The Right Technology For Agile Working

technology for agile working

Technology enables agile working – but getting it wrong can slow people down. We look at choosing the right technology for agile working environments:

Agile working is the means of being able to work anywhere. At home, in a café, on a bean bag in the office, or indeed at an office desk. Anywhere. And it’s technology that allows us to do that. It’s all about having the freedom and flexibility to choose where you work. But getting technology right in an agile working environment isn’t simply about giving people a wi-fi password and a laptop. Too often businesses choose to adopt agile working without giving enough consideration to what they really need.  So what technology is the right technology for agile working?

The first thing to be clear on, is what does ‘agile’ truly mean? ‘Agility’ is the ability to move quickly and easily. So, an agile working environment should allow workers to move from one place of work to another, quickly and easily. Whether it’s a meeting room, a breakout area or your home living room. But this is often where technology for agile working falls short. People are held back by fiddly wires, unreliable connections and frustrating ‘computer says no’ scenarios.

Getting technology right in an agile working environment is about choosing the right solutions that give people the flexibility to work anywhere. Not giving them a tech-headache because things don’t work as efficiently as they should. As with most technology decisions, simplicity is the key.  Here are a few ideas:

Technology for Agile Working

The Right Technology For Agile Working

From Agile Space to Personal Desk

Often businesses that promote agile working use hot-desking or hoteling as a cost-effective way to make the most of their space. But trying to hunt down a vacant space can really slow you down. Try using a simple, easy to use booking system like GoBright. A simple colour coding system makes it easy to see and book available desks either online or in person. It will hold your seat if you have to go away or release desks where someone hasn’t shown up. And once you’re logged in via your smartphone or personal NFC-card, the sit or stand desk can automatically adjust to your personal preferences.

The Right Technology For Agile Working

Plug and Play

Agile working often leads to activity based workplaces – offices that are designed to accommodate different activities – from quiet working spaces to collaboration zones and huddle spaces. To collaborate, workers need areas where they can connect their laptop to a big screen to share their ideas with others – not have everyone crammed around someone’s laptop. But fiddly wires to connect can really take the spontaneity out of a huddle meeting.  Wireless presentation systems like Clickshare provide an easy plug-and-play solution to connect your screen to the big screen. Whether you are working from a laptop, tablet or mobile. It’s quick and easy – everything agile working should be!

The Right Technology For Agile Working

From Desk to Meeting Room to Living Room

Cloud-based technology is the secret to agile working. There is nothing more frustrating than not having access to files and materials because you are not sat within the company network. Make sure your servers are accessible (and secure) for everyone, anywhere. And then choose technology that allows you to maximise this feature. For example, an interactive display  which is connected to the cloud, gives you the option to access files from your desktop, annotate and enhance in a meeting, and then save and access again the next day when you’re working from home. For creatives, the Nureva Span provides a digital canvas that teams can use for collaboration and then save to the cloud to revert back to wherever they may be working next. So working is seamless, and, well, agile!

The Right Technology For Agile Working

Instant Recognition

We’re getting so used to intuitive, simple tech in our personal lives – with fingerprint, voice or iris recognition, shouldn’t we have the same simplicity in our agile working environments? Increasingly intelligent solutions are being adopted with our workplace technology – where all you need is a personal security card, thumb print or your smartphone for technology to assume your own personal settings. Take for example the new StarLeaf Touch 2045; the video conferencing main control unit will instantly recognise registered users when their smartphone comes into close proximity. So that scheduled meetings are synced with the systems and ready to take place at the touch of a button. Now that sounds like the sort of recognition that we all deserve!

Home, Sweet Office

If you’re a fan of working from home do you ever worry about the impact on collaboration when people aren’t all in the same office? Often, there’s a sacrifice: meetings get postponed or decision making is delayed as key stake-holders are missing. But if you have a reliable video communication channel this doesn’t have to be the case. We like StarLeaf for video communication – not only are their simple meeting room systems really easy to use, their secure network allows you to speak to anyone from anywhere. Call quality is great (subject to internet connection) and you can see when someone is available to chat – so you can still ‘drop-in’ on a colleague working from home. From quick catch ups, to decision making meetings, to screen-sharing,  a great video communication system will ensure agile working  does not compromise on collaboration.

