Collaboration technologies are essential to optimizing offices and remote employees for hybrid work
The methods and tools used to conduct office work are rapidly expanding to accommodate a wider range of worker situations and needs, including hybrid schedules and fully remote employees that each require different support structures to optimize workflows and communications. While the tasks and responsibilities of most workers haven’t changed, many people are adjusting to different physical spaces and expectations in terms of attending virtual meetings or collaborating with colleagues who traditionally shared a common workplace.
In order to help companies ensure consistent productivity regardless of worker location or situation, there are a number of new collaboration solutions that can help suit any budget, space or need.
The New Office Experience
Today, the corporate office is just one of many places where we might work on any given day. This transition occurred naturally for many companies thanks to the increasing preference for laptops that afford far greater flexibility than desktop computers, both within an office space and when working remotely.
In response, powerful, lightweight laptops are being used to meet the needs of everyone from accountants to graphic designers. This can be a huge benefit for urban workers commuting on foot, on public transportation or by bicycle. Additionally, individual workers may have different requirements for graphics processing or screen size, making it more important than ever for IT managers and purchasers to identify technology partners that can provide a wide range of fully compatible solutions to satisfy every specific need.
In-office work has changed as well, with the entire industry trending toward more consistent inter-office collaborations and some making virtual attendance available for meetings that traditionally would have packed on-site workers into close quarters. Whether the reasons are health-based or simply to provide simpler access for more workers, there are many tools now available to facilitate various meeting types.
What’ more, easy-to-use collaboration tools such as touch-screen whiteboards that allow recording, file sharing and live video communication, can be permanently mounted or even attached to a mobile cart that enables use in multiple spaces throughout the day. For pure videoconferencing needs, many organizations can benefit from all-in-one solutions that combine high-definition DVLED or LCD displays with speakers, cameras and an integrated PC to enable true plug-and-play collaboration without any need for wiring or setup assistance.
The Value of Optimized Spaces
As each worker and each day may require different tools and support, designing spaces and systems with built-in flexibility can help organizations adapt to continued changes in worker expectations and variable health regulations that previously impacted the ability to maintain productivity. Flexibility can mean different things for different types of work, but a common thread is providing spaces with high-quality computer monitors for hybrid workers to utilize on in-office days. These workers may not need a permanent workstation if they are only in the office sparingly, but it’s important to ensure efficiency doesn’t suffer from a lack of satisfactory tools.
Monitors themselves have evolved to be more ergonomic and offer special features, such as ultrawide or "dual" monitors that provide much larger digital workspaces without requiring extra wires or power cables. The newest designs include dual monitors that allow workers to view documents in two widescreen landscape views stacked on top of one another, so that even the smallest desktop space can accommodate a multi-screen solution. For flexible or part-time work spaces, these are ideal as they can be placed almost anywhere without interrupting the space needed for full-time in-office workers.
This extends into the home office as well, with ergonomic monitors delivering more-comfortable workdays in general and helps businesses’ efforts to reduce the strain some workers experience from traditional monitor design and placement. For hybrid or entirely remote workers, employers must decide where to invest their technology dollars to deliver the greatest benefits. Some workers may justify corporate investments in home office technologies, especially for larger organizations where virtual desktops or secure logins are required to maintain data security.
The Future of Work is Accommodating
The old regimen of a strict 9-5 daily work schedule and cubicle farms is less relevant now than ever, with many jobs entailing off-hours communications, variable schedules, and flexible locations, perhaps a long-term pandemic effect. As the culture of work continues to change and new technologies enable even greater efficiencies and use of collaboration, the most successful organizations are likely to be the ones that accommodate their employees to encourage retention and company loyalty.
While different organizations, and even entire industries, may have a range of views on the appropriateness and quality of home-based and hybrid work, the tools now exist to maximize collaboration and expand the capabilities of a corporate office to virtually any location on earth.
Photo Credit: LG Gram
Kevin Schroll is a Go-to-Market Strategy Lead at LG Business Solutions USA, provider of award-winning monitors and laptops for businesses and their employees working in the office and remotely.