How your room video decisions can deliver an equal meeting experience for both in-room and remote workers

Hybrid work is causing businesses of all kinds to rethink what video conferencing equipment employees need to collaborate effectively, what their office workspaces should look like, and what it’s going to take to keep them productive and engaged. You need to facilitate more virtual meetings than ever before, but also create an environment for new kinds of hybrid work.

Today, nearly every meeting includes video and people calling in remotely, with your employees, partners, and customers getting down to business in your meeting rooms, from home, or while on the road.

The new goal for IT is meeting equality. It means using technology to provide a consistent, professional virtual meeting experience for those in the room, and those who are not. Doing anything less risks leaving remote employees feeling isolated, which can hurt team unity and lower productivity. What’s more, the image of your business will suffer if employees don’t look and sound professional when meeting with customers and partners.

To support hybrid work and meeting equality, you need to consider the impact of your room video equipment on people at all ends of the call.  That requires room video technology that keeps everyone neatly framed, well-lit, and heard loud and clear without background chatter, even if they’re writing on a whiteboard or moving around as they talk.

Part of what makes this tricky is that the landscape is changing, literally, meaning that post-pandemic you may be looking at conference rooms made bigger to support social distancing. Or new smaller meeting rooms and shared spaces used for collaboration. And with more virtual meetings lined up than ever before, your employees need audio and video equipment in all your group spaces that are easy to use, low-touch, and compatible with the unified communications (UC) platforms they already know.

Making the Right Technology Decisions

If you don’t select the right video conferencing equipment, or deploy it incorrectly in your meeting rooms, you risk sabotaging the hybrid work experience—and the ROI potential of your investment. Poly’s new eBook, 6 Critical Room Video Decisions that Can Make or Break Your UC Investment, gives you a deeper dive into these issues, including:

  • Choosing from the three main types of conference room technology and determining which configuration is right for you: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), an in-room PC, or a dedicated video appliance. Each of these approaches to launching and running virtual meetings has its own set of pros, cons, and considerations.
  • Managing employee expectations around virtual collaboration with in-office and remote workers. Employees on hybrid work schedules need technology that screens out background noise and helps them look and sound their best in a variety of shared spaces—from their home offices to small huddle rooms, shared desks, and their office cubicles. They also need portable equipment like headsets and webcams that are easy to pack up and move between locations to maintain consistently high-quality communications from wherever they work.
  • Establishing a management and security process that extends to hybrid and remote workers. Learn how monitoring and analytic tools can help you manage and track all your audio and video equipment in the cloud, keeping users up and running while reducing service tickets and complexity for IT. In addition, the right vendor can help you manage the security/patching needs of meeting endpoints, along with providing safeguards for the actual cloud communication.
  • Delivering a native or interoperable in-room experience with your UC platform. Avoiding vendor lock-in can be critical to accommodating your customers and partners and for future-proofing your investment. Consider video equipment that offers a desired native experience with popular platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, as well as platform interoperability with all others.
  • Identifying the vendor services and support you need for hybrid work. Do you have sufficient staff and resources to accelerate your hybrid working initiatives? Do you need to draw on vendor expertise for things like strategic planning, sizing, and aligning of your group spaces?

Poly understands what makes virtual meetings more human and equitable for everyone—no matter where they’re dialing in from. With pro-grade audio, video, and phone solutions that are easy to install, easy to use, and comfortable for all-day use, we can help you deliver an equal and consistently great virtual meeting experience for people across all your workspaces and on any UC platform.