How a Smart Meeting Room Can Foster Team Productivity

A meeting has been scheduled with important key players. Unfortunately, one of those key players is sitting in an airport a thousand miles away, because of a delayed flight. Decisions must be made without her input, creativity, and problem-solving skills, or the meeting will have to be re-scheduled, inconveniencing all of the other key participants.

The ultimate impact of this scenario is that productivity is lost and critical decisions must be postponed. The entire organization suffers from this setback.

Other Issues with Traditional Meeting Environments

  1. Lack of Engagement

Members of a workforce often dread meetings. They must report to a “meeting room,” listen to a presentation leader, and then be asked for input, perhaps giving suggestions or solutions that are then placed on a flip chart for discussion. Here are the problems with this:

  • People resent being taken from other tasks to attend what they often see as pointless meetings
  • Many actually fall asleep during these types of meetings
  • Others are on their phones, if they can do so discreetly

The end result? Participation is minimal, the best suggestions/solutions are not achieved, and productivity has just been lacking.

  • Technology Issues

How many of us have been to a meeting where a laptop, containing the agenda, objectives, and activities, has failed to operate and project on a large screen? There is then the scurrying around trying to fix the issue, while participants sit and wait, find things to do on their phones, and while valuable productive time is lost.

  • Inconvenience for Those Not Physically There

Someone is sick; someone is stuck in an airport as previously described. Someone else has a family emergency. They are then responsible for bringing themselves up to date by taking someone else’s time to get filled in or reading what meeting notes there may be.

Sometimes (and much more often in recent years), there are remote workers, either employees or contracted players, who must be informed of decisions made, so that they may modify their tasks accordingly. This information must be transmitted via email, and ensuing conversations must then occur to further clarify questions or issues. This is, again, time wasted, not to mention potential security risks, as sensitive information is transmitted in this manner.

  • Speaking of Security Risks

Attendees at many meetings today bring their own devices into those events, record the session on their devices, or take notes, for future reference. The security of those devices is not known or monitored, and the potential for proprietary information being compromised is increased, especially if bored participants are shopping or accessing questionable sites.

Enter the Smart Meeting Room

There is quite literally no reason for the four issues addressed above. Technology has eliminated them all. And that is what a smart meeting room is all about – using the latest technology to provide a seamless experience for every participant, whether physically present or not, and both simplifying and shortening meeting times, so that everyone can return to their tasks at hand, armed with the important information and key decisions that will impact their own work. Productivity re-captured!

Smart meeting rooms, in short, are all about communication – communication among attendees, remote employees and partners, even vendors, as necessary. And that communication is now visual, not just textual or audio. In fact, video technology serves to enhance interactions among participants, because it provides the visual cues and the “personal touch” that other communication tools do not. Bill Benson, Communications Director for Pick the Writer, says this: “All of our staff members are remote, and we rely heavily on communication among all of us. Traditional methods were slow, cumbersome, and frustrating. Video-conferencing has turned my office into a smart meeting room, and with everyone securely connected through the cloud, we can hold individual, group, and whole team meetings – short, to the point, and productive.”

Smart meeting rooms require equipment that allows the real-time collaboration that teams need, no matter where individual members may be. While it may initially be an expense, the increase in productivity and the higher morale among team members will pay for itself in the long term.

So, let’s look at the improvement of newer technology and equipment over the traditional ways of doing things.

  1. Conference Calls vs. Video Conferencing

Conference calls are audio conversations among participants. Depending upon the size of the participants, it can be difficult to keep the conversation organized and to keep only one person speaking at a time. It will require a leader who controls the conversation. The other downside of conference calling is that only voices, not visual expressions are relayed. The other issue with conference calls is security. Everyone is on a call from their own phones, and security cannot be controlled.

Video conferencing on the other hand allows participants to see one another, to discern facial expressions, and to have a far more human-like interaction. This builds relationships among remote team members. And using secure video conferencing apps allows for much greater protection.

  • Viewing Content

Without all participants in the room, there must be a way for remote access to content that may be visually presented via a digital whiteboard – one that can go through a secure cloud connection and accessed by remote participants on their devices. And many of these whiteboards have additional functions and features that will enhance meetings even more. Here are a few options:

  • Google Jamboard: a digital whiteboard that can be operated through the cloud. This board works with G Suite, meaning it coordinates with Google Docs and Sheets and in real-time.
  • Samsung Flip: One cool feature is embedded search that can locate other projects that are stored within. There are built-in security features to block unauthorized users.
  • Cisco Spark Board: Participants can collaborate through conferencing in the cloud. It has solid encryption features, and connections are wireless.
  • Microsoft Surface Hub:  This is promoted as an all-in-one solution, that provides both digital whiteboard and video conferencing. No more phones, web cameras, and those hideous old overhead projectors.

There are other options as well, but all will serve to shorten meeting times, allow for everyone’s input, and make decisions faster – keys to increasing productivity.

