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‘Creating intelligent workspaces is the future of work’

‘Creating intelligent workspaces is the future of work’

How organisations are rethinking workplace design

Audrey William of Frost & Sullivan

Audrey William of Frost & Sullivan

Credit: Audrey William

In today’s competitive marketplace that demands constant creativity and innovation, there’s an increased need to rethink workplace design.

“Creating intelligent workspaces like the huddle room, is the future of work,” says Audrey William, senior fellow and head of research at Frost & Sullivan Australia and New Zealand.

“Small meeting spaces are fast becoming smart workspaces where high performance collaboration like problem solving and idea generation are taking place,” says William.

She believes that over time, collaboration technologies like video will evolve even further with many already starting to include the integration of smart devices and voice activated speakers powered by artificial intelligence technologies.

She predicts: “In the next three years we can expect to see more cloud based innovation driving new collaboration solutions. Cost effective next generation workplace of the future technologies will appeal to NZ businesses.”

William is commenting on a new report which finds organisations across the Asia Pacific are creating more open, natural and agile workplaces to encourage collaboration.

At a meeting room at MYOB
At a meeting room at MYOB

Businesses are finding value in creating smaller, more agile spaces that enable people to meet when they need to, regardless of location, according to the Growing Big Ideas from Small Spaces: The Polycom Huddle Room Report.

Open workplaces or larger conference rooms, it points out, are not always ideal when it comes to hosting impromptu meetings or confidential discussions.

Agile workspaces such as huddle rooms enable important calls and video conferences to take place as required, ensuring that remote workers have sufficient face time, contribute to team meetings and feel included.

A “huddle workspace” is  a small meeting room or area that due to its size or layout can accommodate only a small number of people - typically six or less - giving them an intimate space to meet and collaborate.

Huddle rooms emerged from the need to enable team gatherings and interactions, where ideas can be shared and teams can collaborate as and when required.

These findings suggest a significant opportunity for decision-makers to improve collaboration experiences for their employees within the small meeting room environment, says Gabrielle Cichero, senior director, Polycom Asia Pacific.

“Organisations need to be thinking about what steps they need to be taking now, in order to remain relevant to the future of work,” she points out.

Businesses need to think about steps they can take now to remain relevant to the future of work, including keeping pace with the huddle transformation curve

Gabrielle Cichero, Polycom

“In line with what we’re seeing across the region, New Zealand businesses need to think about steps they can take now to remain relevant to the future of work, including keeping pace with the huddle transformation curve,” says Cichero.

“We know that creating smarter, technology enabled huddle spaces is no longer a ‘nice to have’ in today’s globally connected marketplace.

“New Zealand is a market of early tech adopters and we expect the huddle movement to be equally significant for small to midsize businesses as it will be for large scale enterprise.

“Today’s digital workers want to work smarter – connect and interact spontaneously, produce outcomes and drive results quicker,” says Cichero. “Technology-enabled huddle rooms satisfy this need for real-time, productive collaboration.”

‘Remember, you are on camera’

Videoconferences, meanwhile, are giving rise to a new etiquette in the workplace.

The Growing Big Ideas from Small Spaces report shares basic tips for this new work environment.

A key advice is to test the technology prior to using it for the first time. Some technologies require plugins which may take a few minutes to download and install and may also not be compatible with all browsers, it points out.

Have your content ready, make sure your slides or documents are ready to go. “Can you see my content yet?” is the new “Can you hear me now?” question and it’s frustrating.

Those who have been accustomed to audio-only calls, have probably developed keen multitasking skills while simultaneously losing the ability to keep a neutral facial expression.

But within video-enabled huddle rooms, you may not always be speaking but you’re still visible, the report states.

“Forget checking emails, having ‘on mute’ conversations with the colleague seated next to you, rolling your eyes or having a stretch while yawning - everyone on a video call can see you!”

Meetings go faster when you don’t have to keep saying, “I’m sorry, can you repeat that,” which is a code for “I wasn’t listening, but I just heard my name.”

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Tags strategycommunicationagileglobalizationpolycomvideoconferencingFrost & SullivanAIAudrey Williamglobalisationfuture of workStartupglobal cioABWdigital workplaceinclusioncontinuous learningDevopsleadershipcollaborationagilityGabrielle Cichero

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