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Q&A on Supporting Productivity in the Workplace

Beau Wilder of Poly is an expert in what companies can do to shift their organizations toward the future of work. In the Q&A below, I spoke with Wilder, Poly’s VP of innovation waves and new products, about creating a workplace that enables people to be their best. 

Q: Why is workplace transformation so important?
Wilder: We’re all in this war for talent. The companies winning are the ones recognizing that their most important assets are their people.

We can work anywhere, anytime on any device using UCC technology. Those solutions have allowed work policies to be flexible, so we need spaces where we can make best use of that technology and its capabilities. If you don’t provide those spaces, people will vote with their feet and move on to a better situation.

Q: Considering the ability for people to work from anywhere, how important is the workplace?
Wilder: Even though research shows people are more productive at home, most choose to go back to work because they miss the collaboration. We want people to work together and feel empowered when they’re in the office. It’s that cross-pollination where new thinking happens. We’re always looking for the next big idea, and so we need to make it easier for people in the workplace to work together.

Q: How did the open office take hold as the new template for the workplace?
Wilder: We thrive as humans when we’re outdoors. The open office offers flexibility in creating an environment that mirrors the one outside. In these spaces, we’ve seen huge trends with health and wellness. Biophilic design that includes natural light and greenery sets people up to be their best. When people are happier and healthier, you have more productivity and creative output. But the open office comes with its own set of challenges.

Q: What are some of those challenges?
Wilder: Although companies have raced to open offices, some didn’t do it thoughtfully. It can be hard to work while people are collaborating near you. Therefore, we need to focus on a human-centric design in the office so we can be at our best by using technology that blends distracting speech into the background.

Q: What are the solutions for these challenges?
Wilder: Do your homework ahead of time and bring in your vendor partners early. You’ll also want to include your users in the journey toward workplace transformation. Focus on the human experience above the cost-savings. Collaboration in meeting spaces should be intuitive and easy. When you design for open spaces, consider the activity that will be happening and build in choice that allows for a personalized experience.

Q: What’s a realistic expectation for companies that want to transform their workplaces?
Wilder: Ask targeted questions of your staff. Find out where things aren’t working. As you design open spaces, let the technology do the heavy lifting. 

This process continues even after you’ve made the transformation. Understand that you won’t get your building right from day one. But by collecting data like occupancy and use of technology, you can be proactive in refining it.

Calculate the Value of Your Digital Workplace Solutions

Just about any significant expenditure you make in business needs to be justified with an estimated return on investment (ROI). Because AVI-SPL provides the digital services that are designed to improve how your business operates, we’ve created a calculator that you can use to figure out the financial value of digital workplace solutions.

Our new productivity calculator will factor in your company’s information and show the benefits of solutions that improve the employee experience and productivity in the workplace.

Just last year, Forrester Consulting published the “Total Economic Impact of AVI-SPL’s Digital Workplace Solutions.” That report shows the kind of value you can get from improving your collaboration solutions and outsourcing their support to AVI-SPL. Based on a three-year model, the study showed a meeting productivity increase worth $11.9 million. Other findings from the report, which aggregated four different AVI-SPL customers into a composite company, found:

  • 14.3% net reduction in total cost of ownership of digital meeting solutions 
  • 20% increase in meeting-room utilization
  • $1.5M in savings on management and support costs

To estimate your savings, go to this landing page to access the calculator. Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, you can enter information like:

  • The number of meeting rooms in your company
  • How many rooms will be equipped with video conferencing systems
  • Hourly cost of your full-time employees
  • Cost per square foot of meeting spaces

Take a few minutes to gather the info needed and a few seconds to enter it into the spreadsheet. Our calculator will then determine the value delivered by higher meeting-room utilization, improved staff productivity, and AVI-SPL’s managed services. And you’ll have the ROI numbers that clear the path for digital workplace transformation that improves the culture, productivity and efficiency of your business.

Download the AVI-SPL Digital Workplace Solutions ROI Calculator >

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

Webinar Recording: Technology That Bridges the Workplace Generation Gap

During this AVI-SPL webinar on the challenges and opportunities businesses face in their multigenerational workplaces, you’ll learn about the differences in work styles among the generations, what people expect from their workplace experience, and the technology that meets those needs.

Saundra Merollo, senior engineer for Sharp, and Nick Belcore, executive VP of global sales and marketing for Peerless, explore the importance of enabling collaboration among remote employees and empowering IT departments to manage a wide variety of networked devices. They also explain the types of solutions that help recruit and retain new talent, and cover topics including:

  • Changing workplace demographics
  • Collaboration trends (including voice-activated control)
  • Digital display trends
  • Sharp’s Windows Collaboration Display
  • Peerless outdoor digital kiosks

Get the recording for “Technology That Bridges the Workplace Generation Gap >

Webinar Recording: Create New Experiences With the Epson LightScene Laser Projector

Watch this webinar to learn how you can use Epson LightScene projectors to create engaging experiences in your venue. For markets like retail, museums, hospitality, and more, you can create immersive experiences by projecting dynamic content.  Remi Del Mar, senior product manager for Epson, explores the benefits and features of LightScene and covers related topics, including:

  • The new experience economy (its value and why it’s growing)
  • The digital signage landscape
  • Projecting on different surfaces

Get the recording for “Create New Experiences With Epson LightScene Projectors” >