The traditional office is set to bounce back soon, but executives at global collaboration manufacturer Konftel believe a rapid transformation will need to take place to deliver safe working conditions. According to Konftel CMO Stefan Eriksson, it’s the hybrid workplace that will continue to grow, blending a combination of working from home and a gradual return to offices.
“Video conferencing will continue to drive meeting communications across a mix of remote working and phased office life,” Eriksson said. “More companies are reorganizing their offices and preparing to facilitate increased video meetings. That’s why we’re urging resellers to fully prepare their customers for the next phase of COVID recovery – backed by the latest independent research.”
Konftel estimates more than half of businesses are planning to accelerate IT budgets this year, with video meeting room technologies being one of their top priorities. The company says it views have been reinforced by new research from strategic advisory analysts Metrigy and discussions with distributors and resellers across the globe.
“The traditional office is already going through a significant transformation,” said Eriksson. “It’s clear many successful companies are already experiencing a rapid return on investment and are planning to invest more in meeting room technologies and hardware for remote workers.”
To support a safe office return, Konftel advises companies limit capacity of office spaces to ensure adequate social distancing; convert existing meeting rooms into video enabled conferencing; install touchless device technologies such as ‘contactless conferencing;’ add more enclosed work zones; and increase general cleaning and sanitation.
“Future workgroups will likely consist of a mix of in-person and remote participants, with professional-quality video meetings becoming the benchmark for collaboration success, wherever people are working,” continued Eriksson. “Flexibility is key.”
Eriksson added: “Clearly it is an evolving situation in all four corners of the world. But one thing is for sure, businesses need to prepare for greater numbers in the office, whilst also maintaining remote working too.”
Konftel says it has seen huge demand for flexible USB-based video kits, whilst early orders for its new Konftel Cam10 business webcam have exceeded expectations. A series of new products are in the pipeline, such as a high-performance speakerphone and combined video cameras.
Safety and social distancing will also be vital when more people return to offices.
“No-touch solutions will be increasingly popular,” Eriksson emphasized. “Take our Konftel Unite app for example, that switches the operation of audio-based meetings from the traditional keypad to the screen of a mobile phone or tablet, easily via Bluetooth.”
Konftel has always argued for flexibility when it comes to all the collaboration tools available, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex. It says safety is paramount too. At the office, Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) means the user can take their laptop into the meeting room with their choice of collaboration app installed and then connect the computer to the speakerphone, conference cam and screen using a single USB cable (Konftel OCC).
Eriksson concluded: “In addition, our Konftel 800 audio device for example can be daisy-chained to significantly increase the distance between people, yet ensure they are still clearly heard even in the biggest of rooms. Returning to the office, embracing the hybrid workplace and working from home long term are the three main factors organizations need to be addressing now.”