Barco, a global leader in professional meeting room visualisation and collaboration solutions, has tied up with Logitech International to offer state-of-the art remote working solutions. Erdem Soyal, vice-president Middle East & Africa at Barco and Loubna Imenchal – head of video collaboration business (Africa, ME, Turkey & Central Asia) tell us more:
How has the meeting experience changed since the pandemic?
Barco-The ongoing pandemic has changed our way of working like never before. Overnight, the global workforce has moved from face-to-face interactions to remote collaboration using platforms like Zoom, Clickshare or Teams. This shift has led to both businesses and employees understand the importance of good conferencing solutions and the safety and flexibility of features required to conduct such meetings. As remote working continues to be an ongoing trend, businesses will want more out of their conference solutions. We are confident that our partnership with Logitech aims to serve this need of the market.
Logitech– COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of virtual meeting experiences. To ensure meeting reliability and consistency, you must provide staff with the right technologies to maintain high-quality connections with colleagues, customers and partners while working remotely. Therefore, procurement and deployment of an enterprise-grade video meeting and workstream collaboration solutions is critical for business success in this new landscape.
Tell us something about the partnership. How is it expected to strengthen the remote working experience?
Barco: Our strategic partnership with Logitech International offers a combination of its wireless conferencing solution ClickShare Conference with Logitech’s video collaboration product. A new set of a collaboration and interactivity features have also been added to the ClickShare Collaboration App as part of the product range evolution. The main highlight of this partnership is that we are integrating the functionality of the camera and audio in the meeting room enhancing the overall experience.
How has the remote working impacted the workforce? What are the new changes your research has found?
Barco- Our 2019 ‘Future of Meetings’ global research study identified a clear demand from employees for greater flexibility and smart technology solutions to help them excel. Our research found that, on average, employees used six different conferencing solutions in the previous six months, while 72% of people were taking their own laptops into meeting rooms. People have also become far more accepting of technology as a way to enhance team working and prefer using their own chosen conference solutions.
Logitech-In this new world, the line between personal and professional lives is blurring, especially as more and more people opt to work from home. Companies and business leaders must learn to adapt and accommodate inevitable circumstances that have been thrust on us all. These considerations and efforts to accommodate are already shifting both attitudes and habits from businesses and employees.
What are some of the factors that businesses must consider while working from home?
Logitech: The first thing business leaders should acknowledge is that working from home is different from working in an office and comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. By having open and honest conversations with employees and understanding their circumstances and expectations, companies can reap the full benefits of working from home.
If businesses wish to encourage staff to work on-site, they must consider incentives like hazard pay, childcare support, additional health benefit, in addition to robust and comprehensive health and safety measures. They also need new ‘’Employee Journey Maps” that provide flexible work options and rethink traditional work environments and develop a “mixed-location” workforce. Performance management needs to be adapted to accommodate the ongoing and shifting personal requirements of employees, and the need to provide suitable remote setups and new skills and competencies must be identified to enable effective remote working, including digital literacy.
What are the challenges faced in the implementation of remote working solutions?
Barco: Research has shown that some businesses have faced some common challenges like disconnection from corporate networks, technical disruptions, unreliable internet connections, slower downloading times and so on.
Logitech: Security is top priority for organisations everywhere. In the past, business dealings were mostly managed centrally, however, much of what we do now is organised and managed remotely. Being careful around IT settings, meeting host controls and end-user behaviour are very important factors in ensuring the security and privacy of meetings. Then again, structural adjustments are needed to help facilitate remote working solutions, such as clear guidelines, commitment and leadership to avoid unnecessary loss of efficiency and frustration among employees and stakeholders.
What will the future of work look like? Is remote working here to stay?
Barco: According to Gartner’s recent forecast, enterprise meetings conducted face-to-face will drop from 60% pre-pandemic to 25% by 2024, driven by remote work and changing workforce demographics. Looking at our region, Bayt.com’s ‘Remote Work’ survey revealed that 9 in 10 professionals in the Middle East and North Africa region anticipate remote working to increase in the next few years. With that in mind, we can safely say that remote working here is to stay.
Logitech: Change was forced on all of us, and while there was (and will be) some resistance to the shifting way of doing things, it is clear that remote work is now the prevalent model – and simply pushing everyone back to the office isn’t going to be effective especially with the numerous recognised benefits of working from home. This new normal has provided evidence of how work can be done differently and successfully.