As you begin the process of transforming your workplace into one that is more agile, competitive, and innovative, seek input from those who will use or support the technology that makes that transformation possible. User surveys and observations of how employees are working today will help clarify the challenges they face during their workday. Knowing how your staff members work together --and what prevents them from collaborating when they want to -- will provide valuable information for expanding, reallocating, and developing new resources.
Hosting a focus group will let you know what end users expect of their meeting rooms and the kind of functionality they require of their technology. Those findings will be of great benefit to the design and integration teams that must make your vision a reality. It will also establish the project as a collaborative process.
An internal committee that represents the interests of executives, IT staff, and departmental employees can lead this information gathering. This committee, representing different constituents within the company, as well as trusted outside consultants, must shape the criteria for collaboration spaces that meet overall strategic goals as they also take into account user preferences and needs.
Some of those criteria will reflect concerns specific to company segments. The IT department will want to limit the number of help desk calls and make sure network communications are secure and adequate to handle anticipated peaks in traffic. Operations management may be instructed to reduce the real estate footprint while improving productivity. For most, the goals will include a consistent, easy user experience, reliable technology, and spontaneous collaboration using in-room and personal devices.
For direction on how to approach this quest for an improved, connected workplace, look to resources like this white paper on the meeting place of tomorrow, which can help you focus on identifying outcomes and encouraging the adoption of essential technology in the meeting space.
Among the tasks your committee can undertake:
- Take account of all the areas where people are frustrated in their efforts to collaborate with one another (overbooked rooms, inconsistent technology, lack of resources).
- Identify areas where current AV and collaboration technology isn't delivering desired results.
- Identify desired outcomes, which will include a streamlined, intuitive user experience as well as the ability to monitor and manage meeting spaces and their devices.
From this information, your committee can make the business case for a digitally connected workspace. It can also create a catalog of spaces that address work styles and collaboration preferences, which will reflect the findings from your surveys and focus group. These varied spaces can help address desired outcomes by allowing groups to work together in a variety of configurations -- small group huddles, boardroom meetings, large group collaborations -- and with a variety of solutions (video conferencing, presentation systems, interactive touch panels).
By listening to and including your company's varied talent in this process of workplace improvement, you will have taken a major step toward getting the right solutions and ensuring companywide adoption.
Learn more in the whitepaper on the meeting place of the future, sponsored by AVI-SPL and prepared by No Jitter. Download now.