In today’s workplace, hybrid and remote have fast become the norm as the use of videoconferencing has been dramatically accelerated. Salesforce, Microsoft, Dropbox, Zillow, and many more of the world’s largest enterprises are embracing this transition. But distributed workforces come with unique challenges whether a company is expanding to new regions, hiring from a wider pool of talent, or building a collaborative culture for employees in different locations.
Businesses looking to boost collaboration and productivity need technology that supports these evolutionary changes. Employees should be able to work from anywhere, at any time and with peers in disparate locations. Without the right communication tools, businesses may not make the most of its hybrid/multi-office setups.
Overcome the challenges of a multi-office strategy
While remote work may be the preferred option for many employees, it presents many of the same challenges created by a multi-office strategy. According to Gensler Research Institute, 44% of remote workers miss having access to the technology offered to them when working on-site. Consequently, tech issues are quite common. Employees in multi-office environments may find that their tech differs between offices if hardware and software are not upgraded at the same time.
IT has also endured a host of challenges during the shift to remote work. An Ivanti survey revealed that 63% of IT professionals reported a 37% increase in workload caused by distributed employees. Videoconferencing (56%), bandwidth constraints (48%) and messaging issues (47%) are cited as the biggest roadblocks.
To counteract obstacles and build better work environments, 66% of business leaders say they may redesign office spaces for remote working arrangements. Technologies should work in concert with hybrid/multi-office standards such as hot desks and other communal workspaces. Examples include:
- Unified Communications (UC) Software: Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet are more well-known UC software offerings. Videoconferencing allows for better collaboration and problem-solving across global distances. Businesses should carefully review and choose options that fit employee workstyles and existing technology stacks.
- Network Monitoring and Analytics Tools: Datadog and Cisco IOS NetFlow are among the many tools IT professionals use to watch for and rectify potential problems within their network. Considering how important network performance is when connecting employees across multiple locations, it is imperative that IT leaders have the necessary tools to carefully monitor their network.
- Fully Integrated Meeting Room Systems: Meeting rooms and huddle spaces need quality sound and video to ensure strong connections are established and nurtured between the people on-site and those in other locations. Businesses can make the best of this dynamic by installing transparent in-room tech — like ceiling speakers and other fully integrated room systems — to provide clear and crisp audio that allows all meeting participants to be heard.
- Video bar Devices Not every room needs a fully integrated solution. Huddle spaces and medium-sized conference rooms may benefit from an all-in-one USB solution like a video bar that requires minimal setup while providing multiple benefits within a sleek footprint. With 4K auto-framing cameras and high-quality audio, video bars allow everyone in the room to be clearly seen and heard.
- Noise Cancellation Headphones: According to the American Psychological Association, it is important for remote employee mental well-being to minimize distractions. Noise cancelling headphones allow employees to quickly and easily switch between voice or video calls, play music to mask unwanted sounds, or create white noise for a silent surrounding.
Empower staff to work seamlessly together from any location
The need for technology in a multi-office environment has never been more pressing. Nothing can derail a meeting like poor audio, an unclear image, or a faulty connection. Likewise, when the meeting is over and it’s time to concentrate, even the most dedicated worker can find it difficult to focus if background noises and other audible distractions get in the way. There are a number of technologies that can overcome these obstacles, and with new ways of working here to stay for many organizations, IT teams should adopt the technologies that help eliminate them as soon as possible.
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