Features, Insight, Opinion

How to realise the potential of a hybrid work model

By Lieven Bertier, Segment Marketing Director Workplace, Barco

The pandemic has irrevocably changed office culture, rapidly accelerating the trend for remote working, so that it is now core to the mainstream employee experience. While remote working is definitely here to stay, the general consensus from employees themselves is that a return to some regular office-based interaction is important. In fact, Barco hybrid meeting research shows that eight out of ten office workers are in favour of a hybrid work model, with most, on average, willing to work from home just one and a half days per week.

Understanding this, most businesses have already started to implement various kinds of long-term hybrid systems, which can offer a mix of office-based and remote working.

This is, of course, great news, not only for the employee experience, but also the overall performance of businesses. Such hybrid models should, in effect, offer white-collar workers the best of both worlds – that is, more time to work productively and stress-free from home, as well as more opportunity to catch up with colleagues, and make use of the professional backdrop of the office for important meetings.

Hybrid working: the challenges

However, as with the implementation of any new system of working, there are challenges to overcome. If hybrid business models are to be productive and successful – if their potential is ever to be truly realised, then issues around meeting room technology must first be acknowledged and resolved.

CIOs and IT decision makers must, in the first instance, work out how to ensure widespread user adoption of meeting room technologies. Despite the general enthusiasm for hybrid collaboration, most white-collar workers have little-to-no inclination to give up their new-found laptop-centric approach to meetings, with 71% preferring to host hybrid meetings from their own laptops.

Since they started working from home, employees have been able to avoid complicated meeting room set-ups and easily host and join meetings from their laptops, using their preferred video conferencing platforms. More to the point, according to the latest Barco research, they now see no reason to do things differently, with a remarkable 70% of the 800 white-collar workers surveyed from across the globe, insisting that they would rather use their own laptops than in-room systems.  Disillusioned with current office technology infrastructures, 65% admit that they struggle with different meeting room set-ups, and a further 48% with connecting to AV peripherals, such as displays, cameras, speakers and microphones. Alarmingly, these challenges have caused a stunning 71% of workers to experience stress during hybrid meetings.  

Bring your own meeting (BYOM) solution

The widespread adoption of hybrid meetings, it would seem, will ultimately hinge on the roll-out of a more inclusive and intuitive meeting technology solution. An overwhelming 81% of white-collar workers across every age group agree that easy-to-use technology facilitates better meetings.

According to further research1, most would also agree that the very process of ideation and innovation depends on making real connections during a meeting, with over one third (42%) believing in the necessity of having personal conversations to generate ideas.

For a successful digital workplace strategy, businesses will therefore need to support hybrid meetings that are as seamless and intuitive as face-to-face collaborations. One way to achieve this is by offering, for in-person as well as virtual environments, what the Barco ClickShare team refer to as a “Bring your own meeting” (BYOM) experience. With BYOM, users can host and join video meetings and share content using their own preferred conferencing platform in any existing meeting room or space from their own device.

High-quality audio-visual experience

Wireless presentation and conferencing systems, such as ClickShare harness the power of BYOM, enabling employees in the office to join meetings from their laptops with just one click. Instantly connecting employees to the meeting room display and its AV peripherals, such solutions boost productivity and collaboration, allowing for a more deeply immersive, high-quality audio-visual experience.

Thanks to their universal compatibility with most in-room systems, peripherals, and UC&C platforms, agnostic collaboration tools, such as ClickShare are also easy to integrate into most existing meeting room set-ups, offering a much more inclusive and familiar meeting experience for users.

Safe and future-proof hybrid collaboration

Of course, the successful transition to a hybrid style of collaboration is going to depend on the implementation of future-proof and secure technology. Enterprise-ready solutions, such as ClickShare are IS0 27001 certified, safeguarding against future cyber threats, and enabling data to be shared safely. As well as ensuring privacy and confidentiality online, such tools are now able to offer on-going support, providing warranties of up to five years in addition to a continuously enhanced user experience, with an ever-increasing range of features and functionality.

To facilitate the digital transformation of workplaces, CIOs and IT decision makers are also going to have to monitor adoption, as well as productivity and engagement. The best way to do this and prove return on investment is to look for conferencing systems that offer advanced data and analytics.

The future of hybrid working is already starting to take shape, but to reap the benefits of all the advantages that it brings, workspaces will have to be reimagined with intuitive, flexible and familiar meeting room technologies that employees are able – and willing – to use.

For more information about ClickShare, please visit Barco

1 Bloom A. Nicholas et al., “Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment”, March 2013, Working Paper No 3109, Stanford Graduate School of Busines, https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/working-papers/does-working-home-work-evidence-chinese-experiment

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