In today’s world, organizations can’t allow distance to be a barrier for effective collaboration.
By: John Mitton, CTO – VP of Audio Visual, Red Thread
Steelcase researchers have studied technology for remote workers and found that one of the problems they face is presence disparity. We all know what it’s like to be physically present at a meeting, but when we work remotely, we oftentimes don’t have the same experience as the people who are in the room together.
Designed to blur the lines between virtual and in-person meetings participants, Microsoft’s new Front Row feature helps bridge the gap between digital and physical workspaces.
What is Microsoft Front Row?
Microsoft Front Row ensures everyone in the meeting, remote or in-person, is represented, included, and productive. Connections become more natural through a video gallery at the bottom of the screen in addition to providing equal access to the chat and hand raised feature.
Let’s take a closer look at how Microsoft ensures all attendees have a seat at the table:
- Create natural sightlines: When we’re all in a physical room together, people aren’t stacked on top of each other like a grid; Front Row shows everyone face-to-face in a horizontal view
- React/view the chat: In a typical video conference, chat doesn’t have visual persistence; Front Row allows everyone to engage with one another as part of the meeting
- Focus on questions: Speaking protocols or knowing when to contribute in a meeting can be challenging, Front Row highlights the raise hand feature to make sure questions and comments are heard
Distributed work as a catalyst for change
Remember what it was like when one of your colleagues joined a primarily in-person meeting before the pandemic? There would be one remote attendee dialed in from a cell phone in the middle of a table who often felt excluded from the conversation. Sometimes, I wondered if in-room participants even remembered that their remote colleagues were on the call.
Beyond mobile devices, collaboration technology can help navigate distributed teamwork that is cross-functional, cross-cultural, and cross-organizational.
“Beyond mobile devices, collaboration technology can help navigate distributed teamwork that is cross-functional, cross-cultural, and cross-organizational.”
– John Mitton, CTO – VP of Audio Visual, Red Thread
Hybrid meeting spaces have significant implications for the physical environment, which means organizations need to understand how to optimize workplace collaboration technology in their space. If not well executed, it can be frustrating and expensive, and the technology won’t deliver the desired results.
Now with Microsoft Front Row, everyone can see and be seen in addition to hear and be heard.
Our own Microsoft Front Row Room
In our Workplace Innovation Hub at 55 Hartland Street, we have implemented a Microsoft Front Row room. It combines the powerful Microsoft technology with furniture and space, creating an effective hybrid meeting room for those in-person or remote.
Our hybrid meeting equipment includes:
- Custom, curved desk to optimize sightlines between local and remote participants
- Logitech Tap Meeting Room Touch Controller
- The Poly Studio E70 Smart Camera
- 2 x 70’’ Planar Display Monitors
- VIA Wall system with lighting
- AMQ 3f wall tiles to improve acoustical quality
- Logitech Tap Scheduler
- MXA910 – Ceiling Array Microphone – Shure USA
Come see it in person!
We invite you to see our Microsoft Front Row room in-person at our Workplace Innovation Hub located at 55 Hartland Street in East Hartford and see technology to support remote working firsthand!