Category AVI-SPL

Four Benefits of Activity-Based Work Spaces

We want flexibility in how and when we work. When we’re at the office, we expect to have the tools to do our jobs efficiently and to the best of our abilities. That sometimes means being able to rely on one another’s knowledge as we work through projects. It also means being able to exchange that knowledge in ways that engage us and feel comfortable.

Activity-Based Work Spaces and the Technology That Supports Them

When you have a variety of activity-based spaces, you enable people to work with one another using tools that facilitate collaboration. And that capability can build a strong team culture. Just a few of the activity-based spaces we find at work include conference rooms, huddle rooms, ideation spaces, and quiet rooms. Depending on their size and purpose, these areas may have solutions like BYOD web conferencing, interactive displays, digital signage, and wireless presentation and content sharing.

In AVI-SPL’s white paper on multigenerational teams, you’ll find a helpful chart that shows how seven types of technology solutions can be applied across seven room types. Here’s a sneak peek:

Activity-based spaces chart

Benefits of Activity-Based Work Spaces

Meetings can be about what has been done, what could have been done better, and planning for upcoming projects. A lot of meetings — perhaps yours as well — follow this format. Activity-based spaces encourage productivity; they are places to do the tasks that are usually on the to-do list following a meeting that’s long on talk and short on action.

And when you have a variety of activity-based spaces, you enable everyone in a workplace to gather in groups, work one-on-one, and alone. Some of their benefits include:

  • Giving different generations the spaces where they feel comfortable working.
  • Encouraging collaboration. Bring people together, and you create a environment for innovation. 
  • Empowering people to be more productive because they have the resources — including colleagues and technology — to work effectively.
  • Attracting and retaining talent. Give people the tools and culture they need to work at their best and grow into their positions, and you’ve created a workplace where people want to be.

Activity-Based Work Spaces Close the Generation Gap

AVI-SPL’s white paper “Building an Inspiring Digital Workplace for Multigenerational Teams” explains the differences in collaboration, communication, and work-space preferences among different generations. And it shows how activity-based spaces meet the needs of boomers, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z, whether they prefer video conferencing, working face to face, or collaborating in groups.

You’ll learn how you can create a collaborative environment that works for everyone as you gain insight into the kind of work spaces and technology that can bring the generations together and foster teamwork. 

Get your copy of “Build an Inspiring Digital Workplace for Multigenerational Teams” >

Webinar: Workforce Readiness Through Technology

Over the next 10 years, millions of jobs will require skilled workers, but the number of skilled workers is dropping. To meet the challenge of matching jobs with qualified people, some communities are working to grow and retain their skilled workforce with workforce readiness programs.

Join us on October 29 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET to hear how educational institutions are outfitting their learning spaces with technology to help students — young people, career-changers and mid-career experts — prepare for or continue successful careers in high-growth areas like healthcare.

This interactive, 60-minute webcast will:

  • Explore how educational institutions are using technology to attract students and keep them employed in the community.
  • Examine how smaller communities are upgrading their workforce readiness programs to better compete with larger communities.
  • Investigate how strategic investment in simulation and other technologies can result in better communication, collaboration, and training outcomes.

Register for “Confronting the Growing Labor Shortage: New Approaches to Workforce Readiness” >

About the presenters

Dr. Kecia Ray, Principal, K20 Connect
Dr. Ray is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and is past president of the ISTE Board of Directors. In 2013, she was appointed by Tennessee Governor Haslam to the Advisory Council on Alternative Education and in 2014 was appointed by the Tennessee Commissioner of Education to a Personalized Learning Advisory Committee. In 2015, she was invited to serve on a U.S. Department of Education technical working group focused on evaluating education technology. Dr. Ray currently serves on the board of Learning Bird Inc. and holds advisory positions with Mackin, Inc. and H Institute Award for Excellence in Education.

