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The nature of how we gather and work is forever changed. While there still are instances where an in-person “view only” video presentation is applicable, we now live in a video collaboration world. Every space where a video screen is used to present information should be configured to accommodate remote participants.

The new normal is Work from Anywhere. Data indicates that most people still prefer a traditional office setting with social interaction, but others value the flexibility to work part- or full-time from home. On-site workers need to feel safe at work and be able to collaborate with employees located elsewhere. The workplace of the future must be highly flexible to support employees everywhere.

Social distancing requires fewer people occupy each room, which amplifies the need for more meeting spaces and supporting technologies. Large meeting rooms that normally seat ten or more effectively become mid-sized meeting rooms with a limit of five. Small spaces are limited to two people, and huddle rooms are repurposed as private offices or closed off altogether.

When video interaction moves beyond the laptop on your desk, there is a range of video collaboration solutions. Small rooms are configured with a fixed display, camera, and speakers using simple, automated controls. Mobile collaboration “carts” provide a flexible option. Larger meeting spaces may require multiple screens, auto-mixed arrays of microphones, software-controlled ceiling speakers, acoustic treatment, lighting control, and wireless connectivity for every device in the room for “touchless” meetings.

Zoom or Skype may be all that’s needed, but larger organizations will likely choose a “platform” like Cisco/WebEx or Office360/Teams with room scheduling options. Regardless of your organization’s size, Torrence has the experience and expertise to configure a solution that meets your needs.

Work from Anywhere is about workplace flexibility both in the traditional workspace as well as developing spaces. Productivity is enhanced by providing easy-to-deploy systems and easy to operate for impromptu meetings—on-site or virtually. Clear, echo-free audio and crisp video is a must. But these basics can be challenging to achieve without specialized components designed and installed by systems integration experts who work with this technology every day.

Ensuring the safety of staff who interact with the technology is also a significant concern. For infrequent users, sanitizing patch cables and control surfaces may be sufficient, but high-demand rooms should be configured with as much wireless technology as possible. Technology can also help enable the implementa¬tion of new processes and provide a way to monitor and enforce new guidelines. Examples of the new office environment include furniture redistribution and augmentation, controlled circulation footpaths, technolo¬gy-enabled touchless meetings, wireless presentation solutions, clear signage, room occupancy indicators, people counters, sensors to trigger actions, and intuitive mobile apps.

In-office and remote meeting spaces need to be designed for mobility, scalability, and flexibility, taking into account the tech¬nologies that enable collaborative workflows. Deployment and commissioning of room control and collaboration devices can be done from anywhere, making it easy to scale and quickly add more collaboration spaces as needed. Device management can also be done remotely, providing flexibility to transition meeting spaces into collaboration spaces, and troubleshoot from any location. Techs are no longer required to program each device on-site.

It’s short-sighted to build any meeting space that is not considered safe for in-house users and accessible to remote participants. Look to Torrence to assist with the design, implementation, and support of your collaboration systems.

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