macom Newsletter 02/2023 – Business Transformation: Strategic Alignment for Hybrid Work Environments

In recent years, companies have been confronted with major changes. The establishment of hybrid forms of work will continue to progress in the future. Drivers of this development are digitalisation and the changed use of digital technologies, changing user requirements, the generational shift and a different expectation of employees towards employers in terms of work-life balance and flexibility at work. At the same time, there is a great deal of uncertainty due to the question of the design and efficient use of working space in office buildings, supply chain problems and the current inflation risks. This makes it difficult for decision-makers to plan, while at the same time the pressure to develop new business models and transform the company in line with the times is increasing.

Working together separately requires new room and application concepts

Distributed, connected working from different locations has proven its worth, especially during the pandemic. Many employees want to continue working from home and take advantage of the new flexibility and mobility. Employers ask themselves how they can still bring their employees back to office to not lose contact and the sense of community. One thing is certain: traditional individual workstations in offices will be increasingly eliminated in the future and the space requirements will generally decrease. Communication and collaboration areas for flexible activity-based working will become increasingly important. The premises must be optimised accordingly. For flexible use, intelligent space management is needed, for example in the form of modern booking systems, smart sensor technology and data-controlled building automation.

Hardly any meetings without remote participants

Due to the change in working methods, the number of hybrid meetings is increasing massively. There will hardly be any meetings without participants from other locations. The technological challenges here are great. A functioning technical infrastructure is increasingly crucial for employee productivity. One problem with hybrid meetings is that remote participants are often at a disadvantage. They are not perceived well enough, do not hear everything or cannot participate sufficiently. Non-verbal signals are difficult for them to grasp. This can affect concentration and productivity in the meeting. Whereas such restrictions were tolerated in the past, the visibility and relevance of high-quality meeting spaces and service structures have risen sharply today. AV technology and IT play a key role in New Work. Whether in meetings, corporate communications or customer presentations: In business-critical situations, the digital transmission channels must function and support the complex communication as comprehensively as possible. The spatial conditions must be adapted to the new use cases. Camera perspectives, lighting and acoustics are just a few aspects to consider.

Support areas need to reinvent themselves

As a result, companies are investing more in technology. Upgrading spaces with UCC systems, especially Microsoft Teams rooms, is booming. However, the purchase is about much more than just the hardware. The technology always serves the users to perform their tasks in the best possible way and should be tailored accordingly. The larger the company, the more critical it is to develop sustainable and efficient operating concepts to ensure the availability and cost-effectiveness of the technical infrastructure. The support areas AV, IT and Workspace Management have to cooperate more and reinvent themselves. There is no more time for a project-based approach. High-quality technology is no longer enough. A smooth user experience is the key to high productivity. Service concepts for fast provision and response times, regulated framework agreements with service providers and remote management systems are needed to meet the new requirements. For modern procurement and rollout models, scalable and adaptable space and technology standards must be developed and continuously refined in terms of lifecycle management in order to be able to react quickly to changes such as changing requirements or discontinued products.

AV as a Service as an alternative

Classic service units can often no longer cope with this. They have to think about how much they can do themselves even with few staff or which services they can outsource. It is important to understand the changing requirements for new forms of work and to forecast where the development is going. The use cases set the changes for all areas. As a consequence, the processes of the service units are also changing. Alternative procurement and operating models such as AV as a Service offer relief. The investment costs are eliminated. In return, the company pays a regular and individually customisable service fee. Technology and service operation are provided and taken over completely by external service providers. The concept offers companies more flexibility in planning with less risk.

macom helps with the implementation of new technologies and work processes

The change process is holistic and encompasses all areas of the company. Users also have to find their way in the digital environment. How do I behave in a hybrid meeting? What do I pay attention to? How do I present myself in front of the camera? How do I keep in touch with the staff? Intuitive technology solutions are part of the new work culture. macom can provide comprehensive support to companies in the implementation of new technologies and work processes and the digital business transformation. With our internal trend scouting, our own Innovation Hub macomLAB and best practice experience from countless projects, we are happy to advise you. Get in touch with us!
Author: Felix Niedrich, Editor macom GmbH