The Right Technology For Agile Working

Agile working has many benefits for an organisation. But the technology that enables it must also be right, so that it doesn’t ultimately slow you down. We work with many businesses to help them identify what technology is going to help them work quickly and easily. We also have a partnership with office design experts Blueprint Interiors, so if you want to design your office to support agile working or create an activity based working environment, we know exactly where to start. Contact us to find out more…

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Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Neutral decor

If the array of Interactive Displays on the market has left you feeling spoilt for choice, maybe its time to let the experts decide….

In the world of interactive displays there are so many options to choose from. How do you even know where to start – let alone which one to pick?! We look at why the award winning interactive display range from CleverTouch might be the answer to your problems…In the world of interactive displays there are so many options to choose from. Different types of touch screens including IR on glass, EMR (electromagnetic resonance) or infrared. Different features available including video calling, simultaneous annotation and software and app availability. Various connection outputs as well as choosing inbuilt or external PC… The list goes on and on. Every feature requires careful consideration to make sure you get it right, because every organisation and its needs are different. But if you’re looking for a quick place to start, looking for an award-winning interactive display might save you some valuable research time.

For me, I have been recommending interactive display solutions to our customers for many years across a range of manufacturers, depending on their budget and needs. But recently one of our favourite interactive display manufacturers has been reaching high critical acclaim, and we know why. CleverTouch have been continually evolving their interactive displays for many years. The current CleverTouch range offers multi-award winning interactive displays which offer solutions for a range of customers. Keen to find out more..?

What Makes an Award Winning Interactive Display?

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

The CleverTouch Pro Series

First of all, let’s start with the basics: the CleverTouch Pro Series offer two models of interactive display designed for business: the CleverTouch Pro Series E-CAP and the CleverTouch Pro Series High Precision. The first features dual touch-screen technologies designed to recognise both stylus and hand gestures simultaneously. The latter offers an ultra-precise writing experience. The CleverTouch range has received many awards and was most recently awarded Best Display Technology for Collaborating and Conferencing at the inAVation Awards.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Simplicity + Quality

Whichever model you go for, each screen features 4K Ultra HD resolution, 20 point touch, integrated speakers and 8ms response time. But the real draw with these award-winning interactive displays is the simplicity of them. They are easy to install, easy to update, and super-intuitive so whatever your background, you’ll feel comfortable using them. With Clevershare, you can just walk into the room and tap in your 6 digit code to instantly share your laptop with the main screen. Its as simple as that. And you can switch between laptops just as easily, either by using the app or one of the included Clevershare USB dongles – so even guests can share with ease.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

For Collaboration Spaces

The 4K screen and intuitive touch makes it really easy to see information in meetings. They’re designed to be used in meeting rooms, auditoriums, reception areas and break out spaces – in fact anywhere where people need to collaborate or get creative. With an inbuilt 4K PC, the display makes for a very neat solution which can be either wall mounted or on a mobile trolley so it can be moved between spaces – ideal for agile working or breakout spaces.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

App Access

The CleverTouch Pro Series offers a complete package of apps and software, as well as access to the full Microsoft software suite, to enable seamless collaboration. These include apps for screen sharing, remote annotation on shared documents and an infinity whiteboard designed for business. It also includes Sedao digital signage software so the screens can be managed centrally to communicate messages to users. This might include alerts when a new meeting is due to start or company communications when the screens are not in use.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Partners

You can easily combine with a video conferencing app like Skype for Business or StarLeaf to provide a high quality, complete collaboration solution. Connecting people, wherever they are, and helping them to work more efficiently and more collaboratively.  Best of all, the apps and software are available free, for life, with no subscriptions or additional charges from CleverTouch for updates. Now that sounds pretty seamless to us!

By partnering with some of the big names in workplace technology, including Intel, Microsoft, Zoom and Skype for Business you can guarantee your CleverTouch interactive display will work easily with programmes from these brands and give you the same reliable experience.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Updates & Upgrades

If you’re in charge of managing technology in your corporation, you’ll be pleased to know that updates, upgrades and user support are covered with remote management for 5 years, saving time and resources that can be spent elsewhere in the business. These screens are easily integrated with existing systems and processes, so installation is really simple. And security is paramount, so CleverTouch includes features like being able to work completely off network when required and automatically wipe the screen after use or via a centralised control. All this with a 5 year warranty as standard.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Touch Technology

The two models of the CleverTouch Pro Series for business, the Pro Series E-CAP and Pro Series High Precision, offer different touch technologies depending on your needs. The E-CAP uses a combination of IR on glass plus EMR (electromagnetic resonance) which provides a highly accurate and responsive screen for dual pen writing functionality. But it also recognises finger and touch gestures so you can write and gesture simultaneously. It is also a slimmer and more lightweight model.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

Intuitive Writing

The CleverTouch Pro Series High Precision also offers dual pen / dual colour stylus functionality but using infra-red technology for an enhanced standard of precision for writing.

