By: Jessie Morgan, Technology Specialist at Red Thread

By now, most businesses have heard the term “hybrid work” dozens of times, but the world of hybrid work is constantly shifting and changing as the world adapts to new challenges. The biggest concerns companies face is how to bring employees back safely, allowing them to work where they are comfortable and where to invest their money. No one wants to invest in technology that employees will not or cannot use.

Referencing Joel Evans, Executive Advisor at Infused Innovations in his latest blog, “the normal and no longer the new normal. As part of the normal, employers will have to embrace the fact that employees will now fall into three different personas: remote, hybrid, and office. With the remote persona, the employee is fully remote, with no plans to even come to the office. With hybrid, the employee is primarily a remote worker but will need to be productive when in the office. The office persona is the full-time office worker, with a dedicated office space. When you think of work using these different personas, it forces you to think about how to empower the employee with the tools needed to be productive and to succeed.”

Explore a new hybrid workplace with products + pricing in The Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide.

This new way of work, “the normal”, will be with us for many years to come and as employee retention is becoming a primary focus, it is imperative that businesses adapt quickly.  According toMicrosoft‘s 2021 Work Trend Index, more than 40% of the global workforce are considering quitting their job in 2021.  According to aPricewaterhouseCooperssurvey conducted in early August 2021, 65% of employees said they are looking for a new job and 88% of executives said their company is experiencing higher turnover than normal.  Employees who return to the office, full or part time, are anticipating returning to an office that is evolved to a new hybrid ready state.  We’ve heard from employees who are adamant about not wanting to return to “dust on their desks”. What they’re referencing is returning after a year plus to old technology in meeting rooms, after having had the latest technology at their fingertips at home. Contrary to what most people think, thanks to advances in hardware that power Microsoft Teams Rooms, refreshing old technology in conference rooms doesn’t have to cost big bucks.  

MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING ROOMS

Microsoft Teams Rooms are purpose-built calling and meeting room solutions that deliver a native Microsoft Teams experience with HD audio and video.  Each Microsoft Teams Room consists of five main components: a compute, a touch panel, microphones, speakers, and a camera. Logitech Microsoft Room Systems on Android combines the compute, camera, speakers, and microphone into a single, convenient collaboration bar with a variety of mounting options. The touch panel allows for room controls including one touch join and can also be mounted on a table or wall.

Lets review how to make your conference rooms video-enabled while keeping the employee experience simple with One Touch Join using Logitech room solutions. Currently, Logitech room solutions are available for a variety of room sizes with Teams Rooms on Windows and Teams Rooms on Android.

TEAMS ROOMS ON WINDOWS AND ANDROID

Using Logitech Rally bar mini, Rally Bar, and Rally Plus with RoomMate, Logitech Teams Rooms on Android enables a PC-free, simple, lower-cost solution.  Employees can easily join scheduled Teams meetings with the touch of a button and automatically have clear audio and video.  As an added benefit, the Teams client on your PC and mobile have a proximity sensor that detects the room when you have entered and prompts you to join with just one touch.  Microsoft Teams will automatically join the meeting in content-only mode from your desktop or mobile, allowing the room to provide audio and video into the meeting without echo and feedback. If the Microsoft Teams Meeting Room is already in the meeting and you like to join from your devices as well, Teams now detects this and recommends joining the meeting with audio off as well.  The newest feature of Teams rooms on Android is casting; when there’s content on your mobile device that you want to share with colleagues on a larger screen, just head over to a Teams Room. You’ll be able to project the content directly from your device to the room display, without setting up a meeting.  With Teams Rooms on Android, you can take advantage of the features your employees may already know, such as hand raising, live captions, gallery mode, and participant pinning, so they can start collaborating right away.  Teams Rooms require minimal training and maintain consistency within your work environment, making it easy to bring employees back to work while having remote employees feel included.

microsoft teams rooms versus android diagram

Logitech Rally bar mini, Rally Bar, and Rally Bar Plus are also available as Logitech Teams Rooms on Windows. Windows based solutions offer additional functionality such direct guest join. This feature supports a one-touch experience for joining third-party online meetings. When enabled, you can use a Teams Rooms device to join meetings hosted on Cisco WebEx and Zoom just as easily as you can join meetings hosted in Microsoft Teams without the need for any additional infrastructure or licensing.  This feature is imperative since the world is co-mingling with multiple conferencing platforms on a day-to-day basis. Teams Rooms on Windows also supports the Logitech Scribe, a whiteboard camera with built-in AI and a custom lens. Scribe broadcasts whiteboard content within video meetings with outstanding clarity.  A great addition to Teams Rooms on Windows to amplify the hybrid and remote employee experience is using intelligent speakers. The speakers use advanced speech recognition and can identify the people speaking in a Microsoft Teams Room. The speakers include a 7-array microphone that uses artificial intelligence to identify the voices of up to 10 people in meetings. Their name and profile will be applied to the live meeting transcript.

OPTIMIZE YOUR OWN WORK ENVIRONMENT

In working with dozens of customers since the beginning of the pandemic, the sentiment gets more and more clear: simplicity is the key to employee success wherever they work.

Employees are expecting to come back to a hybrid ready environment for the new way of work that will be with us for many years to come. The Red Thread team has put together a Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide to showcase new hybrid office spaces and technologies that give employees something better to come back to. This interactive guide includes 3D renderings, products, and pricing for each application.

In partnership with Joel Evans and Infused Innovations, we offer a Microsoft Teams Rooms Deployment evaluation of your current work environment. Every organization is unique and has varying needs and different desired outcomes. That is why Infused Innovations uses a standardized evaluation process, which includes evaluating the setup and usage of your current conference rooms, meeting rooms, and other workspaces against the needs of your organization. Infused then aligns that with elements of their Secure Intelligent Workplace offering (Secure Intelligent Workplace™ – Infused Innovations).  Members of the Infused Innovations and Red Thread teams will then work with your organization to make future state recommendations, which will include productivity, communication, collaboration, security, process, usage, and technology advisory elements. 

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can work with you to plan your return to work strategy.  

The Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide by Red Thread