Some companies are setting dates for employees to return to a traditional office setting, and others are choosing to keep their team remote. Whichever option you choose, you will need to consider how your organization will maintain collaboration and productivity for in-office, remote, or hybrid workers.
Audiovisual equipment such as microphones, monitors, and video conferencing systems must deliver high-quality results consistently, even when employees work remotely. Organizations in every sector are evaluating their audiovisual equipment and making the changes necessary to accommodate their changing needs.
As a result, many are discovering that providing remote and hybrid workers with audiovisual technology is quite beneficial. If your organization is ready to improve communication and collaboration in a changing work environment, audiovisual integrators can help you decide which equipment will provide a streamlined experience for your entire staff.
What AV Tech Should Your Company Provide for Remote or Hybrid Staff?
Selecting audiovisual equipment to effectively accommodate remote and hybrid staff is a complex process. Each piece of hardware and software must work together seamlessly from any location. If you're not sure where to start, audiovisual integration specialists can work with your organization to assess your needs so that employees can continue to collaborate and communicate effectively from any location.
Video Conferencing Equipment
Video conferencing equipment is arguably the most vital component of a productive hybrid work environment. If communication only occurs through email or messaging, misunderstandings and miscommunications will ensue, impinging upon the company's overall efficiency. For a hybrid work environment to reach its full potential, organizations must invest in video conferencing equipment that enables employees to fulfill their duties with maximum efficiency.
When selecting video conferencing equipment, organizations should consider which solutions align with their specific needs. Expansive conference rooms that seat many employees and small huddle rooms for private video conferencing are equally important. Both types of meeting rooms require interactive whiteboards, internet-connected cameras, microphones, and speakers.
Audio and Video Equipment for Improved Communication
If companies fail to provide remote and hybrid employees with the technology necessary to flourish, they may be left using equipment not optimized for business purposes. In most cases, a laptop's built-in hardware cannot create an immersive experience that mimics in-person communication. Remote employees need equipment to transition seamlessly from working at home to in-office. Organizations can facilitate effective communication between remote employees with the addition of headsets, webcams, and microphones, in addition to laptops.
Standard laptops lack noise-canceling technology that allows video conferencing participants to focus on the information. Furthermore, laptops may not be optimized to work with video conferencing software or offer tools such as voice-level adjustment and high-resolution video to improve their collaborative efforts. Consider providing your employees with high-quality sound equipment to facilitate effective communication.
Given that even larger laptops have relatively small screens, it may also be beneficial to provide your remote employees with additional monitors or display screens. Employees may use these monitors to view or share additional information during video conferencing sessions.
Cloud-Based Control Systems
In a traditional office setting, audiovisual equipment is controlled using a local control system, meaning a person must be physically present to control the equipment. Since the modern workplace must accommodate remote and hybrid employees, there are many scenarios in which a remote employee can't conduct a meeting with in-office employees.
Cloud-based control systems eradicate these issues because they allow remote employees to control in-office audiovisual equipment. Implementing cloud-based control systems ensures that employees can attend to their duties without meeting disruptions. If your organization employs a large number of remote employees, cloud-based control systems are essential to ensuring a seamless, collaborative environment for all participants.
Best Practices for Distributing, Tracking, and Recovering AV Equipment for Your Remote Workforce
After working with audiovisual integration specialists to select the best equipment for your needs, consider your organization's processes to distribute and protect your audiovisual equipment across a remote workforce. The practices below will ensure that your company-owned equipment is well-taken care of, even outside the office.
Provide IT Support and Security
When organizations are distributing audiovisual equipment across a remote workforce, organization leaders must also consider the importance of reliable IT support and security. The first step is ensuring that employees own company-owned laptops and desktops. Recent studies show that only 52% of remote employees use a company-owned computer. However, companies supplying employees with laptops have enhanced control over their security systems. Furthermore, company-owned laptops streamline the process resolution process for support issues.
It is also crucial for organizations to provide adequate training about security threats and data protection practices that they can implement to ensure a secure work environment. Remote workers also need access to 24/7 IT support to ensure that productivity remains stable despite different time zones and flexible work hours.
Tracking AV Equipment
Before companies distribute audiovisual equipment for remote and hybrid, they must establish a chain of custody for each device. The chain of custody determines which employees have access to and liability for your audiovisual equipment at any given time. Typically, organizations accomplish this through "asset tagging," which labels each device with a serial number or barcode.
Asset tagging simplifies tracking your audiovisual equipment because you can quickly identify who has each device, the amount of time it is in their possession, and the device's current condition. Furthermore, asset tagging reduces the likelihood of someone stealing your company-owned equipment.
Recovering AV Equipment
Employees who are terminated or voluntarily leave your organization must return the equipment before their last day of work. Employees responsible for multiple company-owned items must provide a list of the equipment they are returning.
Employers should email the employee so that they have a record of receipt regarding the time the audiovisual equipment should be in their possession. If an employee fails to return the equipment within the allotted time frame, companies may send another letter stating that if the equipment is not received within a week, they will take legal action to recover the items. If the equipment is costly enough to justify court costs, you may need to appear in a small claims court, where a judge will decide the best course of action.