Most businesses have some sort of technology in their meeting spaces. For those lagging behind it might be a mangled old cable to access the internet or connect a projector, but for those who’ve embraced all things digital this will be a suite of AV solutions designed to enhance the meeting experience from booking a room, all the way through to using it.
So your business has meeting room technology – video conferencing, integrated projectors, whiteboards and more – but how can you be sure you’re getting the most value from it?
These technologies were designed to improve communication and collaboration. We now have the tools to work on shared files in real time, screen share project reports, host five way video calls with international offices and write notes on whiteboards and download them in the blink of an eye.
All of this is helping us to reduce the need for business travel, speed up decision-making, make disparate teams feel connected, quicken product development ideas and more. Yet in a typical office there are often still grumbles – people don’t know what’s possible, they say systems don’t work, that meeting space isn’t available, that facilities aren’t right.
Spending the money on workplace technology is the easy bit (forgive us being flippant) but the idea that ‘install it and they will use it’ (think 1990s film A Field of Dreams) is wrong. They will not. While some of the more digital and tech savvy employees might figure it out for themselves, you shouldn’t leave getting value from such a sizeable investment down to chance.
Here’s some practical advice on how to ensure user-adoption of workplace technology:
1. Make sure all employees know what facilities you have – If they’re only available in certain rooms make sure they know that. It will save frustrated members of staff trying to make kit do things it doesn’t (which in turn causes IT issues) and will ensure the right people book the right spaces for their needs.
2. Put a ‘how to use it’ rollout programme in place. It’s not practical to train everyone but choose one or two people in each department and ensure they cascade the training to their team. Can they switch things on, do they know passcodes if they’re needed etc?
3. If you’re on the cusp of investing in enhanced meeting room technology, involve your staff before you sign the purchase order. Ask them what facilities they want or need and establish their frustrations. If you’re solution solves their needs and fits their brief, you’ll have a happy workforce chomping at the bit to use the systems. And if you were about to invest in something that no one really needs, you’ve just saved yourself some budget.
4. If you don’t have an online meeting room booking system ensure that whoever manages bookings understands what facilities are available where. They should take responsibility for assessing peoples’ technology needs before spaces are booked
5. If you do have an online meeting room booking system it should be clear as to what kit is in what room. If only one room is equipped with video conferencing, everyone needs to know which one that is.
We have talked about meeting room technology and ergo, meeting rooms. But many of today’s workplaces are much more open plan and fluid than that, with meetings just as likely to be held in breakout spaces as anywhere else. Don’t forget the importance of these ‘touchdown’ spaces in supplementing your meeting experience and make sure that wherever your team is, connectivity is never a problem.
In today’s world of fast technological change – our workplaces must be able to adapt too. You must ensure that your employees fully embrace and champion all the possibilities these technologies present – those of increased productivity, improved communication and easy collaboration. That’s the only way to realise true value from your technological spend.