Understanding today’s audiovisual trends and learning what’s around the corner can help you create spaces that empower your people – both locally and around the globe. Millennials, now the largest segment of the workforce, are driving the need for seamless technology in the workplace. They are innovative by nature and expect organizations to support them; if not, they vote with their feet, with 58% changing jobs in less than 36 months. Retaining Millennials is becoming a huge priority and technology is a critical component. This group expects a variety of office spaces to suit their different work styles and the ability to use technology in them all.

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BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is an increasingly important trend that IT departments must grapple with.

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Team rooms with robust video conferencing capabilities can support collaboration locally and globally.

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Setting up informal collaboration throughout the open floor plan allows for impromptu collaboration and idea sharing.





“Many times the deployment of audio visual systems are undervalued and marginalized. What you find however is AV systems can affect tenant satisfaction, energy usage and operations, and are an important part of a building.”


In today’s buildings, AV seamlessly touches all layers within the infrastructure to generate greater efficiency, optimization, wellbeing and sustainability. According to the Smart Buildings Institute, a smart building is defined as one that:

1. Provides actionable information regarding the performance of building systems and facilities
2. Proactively monitors and detects errors or deficiencies in building systems
3. Integrates systems to an enterprise business level for real-time reporting and management utilization of operations, energy and occupant comfort
4. Incorporates the tools, technologies, resources and practices to contribute to energy conservation and environmental sustainability

Understanding how audiovisual technology is incorporated into smart buildings provides valuable perspective on how best to create a holistic solution. There are many myths surrounding smart buildings such as; they are complicated to use and best suited to new buildings – neither of which are true. The Empire State Building is a prime example of an older building having employed smart building technology in a retrofit that began in 2009. In this instance, they have repeatedly exceeded projected energy savings within the original structure.

Audiovisual technology can be used within a building infrastructure to simply manage routine needs; for example, IT service technicians can monitor the life of a projector’s bulb from an office at a remote location. Or it can be deployed across complex functions within a building’s infrastructure. Some examples of how audiovisual technology can touch a smart building’s infrastructure.

AV-building-imagery3• Digital Signage
• Interactive Media
• Guest Access
• AV Conferencing
• IP Telephony
• Wireless
• High Speed Internet
• Lighting
• Elevator
• 24/7 Monitor
• HVAC Sensors
• Fire
• Access
• Video Surveillance
• Energy Management



The reality is that the trend is towards people wanting their home and work lifestyle, environment, and technology to mesh seamlessly. BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – as the trend has been labeled, deals with the complexities of integrating home and work devices. One of the key factors involved in this audiovisual trend is that employees expect work devices/technology to be as sophisticated as what they have at home.

3 Key reasons for considering BYOD include; 


1. Increased productivity as employees generally have more cutting-edge devices and are more adept at using technology of their own choosing.

2. Employee satisfaction as they tend to value their personal devices and appreciate not having to manage multiple devices.

3. Sustainability as BYOD eliminates redundancies.

However, as with any new concept the implementation can be fraught with challenges. BYOD is definitely a trend that has significant PROS & CONS.



Unified Communication is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging, presence information, telephony, and video conferencing with non-real-time communication services such as voice mail, email and text. Increasingly people want choice and control when it comes to media and space, they are connected 24/7 and need their devices and applications to work efficiently.


According to a compensation survey of 1,400 CFO’s conducted by Robert Half International, 46% said telecommuting is second only to salary as the best way to attract top talent. 33% Said telecommuting was the top draw.

The bottom line? This trend must be taken into account in any workplace strategy. Companies, both large and small, must accommodate a mobile workforce. Incorporating spaces that allow for visual, local and remote connections such as Huddle Spaces are essential in today’s office. Technology that allows remote workers to schedule rooms such as Steelcase’s Room Wizard can make it easy for remote workers to connect and collaborate seamlessly.



According to Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is the ‘secret sauce’ of business success”.

AV-lightbulbThere is no doubt that innovation is essential to compete in the global economy. Innovation is the result of collaboration. The kind of collaboration that gets you breakthrough ideas comes from people working together specifically to solve problems, and develop new insights and solutions.

As we work more in distributed teams, whether across a campus or across the ocean, people struggle to build connections with coworkers when the places where they work don’t support and augment their interactions. Teams need places that allow them to see their teammates comfortably, hear each other clearly and share information easily so they can build social capital and the “shared mind” that is necessary to bring innovation to successful conclusion.

Audiovisual technology must be able to support collaboration. It must be seamless, able to connect people regardless of geography and support a flexible work environment 24/7. A variety of solutions need to be offered for different spaces; resident spaces, huddle rooms, cafés, training rooms, formal boardrooms etc…

In addition, the equation becomes considerably more complex when we add that today, data must be easily accessed anywhere to support collaboration.

Top audiovisual trends that enhance collaboration include cloud based solutions and vertical planes such as walls becoming displays and data capture devices. Check out this Corning Glass video that gives you a sneak peak into the not so distant future!



Devices are becoming increasingly able to interact with system infrastructure at a much higher and more personal level. Security and payment preferences are to instances where personalization is already hard at work. Not only that, increasingly you are able to swipe an RFID Card or smart device to take ownership of space and personalize the environment.


Take a look at these forward looking examples of personalization, coming to a space near you!

Pizza Hut takes ordering your favorite pizza to a whole new level.

Gallery One is an example of how interactivity and personalization inspires people at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


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The equation is simple. Easy and intuitive equals higher technology adaption rates.

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Although the trend is towards a more distributed workforce, organizations need to find alternative strategies for building community and culture.

Video conferencing, collaborative intranets and planned social activities within the workplace can all help to build a shared vision.



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