In a study conducted by IBM last year, 81% of respondents said they would like to continue to work remotely at least some of the time once the COVID crisis is over, while well over half of respondents said they would like this to become their primary way of working. Of course, there is no guarantee that those work-from-home enthusiasts won’t change their tune in a year or two, but it’s clear that video conferencing will continue to play a vital role in defining how and when and where we work. With that in mind, let’s look into our crystal ball and see what trends will define the virtual workplace in the coming year.
Audio and Video Quality
Companies had to act quick in 2020. They couldn’t necessarily take the time to make sure every employee had access to top-of-the-line video conferencing hardware. Keeping folks connected and fostering long-distance collaboration was the main objective. However, for those employees who decide to stick with remote work in the months and years to come, solutions that are “good enough” won’t cut it. They will need cameras and headsets befitting of professionals and built to last.
In addition to top notch video and audio, your remote employees will need to be provided with a wide array of collaboration tools. It’s not enough to simply talk over video. Look for conferencing solutions that include content-sharing capabilities, digital whiteboard features and annotation tools that will empower your employees to share and shape their ideas in real time.
In the coming year and beyond, you should provide your employees with a conferencing and collaboration solution that plays nice with their other productivity tools. With a solution like StarLeaf Cloud, which integrates with apps like Outlook, Google, Teams and Slack, your remote workers can maintain a workflow that works for them.
Not all of your employees will be interested in working remotely full time. Quite a few of them will likely lean toward a hybrid model that allows them to split their time between the office and their preferred remote location. This will require you and your IT department to implement collaboration and conferencing solutions that can adapt to the changing needs of your employees. You will need huddle rooms for your employees to use when they are on-site, as well as room solutions suitable for such spaces. You will also need to establish clear BYOD policies for employees who bring devices from their home offices.
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