Employees around the world have settled into the rhythms of remote work. The response to COVID-19 had caused companies to develop temporary procedures for working from home. Today, ten months into COVID-19 restrictions, it’s time to create a digital workplace strategy for the coming years. What is the future of the workplace and how can we prepare for it right now? 

Many employees don’t want to return to the office for five days a week, seven hours a day. A survey in May revealed that 55% of U.S. workers want a mixture of home and office working. But offices are designed to be spaces for collaboration, focus and productivity. Unlike many home offices, a corporate office is equipped with the latest audio, video and networking technology. It can be challenging to recreate the traditional workplace experience in a home office.

For many companies, the future of the workplace is a hybrid model that combines remote work and office time. Microsoft was one of the first to announce its adoption of the hybrid workplace model. “Hybrid” tends to mean more freedom around when and where employees work. A standard procedure for hybrid companies includes designated days for in-office meetings and collaboration, and remote days for individual focus and flexibility. A successful hybrid model should support employee engagement through collaboration and enhanced user experience — meanwhile, supporting well-being while in the office using thermal detection entry points, occupancy monitoring for social distancing and touchless, voice-activated technology.

  • Thermal Detection Entry Points: Employees will step in front of a thermal-detection camera to determine their body temperature and if it’s safe for them to enter the office. We featured Athena’s Temperature Detection System and OneScreen’s GoSafe Body Temperature and Facial Recognition Scanner on our blog
  • Occupancy Monitoring: Conference rooms will be fitted with technologies like Crestron Scheduling Panels to limit the number of individuals in a room to accommodate for adequate social distancing. Employees will be able to schedule meetings and share them with colleagues through touchless technology or on their own devices.
  • Touchless Meeting Technology: Touchless, voice-activated technology will be deployed to control lighting, audio and video equipment (earlier this year, we also shared a story on our favorite touchless meeting control technology from Crestron and QSC on our blog). BYOD — bring your own device — environments can simplify presentations, while individuals can also avoid using the same device that has been touched by others. 

The health and safety of employees should remain the top priority for companies transitioning to hybrid workplaces. While everyone can expect more flexibility in the way they do their jobs, companies want to bring employees back to the workplace because organizations understand the need for people to come together.

If you’re looking for support navigating technology for the future of the workplace, AV Planners has proven success in designing and integrating hybrid workplaces. Contact AV Planners to learn more about our services. Keep up with the latest news from AV Planners on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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