Zoom, Teams, Lifesize, StarLeaf. These Video Conferencing Solutions have changed the way we work. But what happens to video conferencing after lockdown?
Video meetings have been a saviour for many businesses during the lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. With office workers told to avoid travel, contact with others and work from home where possible, those who have been able to adopt or continue using video communication have been able to drastically reduce disruption. Video has kept people collaborating and moving forward. But more than that: It’s given people an insight as to what is possible using video technology.
The Benefits of Video Meetings
People no longer need to spend hours commuting to work every day or travelling to meetings. Spending time instead working on other projects or readdressing their work-life balance. It’s also saving much needed money and reducing Co2 emissions, as smog lifts from our cities and the planet literally stops trembling from human movement.
Other cited benefits include improved relationships with colleagues, feeling more connected and engaged with the team and attending meetings you would otherwise have missed due to time or location constraints. People are also able to sit-in on meetings they would not normally be privy to (clients don’t want the entire team turning up at their offices to discuss a brief now do they?) People are also communicating with each other during online meetings using the chat functions. Reminding each other to mention key points or wrap up on time – vital advantages when you’re updating the Big Boss or pitching to clients.
So what happens to video meetings when lockdown is over and we are free to go back to our offices? Will we even go? Will we still use video?
I think the answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES. But working life is going to look very different. So what does video conferencing after lockdown look like?
Office or Home?
Whilst workers know they CAN work from home, they don’t necessarily want to all the time. People miss having somewhere to go, people to bump into, and the general buzz of an office environment. What we’ll see is an increasing demand for choice: office or home. And the result will be a hybrid of office and home working, depending on the tasks people are doing each day.
From this perspective, the desktop video call will continue to be vital in life after lockdown. Making a quick video call is the most efficient way of chatting with colleagues if you’re not sure if they’re working from home or on the floor above you. You can still have a face to face chat and share screens wherever they are. Lots of businesses are utilising Microsoft Teams for this exact reason, whilst others are discovering the StarLeaf app for a direct line to ‘just call’ for a face-to-face chat without having to set up an online meeting. We will start to see increased demand for better quality desktop cameras and microphones so the quality of the discussion is not impeded by being online.
Meeting Room Fit Out
Whilst on-line meetings are currently the norm, the meeting room will still be important for office meetings. But video meetings from a meeting room needs to be as seamless as it is from your desktop. Unfortunately, the video conferencing set-ups we are using in our homes just won’t work in a meeting room. You need larger screens, better sound, proper cameras, better acoustics. The good news is that these solutions are easy to source and more affordable than you might think. The most important thing is getting the right equipment for the size of the space – especially microphones and audio. Get this right and you can guarantee a good quality experience.
You also need meeting room video conferencing that is easy to use. People need to be able to walk in, start a meeting, bring people in, share screens, and collaborate, without fiddly wires or asking people to download software. It’s easy to do with the right solutions. We like StarLeaf as a complete hardware and software solution that is compatible with Microsoft Teams as well as legacy systems. The touch screen interfaces are simple to use, offering a seamless user experience with unsurpassed security features. There’s also an option to connect instantly to meetings scheduled on your smartphone.
Standardisation of equipment
As people return to the office after lockdown, and video conferencing continues, there will be calls from IT staff to standardise and centralise video deployments. People have been adopting different hardware and software solutions as a reflex reaction to the sudden lockdown. But eventually, when everyone comes back together, the tech inside the business needs to be standardised. So it’s easier to use, maintain and scale. Users want to be able to just walk into a meeting room and know how to connect to video. And IT staff want to be able to respond to problems with minimum fuss. Video deployments with centralised management features will also make things easier to manage on a business-wide level. They will also allow IT staff the same flexibility to work remotely if they choose.
Video Conferencing After Lockdown: The Legacy of Covid-19
In short, after lockdown, video meetings will continue and develop at a pace we have never seen before. What has started as a living-room revolution will transform the way we communicate and work in our offices. But we will need to build on what we’ve learned and equip our desks and our meeting rooms to accommodate this vital tool. We need things to be simple to use and standardised across the business. We also need to be 100% confident in the security of the solutions we choose.
Expertise you can trust
At TecInteractive we have been advocates of video communication for many years. We have expertise in identifying the right solutions for each business. And because we’re independent and not tied to any particular vendor, we’ll only recommend the solutions we truly believe are right for you. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to improve, simplify or standardise your existing deployments. Find out more about our consultancy, installation and support services or give us a call to talk it all through.