This basically makes the E-CAP somewhat more intuitive, as you can write with a pen, swipe with your hand, highlight things with your finger, all at the same time which really comes into its own when collaborating.

As with any interactive display, I could write for hours about the intricate details of these solutions, but ultimately the proof is in the testing. So if you want to try out the award winning interactive display from CleverTouch for yourself, why not get in touch, and we’ll be more than happy to arrange a demonstration.

Is THIS The Ultimate Award-Winning Interactive Display?

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The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

benefits of video conferencing

Video conferencing has so many benefits so what’s holding people back?

Video conferencing can save time and money on business travel, whilst offering a benefit that can help to attract and retain talent. It could even help to address gender balance in the workplace…. So why aren’t more companies adopting it?

The benefits of video conferencing are being enjoyed by businesses, large and small across the globe. With instant cost savings on travel to meetings, the return on investment can be quickly calculated. Time saved on business travel is perhaps even more valuable for some. People spend less time on trains, planes and in cars so they can be more productive in the workplace, but also have a greater work-life balance without the pressures of excessive business travel or commuting.

Video conferencing can therefore help businesses to attract and retain the best people. In particular, groups such as working parents and millennials often prefer businesses that can offer them flexibility with when and where they work. Video conferencing provides a valuable medium to enable working from home, supporting those who want or need to work from home including working parents or people with disabilities.

So, if the benefits of video conferencing are so valuable, what is holding organisations back?

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

It’s too expensive…

Historically, video conferencing was a medium reserved for large corporates who could afford the large and expensive servers that were required. But now cloud-based video conferencing designed for business, means that you can get secure video conferencing plus desktop video calling at a very modest cost. For example, installing a single StarLeaf meeting room system for video conferencing can provide desktop video calling across an entire organisation, with the ability to video call anyone who has an internet connection and a camera.

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

It’s too big a change …

Of course, a major hesitation is cultural; leaders are nervous to take on a major change which will ultimately impact the working culture in their organisation. People often feel nervous or self-conscious seeing themselves on camera which can create a resistance to adopting video communication in an organisation.  Talking to your people and explaining to them why the company is moving to a video culture and explaining what’s in it for them, will help to address their concerns. Training and practice will also help people as they start to get used to a new way of communication. And once people get used to it, they will realise that the experience is so much richer than a phone call that they wont want to go back!

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

We’ll be open to hackers…

Security is also a concern. Businesses are often concerned that a more affordable cloud-based system cannot be relied upon for security of networks and puts them at risk of hackers. But choosing a provider with its own fully-owned network and known Points of Presence means you only need to open your firewalls to a single IP or DNS name. Endpoints outside the firewalls are at risk of spammers but choosing a network which can place endpoints inside your own private network will maintain security.

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

It’s just not reliable…

People are also put off by those awkward, stilted video conversations where sound cuts out, connection is lost and the conversation is a series of repetitions and confusions. If you’ve ever experienced this, it’s likely that you’re either on an old system, or a system that has been piecemealed together and is not fit for purpose. Choosing a complete, properly managed solution from a provider that is able to offer guaranteed uptime and responsive tech support will ensure your video meetings are as polished and professional as you are. It’s just about getting it right.

We have an organisation full of technophobes!

Most organisations will have a certain number of techno-phobes, and these people will provide a considerable resistance to change. But choosing a video conferencing solution that is intuitive and easy to use will help to appease anyone who is hesitant to adopt new technology.

Ultimately, as with any change, you need a considered strategy for implementation that looks at not just the technology, but also what changes need to be made to people, tasks and organisational structure too. Change is hard, but a necessary part of business success in the modern world. The key is to keep talking to your people, explaining the reasons and the benefits of video conferencing and supporting them as they adapt.

