Posts tagged workplace transformation

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

On May 14, Beau Wilder of Poly will be the keynote speaker at AVI-SPL’s TechSpark event in Cleveland. 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. Wilder is the VP of innovation waves and new products for Poly. In the Q&A below, I spoke with Wilder about creating a workplace that enables people to be their best. He also offers a preview of his keynote talk at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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. During my talk at TechSpark, I’ll go further into change management, what it can look like and how to approach it. I’ll also look at the science behind distraction-free open spaces and how they lead to success.

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.


To hear Beau Wilder speak in person on the benefits and challenges of open offices, register for AVI-SPL’s May 13 TechSpark in Cleveland.

Video Shows Benefits of AVI-SPL Services Team

Thanks to the teamwork and expertise of AVI-SPL technicians throughout four global service operations centers (GSOC) worldwide, AVI-SPL offers businesses 24/7 proactive monitoring and management of their technology to ensure a high-quality experience with meetings and collaboration. You can see and hear those technicians talk about the value they provide in this AVI-SPL video.

From GSOCs in Denver, Philadelphia, UK, and Germany, AVI-SPL uses its Symphony platform to monitor and manage its clients’ AV and UC assets throughout their estate. It also automates their meeting scheduling, launching, monitoring, management and experience. Symphony provides customized analytics that show the frequency of room usage and the quality of the meeting experience so that companies can refine their investments and meet their business goals. 

Watch the AVI-SPL Video of Its GSOC

This video shows that AVI-SPL is much more than a global AV and collaboration systems integrator. We are a digital services provider that makes it easier for organizations to use and manage their solutions. You’ll also get a look at our Customer Experience Center, where you can explore new solutions and see how they would work in your environment. Toward the end of the video, you’ll see statistics that show the positive impact our GSOC support has had for organizations like yours.

Check out the video here, and share it with colleagues and those in your company who want their AV and collaboration systems to be easy to use while bringing people together so they can focus on the meeting, not the technology.

Special thanks to VideoLink’s VL Creative team for creating this video. And thanks to all members of our GSOC teams around the world for helping companies improve their ability to innovate, solve problems, and efficiently take on their daily operations.

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.

AVI-SPL and JLL Guide Companies Into the Future of Work

We’ve just shared a video about the future of work on the AVI-SPL YouTube channel that shows the efforts of JLL, AVI-SPL and other partners to help companies open up their value by improving how they work. The members of the Project and Development Services Strategic Council also include Interface, Interior Architects, Wiedenbach Brown, and Steelcase.

In this video, produced by VideoLink VLCreative, you’ll see how JLL’s preferred vendors support its “future of work” initiative, which focuses on helping companies find better ways to innovate and collaborate so they lead to better business outcomes.

AVI-SPL contributes by providing its expertise with the AV and collaboration technology solutions and services that improve the worker experience and help them perform their jobs at a high level.

Watch the video and tell AVI-SPL about your company’s goals for being a part of the future of work.