Meetings have become a recurring pain point for the workforce. Although necessary, these gatherings are often plagued by technical difficulties — or regarded as a drain on time and efficiency. But modern, innovative technologies such as smart conference rooms are reshaping today’s collaborative environment, fostering creativity, boosting productivity and giving businesses a competitive edge with a more connected workforce.
Meeting the needs of a remote workforce
Today’s work environment requires a different level of flexibility to equip people and teams to do their best work. It’s never been more important to empower every employee with the tools needed to effectively communicate and stay connected — regardless of whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
In fact, an April Gallup poll found the majority of workers (70%) always or sometimes work from home during the global pandemic. A month later, that figure dropped by only 2%. Of course, mobile technologies play an important role in enabling today’s largely remote workforce.
Teleconferencing technologies bring teams together, including members who are separated by hundreds of miles. The high-resolution, touch-screen display of the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, in particular, is a leading team collaboration tool that drives productivity by giving teammates a centralised location to meet with everything they need right at their fingertips.
Originally designed to keep creativity flowing, the Surface Hub 2S allows teammates to wirelessly connect with multiple devices through an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. This results in teammates spending less time struggling with technology — and more time innovating.
Given today’s largely remote workforce, Microsoft has expanded its Surface Hub 2S capabilities to function on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise desktops for personal use, in addition to the typical conference room setting. In this way, workers can be productive on all of their applications — not just Office 365.
Engaging workers where they are with smart conference rooms
To maximise investment in a mobile workforce, it’s important to consider interoperability and ease of use when choosing conference room and videoconferencing technologies. Paying attention to what might confuse users will make a big difference in how productive your teams can be during meetings.
Integrated control panels can enhance meeting experiences by consolidating and simplifying input controls for everything from the conference room monitor to the overhead lighting and the projector screen. Many businesses have even begun to employ virtual assistants in their meeting room technology.
Team meetings and collaboration sessions are only as successful as the action items and takeaways team members leave with. The Surface Hub 2S lets you easily save a whiteboarding session and take it with you. What if a team member can’t make it to the meeting? With the press of a button, you can record a videoconference and send it to him or her to watch later.
Embracing mobility and security
When it comes to a smart meeting room, employees want a mobile, cordless, uninterrupted experience that moves with them. Microsoft has partnered with Steelcase and APC to create the Roam Mobile Stand and APC Charge Mobile Battery to encourage teammates to get moving with their Surface Hub 2S. Mobility engages employees from any space, allowing them to create innovative designs in any setting.
But, in order to confidently work remotely, teammates need security measures in place. According to the 2019 Insight Intelligent Technology™ Index, IT professionals cite data security and protection as a top challenge. It’s imperative to implement the right solutions to protect your organisation’s data and creative ideas.
Both the Surface Hub 2S for smart meeting rooms and for personal use take security seriously. On the traditional Surface Hub 2S, teammates can click “I’m done” on the screen before leaving the room to confirm all files and data from a team meeting or collaboration session have been cleared from the device.
The Windows 10 version employs a fingerprint reader, authenticator app and a USB key to ensure data stays safe and out of the wrong hands.