James Hilliard welcomes Nathan Coutinho from Logitech to discuss why organizations should reevaluate IT and office space planning. With high turnover rates and many employees feeling “burnt out,” now is the time to pause and think about what solutions are needed to encourage meeting equity and enhance collaboration among in-person and remote teams. Listen to this episode to discover other strategies companies should consider to better support employee wellness and productivity.
Host: James Hilliard
Guest: Nathan Coutinho, Head of Analyst Relations and Business Strategy at Logitech
[1:00] Video applications have come a long way, from barely loading frames in the 1990s to our daily need for collaboration and building relationships. Users today depend on webcams, video platforms, and audio equipment. And this need will continue to push forward the evolution of these tools.
[3:20] Office spaces have changed too. The workforce went from collaborative meeting rooms to remote work environments due to the pandemic. Hybrid and remote models are here to stay.
[4:10] Having the right setup at home is important. There are so many physical factors; the right desk, the right chair, and the right environment all play a big role in your health. From the technology side, audio and video are critical elements for users to be their authentic selves.
[8:20] Poor video and audio can lead to fatigue. But not sharing your camera at all or using your camera too much can also lead to fatigue. These factors tie into the overall work culture.
[11:10] Because we are all at different levels of tech savviness, it’s important to have an inclusive mindset and an understanding that connectivity or accessibility issues may happen. Not everyone has the same access to technology either. For instance, some employees may be able to manage their bandwidth by setting up mesh routers or getting duplicate lines, but the average person may not have the means or even the knowledge to do this.
[17:35] What is meeting equity? Making sure employees working remotely can still get the full context of a meeting that’s taking place in the office. Getting the right framing, being able to see and hear everyone, and the ability to read body language has been a problem for years. Today’s web cameras can smoothly pan to those within a conference room so remote/hybrid employees can have a better experience. Web and audio technologies will continue to advance over the next five years.
[23:39] Organizations should have a thoughtful strategy when it comes to equipping employees with the right gear. There’s no silver bullet but enabling managers to lead their teams based on how they want to work is key, along with having the support from senior leaders.
[28:00] Now is the time to reset. Re-evaluate your office space. Consider flex spaces based on what meetings are happening and how those groups engage. Often, organizations rollout office spaces and collaboration tools without asking employees what they need and want. Adoption will always be hindered until companies really understand how employees want to work.
[33:57] How we work will continue to change. So, what can organizations do? Don’t assume people know how to use technologies. Training should be part of the strategy and supported by all leaders and departments. Persona-based understanding can help develop the right package of equipment and solutions. The goal is to deliver technologies that are so streamlined that it’s nearly invisible.