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

At TecInteractive, our philosophy is that technology should make life easier not harder. So we find solutions that are simple to use and that just work. If you’re ready to take the video conferencing challenge, we’ve got lots of ideas to make it a success – why not arrange a free trial so you can ‘try before you buy’? Just contact us to find out more.

The Benefits of Video Conferencing (and Why You Haven’t Adopted it Yet…).

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Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

benefits of video conferencing meeting rooms 2019

For the best AV tech for meeting rooms 2020, these audio visual solutions will get your business ready for the year ahead

The leading workplaces of today value collaboration, flexibility, wellbeing. And technology is a great enabler of these things. Workers want tech that makes their lives easier – that promotes work-life balance, that eliminates (rather than causes) workplace stress and that helps them to streamline their work and be more productive. Businesses are also thinking about Brexit, and growing doubt over HS2 which would change the future of business travel in the UK.

Our choices for the best AV tech for meeting rooms for 2020 have been influenced by all these factors. Take a look at our list, and see what AV you already have in your meeting rooms. And which ones you want to tackle in the year ahead…

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

1. Plug and Play AV:

The best AV tech in meeting rooms will enhance user experience – not bring it down. There’s nothing more frustrating and time consuming than fiddling with cables and wires at the start of a meeting. Plug and play has gone from being a buzz word, to being an essential feature for workplace technology and meeting room AV.

To wirelessly connect to a big screen, products like Clickshare are priceless. Or if you need to quickly connect to a camera and audio for video calling, plug and play technology like Logitech Rally, definitely fits the bill.

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

2. Video-Ready Meeting Rooms:

The growing accessibility and quality of video calling means that businesses everywhere are making their meeting rooms video-ready. 70% of SMEs would rather have a video conference than travel to meetings. It saves time and money and is likely to grow in importance if businesses move outside of the UK post-Brexit or HS2 is shelved.

Whilst SME’s maybe adopting video because it’s more affordable and efficient, larger organisations with legacy video systems like Cisco or Polycom are also overhauling their systems.  Businesses large and small are reaping the benefits of cloud-based systems like StarLeaf that offer secure and interoperable video calling that allow you to call anyone with an internet connection and a laptop camera. Or if you just need to upgrade your camera and audio, take a look at the new Logitech Rally. It offers a great quality camera and audio combo in one.  As technology develops, who knows, we may have hologram-calling in meeting rooms in the not too distant future!

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

3. Sound Systems That Talk the Talk:

Crystal clear audio in a meeting room is essential. Whether you’re having a conference call or showing a video presentation. But you no longer need a fancy integrated sound system. There’s a growing trend for simple plug and play speakers and microphones that offer great sound quality, without messing around with the office infrastructure. Products like the ground-breaking Nureva HDL-300, provides crystal clear sound and microphone coverage from its wall-mounted position. It offers quality and simplicity, connecting easily to personal devices for both network calls or the UC application of your choice.

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

4. Remote Collaboration:

As the trend for remote working continues, the need for remote collaboration only increases. We realise we need other people to work at our best, but video and conference calling can only get us so far. We’re therefore seeing more people using interactive displays to enhance AV tech in meeting rooms in 2020. These popular, touch screens are great for collaborating together in a room, but many models allow you to collaborate on the screen from different locations. You just connect to the main screen via a tablet or a laptop. This allows different users to collaborate on the same document, wherever they may be in the world. Combine this feature with great video and sound quality VC to get a truly collaborative experience. Cloud-based storage allows anyone to access the project afterwards to review or make changes from their personal device.

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

5. Standardisation of AV:

A key trend in meeting room AV is standardisation of meeting rooms. As technology develops it makes more sense for your AV deployments to be managed centrally through a remote source. This means every meeting room needs to have the same technology, rather than taking a piecemeal approach. Meeting room booking systems are a great example of this. They let anyone book and see room availability and they provide central analytics and management functions.

Video communication networks like StarLeaf allow all room deployments to be managed and maintained through a centralised system. It means you don’t have to visit every system in the business for maintenance or repairs. Not only are these solutions great for meeting room management, they also provide a simple and consistent experience for users. This reduces stress and downtime for users as well as calls to IT helpdesks with people just trying to figure out how things work.

