Category Video Collaboration

Workplace Transformation Starts With a Goal

In recent posts, we’ve looked at the value of activity-based work spaces, how to calculate the value of collaboration solutions. We’ve also heard from experts in workplace transformation. In this post, let’s look at ways you can start to channel your efforts for improving the workplace. 

AVI-SPL’s 2019 Concept Catalog offers steps you can take at the beginning of project to improve collaboration in the workplace. Let’s briefly go over some of those points:

  • Assess the state of collaboration. Take an honest assessment of where your organization is with collaboration. Begin by asking employees about their work preferences and where they would like to see changes. Rather than implementing technologies or changing methods piecemeal, you will get a big picture of the kinds of changes you will want to make.
  • Uncover cultural challenges. Learn where the roadblocks to collaboration are within your organization. Outline what you want your collaboration culture to look like and create a plan that includes encouraging openness and rewarding collaborative behaviors.
  • Decide what metrics you will use. You will want to continually evaluate the value and effectiveness of your collaboration solution. To do so, the company needs to first identify and prioritize goals.

After defining these spaces, here are four considerations that can help you determine what type of room would work best in your organization. Those considerations include:

  • Employee work styles
  • Room and device intelligence
  • Management and maintenance
  • Equipment standardization

Each of these tips will bring up more questions, but for now you have an idea of the kind of questions and issues that need to be considered. Ask us anything if you want to dive deeper and go into specifics: sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197.

Case Study: Business Development Bank of Canada

BDC, the Business Development Bank of Canada, wanted its new Montreal headquarters to be a place for what it calls “social collisions” — areas that invite collaboration and knowledge sharing among team members. AVI-SPL’s design and integration work aligned with BDC’s desire to work in spaces that inspire collaboration and lead to improved innovation.

The new headquarters now has areas that promote entrepreneurship among its employees and offer its clients a space where they can interact with their representatives while collaborating over shared content. And those in the head office can quickly and easily connect with colleagues at other branches for video collaboration and content sharing.

Your company may have discovered that its current collaboration solutions aren’t delivering the expected user experience or needed outcomes. I encourage you to take a look at this case study and see what’s possible.

Read the BDC case study >

How to Choose Collaboration Systems for Your Company

As mentioned in our 2019 Concept Catalog, creating a smarter workplace starts with understanding the way your employees want to work and the business outcomes your company wants to achieve. To achieve those outcomes and a better user experience, your organization may focus on technology solutions that give each user valuable capabilities like:

  • On-demand collaboration with in-room and remote participants
  • Wireless presentation of content
  • Simple control of room devices

As you work to improve the employee experience through better room design and technology, you’ll want to consider factors like how your employees want to work together, what is preventing them from working at their best, and plans for company growth.

Assess how they are currently working and identify areas that are efficient or inefficient. Form a task force that includes representatives from different departments so you have comprehensive insight into the ways they work. 

Enlist the help of consultants and experts in the digital workplace experience. They can help you notice the fine details you might otherwise overlook when it comes to designing collaboration spaces and AV solutions. They’ll also work with your IT department to create a plan for onboarding solutions to the network and to explain the importance of support services so they can fulfill their core responsibilities.

The 2019 Concept Catalog includes steps you should take to make sure you’re building the right collaboration environment. It also includes a long list of topics — like technology roadmaps and change management — you can include for discussion with your partner for workplace success

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.

Find Your Path to Workplace Transformation in the AVI-SPL Concept Catalog 2019

If you’ve been wondering, “What are the steps I should be taking to improve my organization’s collaboration experience,” AVI-SPL’s Concept Catalog for 2019 has the guidance you need to confidently approach a challenging workplace transformation project. In this year’s issue, we give you our advice for:

  • Setting your project scope and expectations
  • Creating your digital workplace committee
  • Defining your business goals
  • Mapping your technology solutions to the desired user experience
  • Identifying measurable objectives

You’ll find two case studies that show how organizations like yours are benefiting from workplace transformation guided by AVI-SPL. You can also read those case studies on our website: RMIT University and Business Development Bank of Canada. In the RMIT case study, discover how their students, faculty, and IT leadership saw the benefits of our Symphony user experience management application as soon as it went live. 

This year’s catalog includes an overview of Symphony, which gives you a single-pane view of your AV and UC estate and delivers the analytics you need to wisely invest in collaboration rooms and solutions. 

We couldn’t put this issue together without our manufacturer partners, and our advertising section showcases the latest solutions from companies like BarcoLegrand | AV, NEC, Sharp, and many others. Their products are designed to enhance your workplace experience, so look them over at your leisure. If you find something that interests you or if you have any questions, connect with us at contact@avispl.com.

Read the AVI-SPL Concept Catalog for 2019 >