The Hybrid Working Future (and How AV Solutions Can Help)
- Hybrid working is here to stay in the post-COVID workplace
- AV solutions like Video Conferencing can help to facilitate this approach
- Mediascape provides a range of AV solutions for the workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that not only is remote working feasible but can also be as productive as office-based working. Nearly every office-based business will have experienced one form of remote working or another over the course of 2020 and well into 2021.
There are of course many advantages to working from home, such as restoring more of a work-life balance and being able to focus on work away from the distractions of the office.
A US survey carried out by Owl Labs found that despite some difficulties associated with working remotely, 77% of respondents agreed that after COVID-19, having the option to work from home would make them happier.
The same report found that during COVID-19, 75% of people were just as productive or more so while working from home, and that after the pandemic is over, 80% of respondents expect to work from home at least 3 times per week. With home working additionally resulting in huge savings on commuting time and money spent, there is definitely as much a precedent as there is a demand for home working and the increased flexibility it provides.
However, working from home during lockdown has not been smooth sailing for everyone. Stats show that employee engagement has dropped, with communications becoming limited to smaller and smaller teams.
Continuing Office Contact
In Microsoft’s Annual Work Trend Index from March 2021, it was reported that 67% of surveyed workers wanted more face-to-face working and collaboration following the pandemic. The report also detailed how analysis of Microsoft Teams and other Office applications showed team-wide communications had dropped by around 5%, whereas one-to-one messaging had increased by 87%.
This is a clear symptom of fatigue associated with the necessary interactions of remote working, such as instant messaging, emails and video conferencing. While these certainly facilitate quick communication, over time they can be draining. True face-to-face, in person interaction has been absent throughout 2020 for most people, so returning to an office environment can be important in helping to re-establish this connection between employees and provide a positive mental health benefit.
Many people would undoubtedly struggle to transition back to full-time office working, especially those needing to provide childcare, look after pets or simply save money by working at home. The important insight to take away from the past year is that a hybrid approach provides an ideal middle ground, allowing teams to have some days on-site and others at home. This would provide all the benefits of office working while giving the chance for additional flexibility and freedom.
This sentiment is definitely shared by some of the world’s top AV manufacturers, as trends in purchases over the past year have shown an increased reliance on AV equipment to provide the right setup for hybrid working and facilitate quick, seamless and high-quality communications across organisations.
Best of Both Worlds
In an article from AV Magazine, Barco’s Nathalie Leignel Andersen said that “creativity and community are being stifled” in an entirely remote working model and that companies will be “completely rethinking the use of meeting rooms for shorter, livelier collaboration sessions, enabling multiple people to participate and share seamlessly.”
One of the casualties of COVID-19 was work-related travel, whether for commuting or attending meetings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as video conferencing has carried the load and allowed companies to cut back on travel expenses and reduce wasted time.
As Avocor’s Glenn Wastyn said in the same AV Magazine article: “Video conferencing offers everyone more efficiency and a better quality of life, saving those face-to-face meetings for when they are truly valuable.”
As we now approach the second half of 2021, with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions now relaxing or lifting entirely in most countries, it is clear that most people will be considering how they can adapt to a hybrid working culture. It is hard to tell what the long-term effects of the pandemic will be, or if future lockdowns will be necessary to curb the spread of the virus, however it is safe to say that businesses will be far more prepared for change than they were in March 2020.
No matter the industry and no matter some businesses may feel about it, hybrid working is here to stay. So, the questions that must be asked are:
- Why and how does this way of working benefit a business?
- How can installing AV equipment help companies to best prepare for this ‘new normal’?
Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts where we explore the ins and outs of Hybrid Working and how AV technology helps to facilitate this for businesses....
Mediascape AV Solutions
Mediascape Ltd is Scotland’s leading, full-service audio visual specialist. We have a dedicated team of professionals operating across the country able to design, supply install and maintain a full range of AV solutions for private firms, educational institutions, government offices, healthcare facilities and more.
We specialise in delivering bespoke solutions tailored to each business, so you can be sure that we will coordinate the best solution to fit your hybrid working approach that empowers your workforce while staying ahead of current technologies and AV innovations.
The best way to find out what we can provide for you is to get in touch and discuss your requirements.
If you’d like to find out more about what we offer, download our company brochure below:
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