In a hyper-connected world where technology penetration is high, meetings are increasingly becoming accessible from anywhere, at any time. Digitalisation has revolutionised workplace communications in recent years, allowing for seamless, convenient, and efficient collaboration between employees.
Furthermore, the gig-economy has led to an ever-increasing penchant for freelance and contract work, and a society that is more attached to personal technology devices. These factors have contributed to a need for collaboration systems that employees can connect to from their own devices using their preferred conference solutions rather than using technology provided by the organisation.
While this distributed workforce model has its benefits, it also presents unique challenges that need to be addressed by both employers and employees.
The corporate world is moving towards providing greater flexibility for employees by allowing them work remotely and host virtual meetings using their preferred devices and solutions. Employees want a hybrid workplace model, where most of their time is spent in the office but they have the flexibility and freedom to work from home when it works best for them or suits the type of work they need to do. Barco’s Clickshare Study found that among Asian respondents, the ideal balance on average 3 days in the office, with a maximum of 2 days a week working remotely. The survey also suggested that the top benefits of working from home is the flexibility to work at the times that suit best, followed by time saved from travelling. Respondents chose video conferencing equipment for use in meeting rooms as their preferred destination for new investment in the future as compared to more desk space and more private offices.
Compatibility and cybersecurity
A crucial component of successful businesses and a key goal for organisations is frictionless collaboration. Technology adoption has grown significantly over the last decade, enabling a more sustainable and reliable global remote working environment.
Despite this, employees experience compatibility issues and face challenges in connecting to meetings with different devices and conferencing solutions. Additionally, the business concerns about cybersecurity while sharing information in virtual meetings rooms persist. Earlier this year, the Cyber Security Authority of Singapore issued a warning advisory on opportunistic cyber criminals are leveraging the COVID-19 situation to conduct malicious cyber activities through means such as emails or messages that entice users to open malicious attachments by offering more information related to the COVID-19 situation. Cyber attackers simply won’t give up – they will keep trying until they succeed.
To address this gap, companies need to adopt technologies that are reliable and secure, as well as compatible with the personal devices that employees prefer to use. There is a need for a mindset shift around security threats to company data from using external devices. With the right technology, security measures and training for employees, this threat can be minimised.
Technology is designed to empower companies and employees. Enabling flexibility and productivity in the workplace will produce better business outcomes. The device or solution an employee prefers to use does not need to impact quality, security or compatibility. Integrated conferencing solutions allow users to easily integrate with other conferencing solutions while adhering to their company’s policies. Solutions like these enable employees to use the tools they know and trust while ensuring that data is securely managed during interactions.
It is not just down to individuals anymore.
As a result of Covid-19, The ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ (BYOM) trend is growing even more rapidly. Results from the same Barco survey indicated that 58% of employees prefer to host video calls from their laptop, compared to 17% who prefer in-room systems and 19% who like to use their smartphone. Given the various options available, businesses must embrace a BYOM approach to get ahead of the curve.
The long-term solution lies in cooperation between product manufacturers, the opportunities to widen the scope and reach of such conferencing technologies and end users to expand the development of meeting technologies.
As the Managing Director of Barco Southeast Asia, Gan Ta Loong is responsible for revenue and operational management at Barco Southeast Asia and Taiwan. While overseeing the business and operations focusing on the healthcare, enterprise and entertainment segments for Barco in the region, Ta Loong is also the Vice President for ProAV, events, virtual reality and simulation segments for Barco across the Asia Pacific region.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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