Best AV Tech for Meeting Rooms 2020

6. Seamless AV Experience:

When people get into a meeting room, they need to have the same user experience as they do when they’re at their desk. Whether that’s accessing files or wifi, screen-sharing like you’re showing a person next to you or using your usual UC portal. We’re seeing an increase in technology that moves people towards a more seamless AV experience from desk to meeting room. For example, Teamline by StarLeaf provides Skype for Business video conferencing in a meeting room. Without Teamline, S4B users find it difficult to collaborate with others in a meeting room setting, the same way they do at their desktop. Teamline bridges this gap, increasing usability but keeping things simple for a seamless AV experience.

At TecInteractive we live and breathe AV for meeting rooms and the workplace. If you want some advice about choosing the best AV tech for meeting rooms you should adopt in 2020, why not contact us for a free consultation. Or download our free Guide to Meeting Room Tech.

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7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

Neutral decor

If you’re designing a video conferencing room these tips will help you get it right

Designing a video conferencing room requires a very specific brief. It’s not just like any other meeting room. Get it wrong, and you’ll find your meetings are less productive, as you struggle to connect with, see, hear and collaborate with your associates. But that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get it right. Follow these steps for designing a video conferencing room and we’ll make sure your video conferences are picture (and sound) perfect!

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

1. Neutral Room Décor

Don’t get us wrong. We LOVE funky room décor: bold wallpapers, bright colours. But it just doesn’t work when you’re designing a video conferencing room.

Ideally you want a neutral or pastel coloured wall behind you that doesn’t detract from the subject (you!).

But you also need to avoid white walls (and tables!) that reflect the light and make you harder to see. Keep it simple and save any statement design pieces for walls that are out of shot!

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

2. Acoustically Challenged

Large rooms in particular can prove a real challenge for acoustics. The empty spaces can make your voice take on a somewhat echoey tone which is off putting for both you and your associates.

An acoustic ceiling is a good way to address this or you could use acoustic absorption panels on the walls.

For optimum acoustic absorption, we recommend having suitable materials on about half of the wall space – ideally on two adjacent walls rather than on opposite walls.

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

3. Sounds Good 

There are so many great products available now that offer high quality audio – both in terms of picking up sound and in delivering it. For large spaces the Nureva HDL300 is a wall mounted sound bar that sends out thousands of virtual microphones in to the room picking up sound perfectly wherever people are sitting. Mounting it on the same wall as the video screen provides a more authentic, look-at-me experience as the sounds comes from the same place as the person speaking.

For smaller spaces and flexible sound, the Evoko Minto is easy to use, move and connect to via Bluetooth or cable. If you go for a separate microphone and speaker combination, make sure your microphones are well distributed and that the speakers are pointed away from them.

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

4. TV, Camera, Action

Getting the layout of your TV screen and camera right is really important.

Ideally the camera should be at eye level for a natural experience. But depending on the size of your room and the camera you have this may not always be possible.

A camera set above the screen will cover the room well but can throw faces into shadow and won’t be too flattering on bald spots! But below the screen can be too low and give less coverage. See how it looks given your specific room, technology and light.

And maybe consider getting a special wide-angled camera if designing smaller video conferencing rooms.

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

5. Have it All

You might find it makes more sense to invest in an all-in-one camera and audio system. We really like the new Logitech Rally which delivers studio quality video with impeccable voice clarity and clever science to make sure all voices are heard equally.

The modular audio systems can be used in medium to large meeting spaces, where additional microphones and speakers can be added with no added complexity. Its simple to use with a separate display hub and table hub to hide away all those messy wires.

It also integrates with any video conferencing application that is accessed via a computer or USB including Skype for Business, Google Hangouts and Zoom.

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

6. Content Sharing 

The best video calls give you a true face-to-face experience – as if you were really in the same room as each other.

A big part of that is to be able to show your associate what you are looking at or working on.

Having an additional screen for presentations and screen sharing may be appropriate in some larger video conferencing rooms. But for smaller spaces make sure you have a screen sharing function as part of your video conferencing deployment.

A solution like StarLeaf Breeze allows you to switch seamlessly between seeing the person you are speaking to and screen sharing, for a more authentic meeting experience.

7. Connectivity

If you have technology that people are going to connect to then it needs to be easy to use. Consider if you will have wired or wireless connections. If wired, will you offer an array of connections depending on the device?

