As workers return to the office, collaboration spaces are getting a makeover. Poly understands that designing the room environment and deciding the layout for video equipment can be challenging, especially with the new considerations for supporting hybrid teams. Even though our Poly G7500 and Poly Studio Family products were designed with ease of deployment and setup in mind, there are other important considerations when prepping your video collaboration spaces, such as how to deal with windows, where to place the furniture, and where microphone placement will work best in your space.
The new Room Preparation Guide offers pre-installation strategies and recommendations for room planning to help you optimize your collaboration environment. These helpful tips can prevent oversights that can counteract a productive and enjoyable video conferencing experience.
Maximizing the Room Environment
The basic elements of your collaboration environment – walls, windows, HVAC, colors, lighting, acoustics – are important to creating a workable space. Fine-tuning the room environment before installing your video conferencing equipment is crucial to your collaboration experience.
The guidelines in the Room Prep Guide help establish a good foundation for collaboration rooms by answering questions such as the following:
- Do window treatments really matter? Yes. Use curtains or draperies (never blinds) that are heavy enough to dampen sound from inside and outside the room.
- How bright should the lighting be? Bright light increases the range of in-focus objects, especially people’s faces. Make sure the light is diffused and never shining directly at the camera.
- Which floor materials are acceptable? Choosing the right flooring makes a big difference in the room’s acoustics. Stick with carpet if you can or pay special attention to sound dampening in other parts of the room (like walls and ceilings).
- What color should I paint the walls? Neutral colors with hints of blue work best. Grays, silvers, and champagne work well for acoustic panels. Avoid saturated colors if possible (and stay away from green!)
- How can I minimize background noise? Most of the options to minimize background noise are integrated as acoustic materials built into the walls and ceilings. If you can’t alter or update the construction of your room, consider enabling Poly Acoustic Fence or Poly Acoustic Fence with Beam Shaping Technology (depending on the equipment used).
Configuring the Room Layout
A good room layout is the key to an enjoyable and effective collaborative experience. This is more than hanging a display and setting up a conference table with chairs. The most effective room layouts provide the right audio and visual interaction between participants, whether it’s 2 or 20.
What do you need to consider when setting up the layout of your collaboration rooms? The Room Prep Guide goes step-by-step with information like the following:
- Can I use a Studio X30 system in a large conference room? Studio X30 systems are designed for huddle rooms that hold only a few people. For larger conference rooms, Poly recommends a Studio X70 system or a G7500 system with a connected Studio E70 camera.
- Is it a good idea to mount a camera under a display? You can, but cameras are best positioned near the horizontal and vertical centers of your display. Placing cameras too high or too low can cause eye contact problems or skew images of the participants.
- How far can a meeting participant be from a Studio X Family built-in microphone? The microphones integrated in the Studio X Family products can typically pick up speech between 2.5 m (8 ft) and 3.5 m (11.5 ft). When integrated with a Poly Trio system, you can use the Trio microphones to extend the distance or allow for audio pickup in other areas of the room.
- What does camera framing look like for a Poly Studio X50 system at full HD zoom? Luckily the Room Prep Guide provides detailed images that show what speaker framing looks like. Check out the guide for some examples!
- How do Poly Acoustic Fence and Poly Acoustic Fence with Beam Shaping Technology work? Poly’s Acoustic Fence technology uses various microphones with G7500 systems to set up a virtual area where sound is picked up. Poly’s Acoustic Fence with Beam Shaping Technology is integrated into the Studio X Family systems and uses a defined beam to limit sounds outside of the beam area. These are great options to reduce background noise if you can’t update your build environment with acoustic materials.
We Welcome Your Feedback
We’re excited about our new Room Preparation Guide as a resource to support our customers in planning their return to office strategies. Access this document at Poly Support and use the guidance to build out your best collaborative environment for Poly G7500 and Poly Studio Family systems.