Other Technologies

As smart meeting rooms become more widespread, there are lots of other tools that can be added to enhance meetings. For example, The Meeting Owl is a video camera that can sit in the middle of a conference table and rotate around to each person as s/he speaks. This is especially valuable for remote team members who can see who is speaking. The writing administration team at Supreme Dissertations recommends this, as all of their writers are remote.

Another tool for large enterprises with several smart rooms is JOAN, a tool for scheduling and posting meeting room use and availability. A small interactive screen is posted outside every meeting room with its schedule. Accessing availability via any device can avoid delays in attempting to physically find an empty room for an impromptu or emergency meeting.

You might also want to check out Alexa for Business, or portable cameras like the HuddleCam HD. 

“The Times, They are a’Changin’”

These are the words from a famous song by Bob Dylan, and they can certainly apply to the work place and the work force today. Companies need a high level of efficiency if they are to remain competitive; remote work forces are a given in most all sectors of the economy. Just these two challenges can impact overall productivity. Smart meetings rooms are one important solution to meet these challenges.

What Will Coworking Spaces Look Like in 2020?

Introduction

The growing popularity of coworking spaces is best explained as the method of building a network of professionals without the need to invest in their physical onboarding process. From the workers’ point of view, having the chance to stay in your home town while working for a company located thousands of miles away is a highly welcomed perk. As coworking established itself and took a rising trajectory, it began an evolution process, changing in accord with the needs of both businesses and free professionals.

How will coworking spaces look like in the year ahead of us is an important question for those who seek an opportunity to benefit from this practice. In this article, we are going to inspect some indicators that could reveal the future of coworking and give us a heads-up about what we can expect in 2020.

More locations at lower cost

According to data-infused predictions, more than 75 percent of the workforce is going to include millennials by 2030. The new generation of workers, developed in the age of digital technology, prefers flexible working conditions, ability to work outside headquarters, while a large group of young professionals looks at freelancing as a perfect way to secure income and build up their skill set for future entrepreneurship endeavors.

As the number of freedom-loving workers increases, so does the need for new locations and better conditions. Usually, whenever there’s a growing need for a certain service, there is a larger competition because everyone wants a piece of the cake. With the larger competition on the market, membership prices should be expected to go lower and the provided features should increase in both the quality and quantity.

From the employers’ perspective, hiring a group of professionals that live abroad or far away from the company HQ is cost-effective and broadens the pool of potential talents that they can acquire. This is especially practical for online business, assignment help agencies, and small business startups that need extra hands on deck for a while. Instead of building extra office space, paying for home or travel expenses, business owners can even save up some money to hire better workers or invest in future projects.

If we take a look at what large coworking space providers are doing, we can notice that the expansion of low-cost, hi-tech coworking venues is growing with plans for further expansion. Along with everything we’ve said, this trend is setting a firm foundation to the idea that in 2020 we’ll have more low-cost places for remote work with loads of features to attract the growing millennial workforce.

Specialized coworking spaces

A lot of startups require specific working conditions that aren’t cheap to set up, especially not for young entrepreneurs that are just looking for a way to promote their idea and build a name for themselves. Regular remote working spaces don’t offer all the necessary conditions needed for product testing, for example. Moreover, food industry requirements are not easy to fulfill, which is why there aren’t too many coworking spaces that provide the resources to set up a shop.

Industry-oriented spaces, built to provide all the necessary gear for businesses that require more than just a cozy setting and a fast Wi-Fi connection, will surely rise in the following year. The IoT market alone is worth billions but it requires testing room for product development and upgrades. It’s only reasonable to expect that in 2020, there will be more room for these types of industries, especially those that have a large impact on the market.

More room for corporate innovation groups

Sometimes, when a large company wants to start up a new line of products or expand its market reach, they startup an innovation group, which is a group of professionals that work on research and development. What separates an innovation group from your everyday R&D team is that these people are not working directly for the corporation but perform independently, using the funds provided by the HQ.

Taking into account that innovation groups mainly consist of freelancers, large corporations can benefit from coworking spaces because it reduces the cost of the project. In other words, if the project fails the company has reduced losses to a minimum. If the project succeeds, the investments were minimal, which is always good.

Working in an R&D team is all but impossible if you’re on your own at home, especially if your team is working on a physical product. Furthermore, the best ideas are usually a team effort and a consequence of exchanging ideas with like-minded individuals. Providing room for these people is one of the largest concerns that coworking space providers should have in the New Year.

Conclusion

Cost-effective, practical, and marketable, coworking spaces are more than just a trend. With large players looking to expand and new brands trying to get into the game, we can expect nothing but the growth of this industry. We hope this article has revealed at least a small fraction of what the future is holding for us and that you can see your chance in this future.

Justin Osborne is a writer at assignment writing and resume help, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketer at grademiners review and  essay writing service.