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What's in a Room?

We talk a lot about how important meetings are within business. This is a non-disputable fact. If you work in a business; you attend meetings.

There will also be specific rooms inside every office that are designated just for meetings. Yes, you know all this already, so let’s jump to the point.

The cost of real estate for companies is increasing. Renting offices can be an expensive outlay leaving only a few options in order to maximise ROI per square metre.

Many companies are using the policy of hot-desking to reduce the number of staff in the building at any one time, but it seems that this also reduces staff morale and productivity, so is actually not such a great idea. This was discussed in more detail in “Does the Perfect Office Environment Exist?” If you would like to find out more.

A better adaption to hot-desking is employing full flexible working practices, which allow employees to work from wherever, whenever. In this situation video conferencing plays a major part in staff not having to come in to the office; instead they can still collaborate in a face-to-face scenario and maintain both productivity whilst feeling like part of the team still.

The realisation for companies is that happy motivated employees work more efficiently and productively, which in turn generates more income. Creating a flexible collaborative community has fast become a focus for enterprise and global corporations, allowing employees to break away from offices, old fashioned rules and some of the peer pressures that come with working in an enclosed space. Staff who create their own working environment generally have a better work/life balance, and it has been said that many people are now looking more favourable to flexible working over salary when considering a new role.

You may have heard over the last year, “the workplace of the future” and how employees can “defy distance”. This is all related to being able to work away from the office, to provide flexibility and the fact that collaboration is not interrupted. Read our previous article, "Everybody Wants a Window Seat" to find out more about the changes that are currently happening within business.

This does mean though, that staff both at home and in the office need a video conferencing service, which brings up the question that is really worth thinking about.

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In order for staff to get the best out of video conferencing, it has to work well end-to-end. In other words their quality of experience needs to be high. At Videocall we measure the quality of experience when it comes to video conferencing using the following metrics: Access to the service, Usability, Operating Environment, Overall Experience, Availability and Support.

A number of these factors correlate with the topic of meeting rooms: Operating Environment, Experience and Availability; so we are going to look at these three in more detail.

To get the perfect quality of experience, a meeting room must be lit well and quiet (operating environment); be able to provide perfect visual and audio quality (experience); and finally, be available for use when needed (availability).

Companies need to ask questions of their current meeting rooms to make sure that they are fulfilling these three sections of the quality of experience circle and are getting the most from their video conferencing.  

Are they constantly used? Are they too big? What kind of meetings are being held in them? Are they effective for the space they take up?

A big meeting room could probably be turned into a space for a number of workers or divided in to a couple of smaller meeting rooms if it is not being used efficiently. Alternatively, a smaller office could have video conferencing equipment installed to turn it into a perfect collaboration room, and save one person from sitting in the boardroom in a meeting and causing lack of availability.

Companies like Polycom have been working hard over the last few years to ensure that they are creating different systems for all the different types of meeting rooms that companies have. From the immersive telepresence boardrooms, through large and medium sized set-ups with multiple or single screens, to huddle and desktop solutions for small or personal spaces.

Part of the issue for companies is knowing what technology works in what space. It can all get a little confusing. What screens, codecs and microphone combination will work best in each room? You don’t want to look like you are in a bowling alley scenario where by the people at the head of the table can hardly be seen and their audio sounds distant. Equally you don’t want a camera that cannot pan wide enough to see everyone round a table in a small room.  

So if room management is an issue at your company, think about the quality of experience for the staff using the rooms. If it is not being fulfilled at one or more points, then perhaps Videocall, as a company that is solely focussed on video conferencing can help. Please contact us using the form to the right to find out more.

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