InfoComm 2015 Report: Workspaces For Tomorrow Session

By David Danto
AV, Collaboration, Multimedia, Video and UC Technology Leader

Change in business and culture is happening at the fastest pace ever. It is all around us, with new processes not just improving the old ones but completely replacing them. Digital downloads replaced record / CD stores, search engines replaced phone books, apps are quickly replacing the traditional taxi and hotel industries, and the way we work and collaborate is no exception.

That was the overriding theme of the Workspaces for Tomorrow session on Tuesday at InfoComm 2015. The way we work has changed. Work is not where you go but what you do.

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Workspaces for tomorrow need to be developed without any biases that favor an in-office employee. Remote workers, home workers, and any participants not present need the ability to participate, share content and be connected as well as anyone in a room. The offices themselves need to be designed to support multiple workstyles — not just the 1980’s style desk worker. Offices themselves are beginning to shrink — not just with desks and people getting “densified,” but with footprints reducing in favor of employees who don’t need to be there every day any more.

These changes are requiring cultural adaptation — with supervisors learning to manage using collaboration tools and social media tools — and with organizations slowly dropping the stigmas that have existed around remote working.

The panel and I (as the moderator) — representing Kramer, Pexip, Smart, AVI-SPL, Acano and Dimension Data — came to the startling realization that “making everything work together” is no longer a mountain to climb. There are significant examples of organizations that can easily support anytime, anywhere, any device collaboration. What was identified as the next big barrier is making the whole process simple. This referred both to how we deploy and then interface with the technology. It has to be as easy to use as an elevator or an iPhone. Complex control systems are a thing of the past — described to be like “the old tree that is already dead even though the trunk is still standing.” Anything that requires training sessions or leave-behind instructions just won’t fly anymore.  We collaborate differently now.

See also  You're Not Good at Everything -- Three Keys to Collaborative Success

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It was also discussed that the chokehold that architects and AV design consultants have on the early stages of the process has to be broken. If we keep doing the same things — designing the same facilities as we have before – we will never give the champions of workspaces for tomorrow an opportunity to influence the process early enough to make a difference.

This blog was reprinted with permission from David Danto and originally appeared here.

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