Posts tagged future of work

TechSpark Showcases the Future of Workplace Collaboration

Throughout 2019, AVI-SPL has been hosting its TechSpark series of evening networking events, which give you access to digital workplace experts and technology providers that improve team productivity and reduce your real estate costs.

We’ve already held successful events in Atlanta, Cleveland and Philadelphia. And we’re excited to bring our insight to more cities in September and October, including Dallas, Houston, Toronto, and Los Angeles.

At venues like the Minute Maid Park, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Porsche Experience Center you’ll learn how the new, agile, digital workplace includes the meeting solutions, video collaboration, and enterprise video capabilities that attract and retain talent.

You’ll understand how to apply technology strategies and solutions that increase business agility and results. You’ll also learn how AVI-SPL services ensure they measure up to your objectives. We’ve got three more events ready for your registration.

TechSpark Cities in 2019

TechSpark Agenda

Each event takes place from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., local time.

  • 5 p.m. – Registration
  • 5:15 p.m. – Welcome by AVI-SPL office representative
  • 5:30 p.m. – Keynote speaker
  • 6 p.m. – Sponsor presentations
  • 6:20 p.m. – Networking
  • 7 p.m. – Q&A: Collaboration and Technology in Your Organization
  • 7:15 p.m. – Prize drawing

Register for the TechSpark event you’d like to attend >

TechSpark Preview: Q&A on Flexible Workplaces and the Future of Work

On July 16, Dusty Duistermars will be the keynote speaker at AVI-SPL’s TechSpark event in Detroit. During this evening event, attendees will learn from digital workplace experts and technology providers about how they can shift their organizations toward the future of work. Duistermars is the senior vice president of digital solutions for JLL, which specializes in professional services in real estate. In the Q&A below, I spoke with Duistermars about changes in the workplace: what’s driving those changes and how companies can adapt. He’ll address these and related topics at his keynote talk at Topgolf in Auburn Hills.

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.

To hear Duistermars speak in person about changes in the workplace and how companies should adapt, register for the July 16 TechSpark event in Detroit.

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.

Four Reasons You Need Huddle Rooms in Your Workplace

With huddle rooms in the workplace, you can promote productivity and teamwork in your organization.  A new AVI-SPL paper looks at issues to consider so that you have huddle rooms that people want to use.

As you work with a partner like AVI-SPL to design, create and deploy your huddle rooms, you can start to gain the support of your stakeholders by making the case that having these flexible collaboration spaces will increase productivity by making it easier to people to work together on demand. Let’s briefly consider what the huddle room is, and then we’ll continue with why it’s important to organizations that want to be part of the future of work.

What Is a Huddle Room?

Think of the huddle room (or huddle space), as an area where people gather to do more than meet; they want to get work done. A huddle room has collaboration technology that allows a group of about 2-5 to gather around a small workstation and work together on content that can share from their personal devices. Technology systems usually include:

  • Wireless sharing (send your content to a main display)
  • Audio conferencing
  • Video conferencing
  • A main digital display (may be touch interactive)
  • Presentation capabilities

These assets make the huddle room much more than a small meeting space. It’s an area equipped for collaborative activities where people can work productively with one another.

Why Your Workplace Needs Huddle Rooms

  • Collaborate right now.  Maybe your team is about to make a presentation or deliver a training session. You might have just left a meeting and a few members from that group need to work out their deliverables. Or you have colleagues at a remote location who need to share ideas. The huddle room is an ideal spot for team members to get together before an event, review and edit content, and share get the input of team members who’ve connected by video.
  • People need a space for brainstorming. Doesn’t it seem like the meeting after the meeting is where the real productivity happens? Smaller working groups can use huddle rooms to assess their tasks, consider different plans of attack, and start to offer ideas to the group for further refinement. Connect by video to customers, clients, and colleagues, and your huddle room is a hub of productivity.
  • Collaborative sessions are more frequent than meetings. Meetings are about sharing updates and assigning tasks. But as mentioned above, the huddle room is where the real work gets done. You’ll have more huddle rooms than conference rooms or training areas, and that’s OK because they take up less space than either.
  • It’s better together. Your coworkers can complete their assignments faster when the work in teams. Tasks in a project may be dependent on one another, so collaborating face to face can help sort out what others need and expect.

Now that you know why the huddle room is a valuable asset, take a look at our guide to creating huddle rooms that people will use and deliver the benefits you expect.  You’ll learn:

  • How much huddle rooms cost
  • Figuring out how many huddle rooms you need
  • Examples of companies that are using huddle rooms

Get your copy of “How to Create Inspiring, Collaborative Huddle Rooms” >

Discover the Future of Work With AVI-SPL at ISE 2019

The world’s largest exhibition for AV and systems integration begins in less than 24 hours, and AVI-SPL is already there, getting ready to share its latest solutions and services that help companies enter the future of work.

At ISE 2019, guests to AVI-SPL booth 11-C155 will understand what we mean by digital workplace transformation and why it’s so valuable to organizations of all types. In short segments, our staff and special guests will use a five-panel MultiTaction display to explain:

You’ll find the times for these presentations at AVI-SPL’s ISE event website. At our website, you’ll also find a form for requesting a meeting with AVI-SPL representatives to answer your questions.