She is a five-time recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award and has earned the ISTE ‘Making IT Happen’ Award. Dr. Ray was named ’20 to Watch’ by the National School Board Association, Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, one of the top 10 EdTech Leaders by Tech and Learning magazine, and most recently was named a Top 100 EdTech Influencer by EdTech Digest. She leads K20Connect and other passion projects supporting K20 education around the world!

Jordan Myers, Regional General Manager, AVI-SPL
Jordan Myers is the Regional General Manager for AVI-SPL’s Tennessee region. AVI-SPL is the largest AV integrator in the world, providing audio-visual and collaboration solutions for corporate, higher ed, healthcare, and federal clients across the country. His team’s higher education clients include University of Tennessee, Loyola, Auburn, ETSU, Clemson and others. Previous to AVI-SPL, Jordan was a manager with Interactive Solutions, which was acquired by AVI-SPL in 2018. He also worked for DePaul University in enrollment management.

Based in Memphis, TN, Jordan has a B.A. in Public Relations and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship, both from DePaul University in Chicago. He has his CTS certification from AVIXA, the professional AV industry’s foremost trade association.

Steven Zink – Moderator
Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Education
Steven Zink is an emeritus faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he served as the university’s first vice president of information technology, while simultaneously serving as dean, university libraries. During his lengthy tenure at the university, Zink assembled a vibrant hybrid organization of information professionals, ranging from specialists in instructional technology to librarians to information technology professionals. In 2008, the physical manifestation of the organization was realized with the opening of the widely acclaimed 300,000-square-foot Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. From 2011-2016, he served as vice chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education, the coordinating body over all public institutions of higher education in Nevada.

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.

AVI-SPL Wins Twice at AV Awards

On Friday, October 11, AVI-SPL was recognized at the AV Awards in London with two prestigious industry awards: AV Management and Control Technology of the Year and International Integrator of the Year

In the category AV Management and Control Technology of the Year, AVI-SPL won for its Symphony user experience management application. With Symphony, organizations have a single-pane view into their AV and UC technology estate, one that enables them to proactively respond to issues before they affect end users. They can also determine the ROI of their solutions through analytics like room usage and network performance. And they can automate the scheduling, launching, and monitoring of their conference calls.

In an email to employees, AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel wrote, “I want to extend very special congratulations to Frank Mehr and his R&D team for the significant development of Symphony over the past several years, making it a must-have for our customers.”

The recognition as International Integrator of the Year comes just six years after AVI-SPL began expanding its global reach. This win reflects AVI-SPL’s ability to deliver the services and solutions that improve the workplace experience for our clients around the world, which is the true measure of our success. 

“We could not have achieved this honor without the best collection of talent worldwide in our industry,” said Zettel in the same congratulatory email.

AVI-SPL also owes these wins to the many manufacturers, consultants, architects, and contractors who work with us with one goal in mind: delivering the best outcomes to our clients. 

How to Build Huddle Rooms That Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a crucial success factor for staff retention and company profitability. Gallup reports that “companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share.” Meanwhile, “87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged.” What does this mean for you?

The challenge is on to create workplaces like huddle rooms that inspire collaboration and employee engagement.

How do you deliver a digital workplace where on-site and remote coworkers can easily connect and share ideas? Offer plenty of video-enabled huddle spaces for small, impromptu working sessions. Need inspiration? Follow this roadmap to build huddle rooms that increase employee engagement.

Create your huddle room success team

Start by creating a huddle room success team. Include stakeholders who support or will benefit from attracting and retaining top talent through employee engagement. Consider the desired huddle room user experience or UX, before you build or upgrade collaboration spaces.

  • It’s essential that the group represents the departments that hold the project’s purse strings too.
  • Consider huddle room build, design, video conferencing systems, support, and software budgets.
  • The team may consist of C-Suite members, end users, human resources managers, workplace strategists, IT staff, and facilities managers.

Define employee engagement benchmarks and goals

Next, define what successful engagement looks like by identifying benchmarks and setting goals. Example benchmarks include average employee tenure and current conference room utilization and the number of video meetings booked each month. 

