The tried-and-true workplace meeting is changing–and fast! Although face-to-face meetings still occur, virtual meetings using Skype, huddle rooms and video conferencing facilities are gaining ground.The reason is the trend toward the ‘flexible workplace’–staffed by a ‘distributed workforce’–where employees do their work from anywhere, at any time, and on their own terms.
The kicker: “A company cannot have a distributed workforce unless that workforce is able to stay connected with the right people and information; anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” said workplace trends expert Jacob Morgan. “This means deploying the right collaborative technologies that enable this to happen.”
Supporting a distributed workforce requires businesses to provide points of contact across their physical premises, and not just in top-end conference rooms. Smaller huddle rooms and even manager desktops should be equipped with two-way video conferencing equipment that can connect to remote users via fixed and mobile devices, and be capable of sharing multimedia content in both directions. To maximize resource usage, conference and huddle rooms should be managed using an automated room booking system.
To make sure your workplace meeting capabilities are keeping up, answer the following three questions:
How are my people meeting these days?
Poll your managers and top staff: When they can’t meet in person, do they rely on phone calls? Email? Video conferencing?
How can these meetings be improved?
Can your people easily share content with remote users? Can they ‘see’ mobile device users using video conferencing? And can these remote ‘digital natives’ use their preferred workflow and social media tools during virtual meetings?
How can I improve my company’s communications technology?
Fixing communications shortfalls will likely require a qualified systems integrator that understands the changing needs of your workers.