by Orhan Ali
The meeting begins. A quick check of the self view and then the small talk can start. “Are you at home or in the office today?”, goes a common first question nowadays. The past few months have indeed been favourable for flexible working, making flexible solutions palatable to companies and employees alike. So what’s coming? Office meeting rooms are increasingly becoming modern workplace hubs for efficient collaboration in large teams. Rigid office structures are out.
This creates all new challenges for companies. What role will the office even play in the future? How can you create an optimal meeting experience for all employees and empower hybrid work models? What tools and technologies do you need for that? Looking at companies shows that when it comes to hybrid meetings, the right equipment is simply not there. And it’s less about what devices employees have on their desk than the technology they find in meeting rooms. Many spaces are set up to create ideal working conditions for groups of people who are all physically there, not work groups that may span three continents. And that needs to change.
We’ve put together six questions and their answers on the topic of meeting rooms in the age of hybrid to give you some tips for finding your individual solution.
To facilitate efficient work, which simply can’t be done without the right technology. Well-equipped meeting rooms equal efficient and undisrupted hybrid meetings. Moreover, employees can then quickly and easily pop in and share results and ideas with absolutely no hiccups. This saves time and lays the foundations for creative and effective collaboration in dispersed teams.
What’s more, modern technology requires far less maintenance—a load off IT’s mind. And finally, a modern working environment gives the corporate image, employee satisfaction, and employer brand a distinct boost. All worth a great deal when companies everywhere are struggling to fill expert positions. After all, talent can work together wherever they are and don’t have to relocate to find their dream job. As long as the technology is effective, then so is communication in your teams.
A good, undisrupted meeting experience requires two things in particular: Firstly, modern conference solutions that integrate with each other and are above all flexible—ideally from the same manufacturer. And secondly, the right collaboration platform. One of the most popular platforms is Microsoft Teams, which facilitates real-time collaboration, including in hybrid-teams.
But companies also need a suitable strategy to efficiently manage hybrid workflows. Microsoft Teams combines chat, meeting and file sharing capabilities plus business applications in one place. This means that users don’t have to keep switching between multitudes of tools and can simply work in a single environment, saving time, avoiding time wasted searching for things, and contributing to a modern working approach that people will enjoy. And the statistics back up how important these tools are. Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and Outlook are in the top 20 most used cloud services. By the way, Lenovo products are certified for use with Microsoft Teams—that’s software and hardware working hand in hand. Employees can keep using the Teams they know to launch meetings—ensuring efficient, location-agnostic and secure collaboration.
Nothing is more annoying than a meeting that begins with technical issues. Wasted time, frustration, and trouble concentrating are the consequences—but you can avoid these challenges. What’s key is that you implement a holistic concept, meaning a collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams that works for remote users and on meeting room devices alike. It’s also important to ensure unified meeting room equipment (see our next point) so that users can quickly set up and join meetings in any room and also on the go.
Lenovo’s ThinkSmart conference room solutions encompass all of these points: From individual offices to huddle spaces and large conference rooms, Lenovo offers scalable solutions for everywhere people meet, including the accessories they need, whether you’re looking for a cost-efficient upgrade for your existing meeting rooms or designing new meeting spaces from scratch. For instance, you could deck out your conference rooms with the ThinkSmart Core Full Room Kit for an all-in-one unified communications (UC) solution. Or you can opt for the modular ThinkSmart Core and Controller Kit for rooms that already have A/V technology.
If all of your meeting rooms have been kitted out with different hardware, managing it all can quickly become overwhelming. A better approach is to modernise your meeting rooms through standardisation, e.g. using ThinkSmart Manager. This intelligent management software lets your IT team smoothly deploy, monitor, manage and troubleshoot all installed ThinkSmart devices remotely.
Moreover, when selecting your meeting room components, you should make sure they can’t serve as a gateway for hackers, because nowadays there’s hardly ever a video conference that doesn’t cover sensitive data, new products or services, or internal decisions. Devices like the ThinkSmart Hub and ThinkSmart Core come with optimum protection built in: ThinkShield. This integrated suite of security solutions offers comprehensive security for your devices and data. Both the Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub and Lenovo ThinkSmart Core and Controller also feature a Kensington MiniSaver lock to physically secure them so you can protect your company against cyber attacks and your devices against theft.
Lenovo ThinkSmart conference room solutions, for example, together with Motorola Ready For Smartphones lets you easily join a video conference on the go. The Ready For solutions let you work with smartphones and take part in video meetings like never before, both on the go and when working from home, because the technology lets you access both smartphone apps and PC files on the same screen.
Then there’s Lenovo notebooks like the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, offering a smartphone-like experience and a longer battery life, or the ThinkPad Z series and the X1 series together with Lenovo ThinkSmart Core Teams for smooth collaboration from the office and home. A key feature of all of these solutions is that devices work together hassle-free with no additional apps required, and that they make communication simple. And secure.
A good user experience is a critical decision factor when choosing a modern meeting solution, which is why innovative room concepts that foster creativity and collaboration should not be left by the wayside. We’re here for you to help you tackle these challenges. Bechtle will advise you on a comprehensive modern meeting concept, zooming in on topics such as user adoption and change management, the right room setup and introducing modern processes into your company.
Lenovo solutions also offer many more benefits. A stand out example is the three-year Premier Support with select devices even enjoying one year of Professional Service. This covers remote support for installing and deploying devices, as well as maintenance, asset management, documentation and user recommendations for optimum use of Lenovo products.