We have seen a seismic shift over the last few years in the way technology is deployed in organisations. A decade ago, technology was a means to an end – a way of getting information from a computer onto a screen for example. Now, it’s about facilitating the changing way we work in the 21st century.
The days of 9am – 5pm workers sitting in offices, who physically gather together to be shown information are disappearing. Today’s workforces may be based in an office, at home, in a satellite location, in their car, in a different country – or any combination of these. They not only work on a PC but on laptops, tablets and smart phones and expect equal functionality and connectivity from each.
The systems we specify help these dispersed teams work together effectively as if they were sitting in the same room. Whilst formal meetings still take place they are more interactive, with attendees sharing thoughts and data.
Six years ago we saw evidence of this in a project for a top university we deployed, designed to enhance student learning and encourage work collaboratively in a simple and accessible way. Technobooths comprising of benched seating surrounding a table were equipped with a PC, ceiling mounted visualiser, and a screen to display the output from either piece of equipment. It was effectively the first ‘FIT’ (Furniture Integrated with Technology) furniture project we were involved in.
Things have moved on apace since then and our latest FIT project is the Skylon FIT – a ‘work booth’ designed to create a more productive and engaging work environment that is totally customisable to individual needs.
Skylon FIT takes a modern seating booth and integrates into it the customer’s choice of technology, typically a flat screen display, room booking system and wireless connectivity. It allows users to simply fire up their laptops and instantly share their content with the others seated in the booth. The combination of seating style and technology helps the group work together as a team. And the room booking system means users can reserve the resource for future meetings direct from their seats.
We’ve been promoting AV integration within HE and corporate spaces for some time, such as monitors and touch screens being built into lectern cabinets. Skylon FIT takes things a step further by embracing the trend for collaborative working styles, as users are asking how systems will enhance the working environment, increase productivity or drive down costs.
Our FIT initiative is one way we are addressing changing needs. Taking cutting edge AV technology and cleverly integrating it into today’s modern office/ learning space furniture giving a result that fuses beauty, practicality and functionality. It’s a move that supports easy informal meetings that demand collaboration and sharing. We believe it’s a trend that is set to continue.
Share your thoughts on this subject and leave a comment on Twitter.