PODCAST: How meeting technology is changing for the hybrid workplace
As people head back to the office, technology is having to work harder to help colleagues connect
While a slow return to the office is underway, collaborating virtually remains the norm, with teams often still split between home and the workplace.
It’s highlighted a surprising issue: When it comes to collaborating over software, offices can be seen lagging behind.
“Working from home we learned that we could operate on-demand very easily in a software-only environment. We could hold a 10-person meeting effectively just by sending out a URL and pressing a button to start,” says John Corbett, head of workplace strategy at Cisco Systems Inc. “We’ve returned to the office and to do the same thing you’ve got to book a meeting room, find it, plug things in and so forth, and suddenly it’s looking quite hard.”
Cisco, which owns the teleconferencing and networking platform WebEx, is evolving its technology to help the workplace connect with people rather than the other way around by leveraging existing workplace devices. This means workers can, for example, transfer between different areas of an office mid-call or conference call without having to tap codes into devices or switch buttons.
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However, while technology can assist with better utilisation of a workplace, it’s not a magic bullet, says Sonya Alexander, workplace strategist at JLL.
“Before optimising their workplaces, companies must understand the balance between supporting the goals of the business and listening to what people need,” she says. “Barriers such as a lack of knowledge of the technology in place, or the right way to behave in the new environment all need to be managed upfront, because without this due diligence, no change can ever be as effective.”
Corbett and Alexander both feature in episode 22 of JLL’s Perspectives podcast. Listen via the player above, or click here.