While we still have a way to go when it comes to flattening the coronavirus curve, the good news is that we’re beginning to have conversations about getting back down to business. The bad news? None of us quite knows what “back to business” will end up looking like, and what steps will be needed to get there.
How many people will be able to safely sit in a conference room at one time? How will they want to connect? Will they want to touch anything? These are all questions that will need to be answered in order to get back to some kind of normality.
Every person has a slightly different perspective on what measures need to be in place for them to feel safe in the workplace, and every organization will have different benchmarks to hit in order to reopen their office spaces and manufacturing facilities. As with many areas affected by this public health crisis, new solutions (and some trial and error) will need to be explored in order to find the best answers.
If you hadn’t much experience with tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams before COVID hit, you’re likely an expert now. But while we’ve all become well-versed in remote conferencing from home, at some point we’ll need to determine how to get back to the office.
Here are some key factors that will play a major role in reestablishing safe collaboration within the workplace:
Once we’re back in the office, implementing collaboration technology that allows attendees to operate it without having to physically interact will be critical. The ability to use a personal device (whether a laptop, smartphone, or tablet) to start a meeting avoids the need to touch shared control panels within the room, while being able to share content wirelessly eliminates the need to pass shared cables. The more autonomous each employee can be, the less risk there is of inadvertently spreading infection.
GREAT AUDIO ANYWHERE IN THE ROOM
Even when we’re able to share a room with our coworkers, we won’t be able to sit elbow-to-elbow like we once did. Social distancing will have to be maintained to some extent, and it will simply be unsafe for people to continue crowding around a single mic or speaker.
To ensure people can meet safely while also having the opportunity to be heard, audio solutions that provide full room coverage must be implemented. For example, Beamtracking microphones ensure that regardless of a person’s location in the room, their voice will be picked up and evenly distributed throughout the room while allowing them to maintain a responsible distance. Additionally, mics with optimized sensitivity will make it that much easier for those wearing masks to be understood.
While we’re all used to the traditional meeting room set-up of a table surrounded by chairs, designing a great collaboration experience for the “new normal” will require greater flexibility than was previously required. Thinking outside the traditional conferencing box will be essential, and new seating and layout iterations will be necessary to maintain the wellbeing of all attendees. Additionally, utilizing collaboration technology that facilitates ongoing physical changes within a space will prove hugely beneficial while your organization grows in its understanding of what changes will be needed to get your business back on track.