For connecting to a screen, a simple solution like Clickshare can save a lot of time and hassle. If people will be video conferencing using their personal laptop or mobile phone, choose speakers and cameras that are easy to connect to, to help enhance the experience.

7 Steps for Designing a Video Conferencing Room

At Tecinteractive, we know a lot about video conferencing. But we are also partnered with office design experts Blueprint Interiors.

So if you are looking at designing a video conferencing room, we have the know-how and the contacts to make it happen.

Why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to have a chat – or a video call to see how we can help.

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Image credits: Blueprint Interiors

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

easier meeting room management

If you’re managing multiple meeting rooms, our tips can save you and your users time and headaches:

In any business or organisation with multiple meeting rooms, there is a considerable workload involved in maintaining and managing those meeting rooms. In many businesses these rooms are in use from 9 to 5 (and beyond!) which means they need to be fully functioning all the time. The technology within them needs to be simple to use, and it needs to ‘just work’ – without the need to call IT or facilities every time a meeting is due to start. There needs to be a simple process for rectifying problems and a means to address them quickly and efficiently. Standardising meeting rooms is a great solution for easier meeting room management. Not only does it provide a predictable and consistent experience for your users, it makes management more efficient too. So here are our top tips for making your meeting room management easier and more efficient:

1. Meeting Room Fit Out

You know that shoe-cupboard-sized meeting room with the peeling wallpaper that no-one ever wants to use? Exactly! Standardising meeting rooms starts with getting the basics right. You’ll have less people clamouring for the best spaces whilst other rooms lay idle, if all rooms are well-decorated and furnished appropriately.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

You don’t necessarily want to furnish every room the same, as rooms will come in different shapes and sizes. But choosing a reputable company to fit out and furnish all your meeting spaces, means you have one point of contact if anything breaks or needs replacing. There’s no tracking down where that table came from or who fitted this workbench. They can also ensure that every room has the same quality and desirability, whilst meeting different needs.

2. Room Booking Systems

One of the simplest ways to make meeting room management easier is with a meeting room booking system. Whilst one office may go through a secretary, another office may have a shared spreadsheet or use their company calendar. It can be really confusing – and time consuming.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

Increasingly, meeting room booking systems are seen as an affordable way to standardise room bookings across organisations. Systems like Evoko allow people to view and make room bookings from either their outlook calendar or directly at the room, via an intuitive touch-screen interface. Colleagues can see real-time, what rooms are available, if there is a no-show or stop room-thieves! Evoko gives you knowledge and analytics on how the rooms are being used and can be managed centrally. It also saves down-time for the next users as faults or problems with a room to be reported directly, .

3. Screen Connection

How long do you give yourself before a presentation to get set-up? Quite often, we have to allow extra time to connect our device to the main screen if we don’t know what cables or ports we are going to be faced with. Or else delay the start whilst we get our tech working.  You could standardise your meeting rooms, by ensuring every space has the same, vast array of ports and cables to accommodate every device – including that of visitors. But this is confusing in itself for the non-tech savvy!

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

A better solution for easier meeting room management is to provide a wireless presentation system like ClickShare which allows anyone to connect to the main screen wirelessly via either a USB plug-in button or a downloaded ‘button’.  Clickshare is so simple to use, it takes away the frustration and time-wasting of fiddling with wires. Both small meeting rooms and large conference spaces can be accommodated with the range of different sized solutions. This means that whichever room you are in, you get the same standardised experience.

4. Video Conferencing

Gone are the days when video conferencing (VC) was reserved for the executive board rooms or meetings with overseas associates. In our geographically dispersed working world, where collaboration is vital and technology is accessible, video (including use of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams) is proving to be a great tool for people who want to collaborate but don’t have the time to travel. So it’s becoming more of a necessity for meeting rooms to be equipped with suitable VC equipment.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

Affordable cloud-based solutions like StarLeaf offer businesses a simple way to make video accessible to everyone. With solutions designed for both smaller huddle spaces and large conference rooms, staff can have the same easy-to-use, intuitive system whichever room they are in, without having to plug their laptop in. With meeting room solutions that also integrate perfectly with Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, StarLeaf offers a centralised meeting room management solution which allows you to seamlessly manage all your meeting room technology deployments via one centralised system.  Now that’s the kind of ‘standard’ I expect!For more information or to arrange a free consultation on how you can standardise your meeting rooms for easier meeting room management, contact us today.

