The way we work has been undergoing changes for some time, and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated trends that were already gaining ground.

Today’s workforce is more mobile and geographically diverse than ever. And whether you’re trying to connect multiple offices across different parts of the country or cope with greater demands for homeworking, you’ll need effective collaboration hardware and software tools to maintain productivity.

The need to work anytime, anywhere

In these strange times, software tools like Microsoft Teams that combine videoconferencing services, cloud file sharing and instant messaging apps have become vital parts of many businesses, ensuring that people can stay in touch wherever they are and continue to work from home without any loss of productivity

But while video conferencing software will continue to play a crucial role through the next few months and beyond, it’s far from the only communications tool that firms will need in order to support their workforce. You also need the right meeting room hardware and phone integration.

For example, being able to integrate telephony systems to Teams can improve call handling, allow people to answer from anywhere and have instant access to relevant data. This phone integration is essential for staying in touch and providing a high level of service.

That’s why solutions like Direct Routing for Teams will be hugely important to many businesses. This allows companies to keep existing numbers in place and easily integrate their legacy systems with advanced collaboration tools, across whatever device employees are using. Backing this up with hardware such as headsets also ensures employees can continue working whether they’re at home or in the office.

Readjusting to a new office environment

Eventually, offices will open their doors again and people will get to see their colleagues in person. However, when this happens, firms won’t simply slip back into their old routines.

One key long-term effect of the pandemic will be a more permanent shift to ‘hybrid working’, where people will split their time between home and the office. And this is set to have a big impact on how teams communicate with each other.

For instance, meetings are more likely to see a mixture of people sitting face-to-face in a conference room while others dial in from home. This can pose difficulties if those at home have trouble hearing certain speakers, or feel left out because they can’t be seen in person.

That’s why meeting rooms themselves need an Audio Visual Solution to evolve to support this new way of working. For instance, better audio-visual equipment that can ensure the same quality experience for those participating remotely is a must.

You should also consider adding hardware such as extra screens or interactive whiteboards to improve the meeting experience, or even reconsider the design of the space in order to improve acoustics. It’s also vital you match the right solutions to the right spaces, as what works for a smaller, more intimate setting is unlikely to be useful for larger conference rooms.

Whether you’re ready for it or not, the hybrid office will be here to stay.

To find out more about integrating Teams to Telecom systems and meeting room hardware, read our latest solution brief.

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