The days of having the luxury of a bespoke meeting room space have gone, with flexible working and learning environments now becoming the norm.
At Reflex we have tracked these changes in working practices. One of the drivers of technology development is the premium cost of space and an increasingly dispersed workforce. When the space for hardware runs out, technologies must meet the need for multiple uses and users.
The effect of this has been an increase in the installation of video conferencing and cloud based systems, dual displays for video conferencing or simply for displaying additional content, and the growing integration of tools such as iPads for room control. We have also seen a definite shift in the importance of aesthetics, which has driven trends such as a move away from hanging projectors to flat screens.
We have seen a growing interest in technologies which enhance collaboration such as Barco ClickShare and Crestron AirMedia. We’ve also seen an increase in the need for maintenance support with higher SLA (Service Level Agreement) requirements than for more general meeting rooms. And there’s a growing need for integrators to deliver bespoke ideas, and supporting AV technologies, for meeting spaces.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a growing trend, as the rise of flexible working hours and different working environments leads to a less defined split between residential and commercial devices. Supporting this move is the availability of business related software on personal devices. People want to use the latest technology but via the fewest devices. The gap is closing and the desire for fewer devices is winning.
There are a number of benefits that BYOD brings to the workplace, including increased productivity, employee satisfaction and cost savings and efficiencies. With current legislation* allowing all employees to request flexible working, the BYOD movement is an enabler that supports employers in considering such requests.
BYOD is not without its challenges for businesses, such as a higher risk of data protection and confidentially. There is a potential conflict between the employee owning the device but the organisation owning the data accessed on it. Security, access and control are all challenges in terms of integration. In a corporate environment, these issues can be addressed through policies, procedures and restrictions.
What do you think? Does our experience reflect what is happening in your organisation? We’d love to hear how changing working practices affect your need for AV – tweet us using the hashtag #flexibleworking
*as at July 2015