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Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

If you want a predictable and consistent experience with meeting room technology, standardisation is the key

For many of us, there’s no such thing as a standard day at the office. Every day there are different priorities, different tasks, different meetings. It’s what makes things interesting. But whilst we often crave a bit of variety in our lives, there are times when ‘standard’ is just what we need. Standard means predictable and consistent. It means less stressful, more straight-forward. If ever there was something in our lives that needs to be all these things, it’s workplace technology. And even more specifically, meeting room technology. Here’s why standardised meeting rooms are the way forward:

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Standard meeting room problems

There’s nothing more frustrating than walking into a meeting room and not knowing how anything works. Even worse, to expect you’re going to have a certain amenity, like a display screen or conference speaker, only to find it’s not there.

When you’re on the go, dashing from one meeting to the next, you want to be sure you’ll have the equipment that you need and that it will work first time, every time. And this doesn’t just affect you, the end user. IT and facilities departments around the globe are consistently inundated by support requests, trying to help users get meeting room tech to work, rather than dealing with bigger picture stuff.

It’s no surprise that a recent study by Nemertes Research has found that standardisation of meeting rooms is one of the highest priorities for IT departments.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

How to standardise meeting room hardware

When choosing hardware, choosing a brand of technology that is uniform across all meeting rooms can be really helpful.

But in the absence of this, trying technology which helps to standardise usage, for example wireless presentation systems that plug in via a USB.

This takes away the need for different wires and ports, keeping things simple for the user and less hassle for the IT Team.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

What is a standardised meeting room?

But what do standardised meeting rooms look like and how do you achieve this? The reality is that meeting rooms will vary from business to business, depending on the organisation’s specific needs. But the idea is that within any given organisation, staff can expect the same meeting room experience whichever room they are in.

It could start with something as simple as a standardised meeting room booking system.

This allows users to book or change room bookings and see room availability from either their own desktop or an interface outside the room. It really simplifies the process for users but also provides analytics of how rooms are being used which could shape your facilities strategy or office design going forward.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Centralised meeting room Management

Centralisation is also a key consideration for many IT departments. If you’re rolling out technology to 20, 50 or 100 meeting rooms in an organisation, it’s important that it can be managed centrally. You don’t want to have to physically go round every meeting room in the company to fix or maintain your equipment.

Whilst choosing meeting room technology that can be managed centrally is more efficient for the IT department, it also prevents downtime for the end users. Problems can be addressed as and when they happen – rather than only being identified when someone starts to use the room. Some great examples of this are the Maestro management platform for StarLeaf video conferencing or a room booking system like EVOKO.

The Benefits of Standardised Meeting Rooms

The reason standardisation of meeting rooms is becoming such a focal point for IT departments, is due to the associated management, efficiency, usability and cost benefits.

  • Meeting Room Management: Whether you’re responding to broken equipment, user queries or maintaining IT solutions, managing meeting rooms can be a real drain on time and resources. Standardisation makes meeting rooms easier to manage. If there’s one supplier for broken equipment or centralised maintenance of technology meeting room management is a lot easier. Having analytics on how your standard meeting rooms are used can also shape how they are managed going forward.
  • Meeting Room Efficiencies: Being able to respond to all meeting rooms in the same way makes meeting rooms more efficient to manage. Even more so if there are centralised maintenance solutions that allow all rooms to be managed remotely. It saves time for the IT and facilities team and also saves down-time for the users.
  • Meeting Room Usability: For the end user, standard meeting rooms means less down-time figuring out how things work. It also puts less pressure on the IT team to respond to technical problems associated with people just not knowing how things work. And if all meetings rooms are created equal, there is less pressure on a limited number of more desirable rooms.
  • Meeting Room Costs: It’s true that to standardise meeting rooms, with a good quality fit out and enabling technology is going to cost money. But this can be offset against the cost savings of people working more efficiently, being less stressed and being more satisfied in the workplace. Things that can ultimately improve staff retention too.

Making it happen

The reality is that standardising meeting rooms can be a complex task. The trick is to identify the elements that you have that can be used, re-used or upgraded. What purchases offer value for money for your business and what will provide the greatest benefit? Technology is just part of the equation; you’ll need to think about the fit out and furniture of your meeting rooms too, in order to maximise the value you get from your technology purchases.

