems are delivering their intended value.

Work With the Experts in the Collaborative Workplace Experience

By following the four S’s, AVI-SPL creates meaningful spaces and better workplace experiences. Contact AVI-SPL and let us know where we can help improve the business outcomes for your organization.