Third-party focus groups and one-on-one interviews can also help you define current engagement levels and collaborative workspace preferences. Now set goals based on how much you want to improve these metrics each quarter, or annually after you’ve installed your huddle rooms. 

Develop a huddle room video adoption plan

Beautiful huddle rooms outfitted with the latest digital workplace solutions won’t necessarily increase employee engagement if your small collaboration spaces sit empty. Before the team starts construction, write a video adoption plan to encourage huddle room utilization.

  • The adoption plan should include employee training and a way to measure room and technology use.
  • Staff must know how to reserve huddle rooms and use new video conferencing and collaboration tools.
  • It’s also helpful to identify an influencer at every level from executives to end-users to champion video adoption and encourage employee engagement.

Design a user-friendly huddle room

Ever have to wait 10 minutes for a video conference to start? To encourage video adoption and engagement, ensure that huddle room equipment is easy to use. Include equipment and software staff members prefer, and that IT can easily support. Refer to your research to review which collaboration tools staff members like to use.

You can track current conference room usage via existing support software, or your scheduling system such as an Outlook calendar. Look at which rooms employees reserve most often. Study what type of video conference equipment is in your small meeting rooms.

Also, track how many employees were in the room and the number of remote employees that logged in to each meeting. Use this information to determine how many huddle rooms you need, and the room sizes that work best for your teams. Consider how to support bring your own device (BYOD) preferences when designing your digital workplace.

Use Room Standards to Create a Replicable, Positive User Experience

Based on your research and goals, develop huddle room equipment and software standards. Your standards are a finite set of hardware and software options. Most importantly, stick to these guidelines when building new collaboration spaces.

With standardization, employees will be familiar with meeting room controls. End users can walk into any huddle room and start the meeting quickly and easily. Remember that meeting that took too long to start? Standards help eliminate wasted meeting time. Limiting available options can streamline the IT support process also.

Positive user and IT staff experiences can lead to increased video conferencing adoption and employee engagement. Ask for staff suggestions on how to make meeting room control more user-friendly too. Allow users to provide feedback anytime through apps or email.

Consider Huddle Room-Specific Devices and Software

The popularity of huddle rooms has sparked suppliers to create hardware and software specifically for use in huddle rooms. When outlining your room standards, consider these collaboration solutions designed specifically for small meeting spaces. Huddle room gear can be more affordable than hardware designed for larger areas. Streamlined collaboration solutions can also be installed faster than more complex systems.

Cisco WebEx® Room Kit Mini

Cisco’s WebEx Room Kit Mini huddle room solution is easy to install and use. It’s a single device includes the codec, speakers, microphone, and camera.  This Cisco hardware is ideal for teams of two to five people. It allows users to connect to laptop-based video conferencing solutions via a USB connection.

Barco Clickshare CS-100 Huddle

Barco’s Clickshare CS-100 Huddle wireless presentation system helps small teams collaborate with fast and easy screen sharing. Users can share content from any laptop, tablet or smartphone using the Clickshare app or button.


Monitor huddle room devices and track room utilization

Tracking the goals your team set at the start of your project is essential to measuring room utilization and employee engagement. AVI-SPL’s Symphony user experience application makes it easy to monitor global room and device usage on a single screen, from anywhere.

Symphony proactively monitors conference room equipment. Your staff can address issues before they negatively impact huddle room user experiences and employee engagement. If your IT resources are already strained, consider a managed services solution as well.

Keep in contact with end users and IT support

While you deserve to celebrate your huddle room success, don’t disband your team once your small conference rooms are in use. Review end-user feedback to find ways to improve the meeting room experience and increase room utilization rates.

With your huddle room utilization rates in hand, measure them against changes in staff turnover. Look for correlations between employee engagement via collaboration in huddle rooms, and longer employee tenure. Update your room standards as needed.

Get more huddle room planning ideas

Ready to get started? Check out the How to Create Inspiring, Collaborative Huddle Rooms guide for further details on how to build small collaboration spaces that increase employee engagement. Read ideas on how to determine the number of huddle rooms you’ll need and how to estimate costs. Download the huddle room guide now.

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