At TecInteractive, our customers value our personal, consultative approach which means we can help you identify the most effective ways to standardise your meeting rooms. Our partnership with office fit out experts Blueprint Interiors means we can consider every element of your meeting room design to make sure your standardised meeting rooms are anything but standard.

Contact us to book your consultation or check out Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management to find out more..

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Image Credit: BluePrint Interiors

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

wellbeing and technology

Once a buzzword only used by workplace consultants and health enthusiasts, workplace wellbeing is now firmly on the C-Suite agenda for most businesses. It makes sense. If our people are happier and healthier, then they can be more productive at work, take less time off sick and be more inclined to stay in their jobs. Combine this with our corporate social responsibility to treat people well, and workplace wellbeing looks set to be a key business objective for the foreseeable future.

But how can businesses achieve this and what role can everyday technology play in helping you to create a healthy and happy workplace?

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Ultimately workplace wellbeing is not simply about a series of measures or initiatives that a business takes. Free fruit, personal step counters or lunchtime yoga are all great ideas that can boost wellbeing to some degree, but to truly succeed in creating a happy and healthy workplace you need a culture that nurtures that. Did you know that a recent study found that 75% of us have been stressed at work in the last 12 months? And through our own research*, we found that 60% of people are stressed by workplace technology.

We believe that workplace wellbeing and technology are inextricably connected; that having the right technology in place can reduce stress, save time and help to create a healthier, happier workplace. Here’s how:

Connectivity:

Connectivity is the binding need throughout any business, but only giving people that option when they’re at their desk is just going to slow them down and stress them out. Laptops to connect wherever you are can take the stress out of getting into the office if you have a meeting elsewhere or if trains are delayed. Even being able to work from different locations around the office can boost wellbeing, as people can choose to work in a setting that most suits their task – whether that be a quiet corner or a busy café area.

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Be a Part of Something:

Happiness at work can come from feeling like you’re part of the bigger picture. Great communication is essential to this, but how do you communicate with everyone without clogging up people’s inboxes with ‘company updates’ all the time? Digital signage is a simple solution that helps you to keep people in the loop without draining people’s time, by broadcasting important information in communal spaces around the office.

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Start on Time:

For many people, time is the most precious commodity at work. Wasted time impedes our output and makes us stressed, but how many of us have wasted time in a meeting trying to use fiddly wires to connect to the main screen? Now, with wireless presentations systems, you can simply plug a button into your USB port or use an app, to connect your screen at the touch of a button. It’s so simple, even the biggest technophobe can use it, so now your meetings can all start on time leaving you more time to focus on the things that matter.

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Video Conferencing:

If you count up how many work hours are lost travelling to meetings you start to realise what the benefit of good quality video conferencing can be. Save the stress (and cost!) of wasting hours driving or commuting from A to B and invest in a video conferencing solution instead. Now with cloud-based video calling you can have secure, affordable, good quality conversations plus screen sharing without the wasted travel time. With a system like StarLeaf, associates from outside the business don’t even need their own system – they just connect using a bespoke URL that you can email to them. With technology like that available, you really can be more productive with your time, less stressed, and have a little more ‘zen’ in the office.

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Collaboration:

Happiness at work, is in part due to the people around us. The people we interact with on a daily basis help us to feel supported and part of something. Plus, being able to work with others and collaborate is a great way to solve problems or generate ideas. And technology for collaboration is changing the way we work together: increased engagement with touchscreen technology, digital whiteboards to save and share ideas at the tap of a button, and interactive displays which give you access to all your files, internet and video calling. The result is boosted productivity and increased collaboration which in turn will improve the way people feel – happier, less stressed, and enjoying their work.

Workplace wellbeing and technology: The role of everyday technology in creating a healthier, happier workplace

Workplace Wellbeing and Technology

If you want to create a workplace where people can perform at their best, where they can be most productive, less stressed, connected, supported, active and ultimately, happy, then we want to help. Why not download our FREE Guide to Meeting Room Technology to find out more ideas.  Or talk to us about workplace wellbeing and technology – and how you can use everyday technology to create a happier, healthier workplace.

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* One Pulse Survey: Q: Do you Ever Feel Stressed By Workplace Technology? 60% Said Yes (17 responses)

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