Changes in today’s working landscape has led to an enormous uptake in technology within the workplace, particularly in audio visual technology. With the increase in flexible working hours and employees splitting their time between the office and home, now more than ever has shown the importance of the video conference meetings. A global marketplace has also led companies to expand business across the globe, with video conferencing being the most efficient way of communication. Recent studies have shown time spent in video meetings has risen dramatically, from 48% in 2020 to 77% in 2022. Now, 83% of employees spend up to one-third of their work week in video meetings.
Over our journey working alongside Melbourne and Sydney’s largest Flexible working space operators, we’ve seen a huge increase in the need for video conferencing equipment. Clients will seek out advice in which technology to roll out because understanding the specific needs that are unique to the Flexible and Co-working environment is what Seon Solutions specialise in. Video conferencing isn’t the only AV technology commonly rolled out in flexible working spaces. We
will often see room booking systems play an integral role in notifying members of when rooms may be available. Utilising breakout spaces that can hold seminars and events are a great way to engage larger audiences and offer a more relaxing and free-flowing environment. They often contain a largdisplay or projector screen. Followed by speakers and wireless microphone options, so the presenter can move freely throughout the space. Speakers providing background music throughout common areas, hallways and breakout spaces are often quite popular, creating a vibrant ambiance.
As the workforce changes over time so does the workspace, with many flexible working spaces offering unique and fun ways to engage with their members. Cinema rooms, Podcast studios, Yoga and Pilates rooms and workshops are all but a few that we have had the privilege of being involved in rolling out. These technological investments by flexible working space operators help with networking, team bonding, increase employee satisfaction and introduce the space for creativity. Unlike the traditional office space where it consisted of generally one business under the one lease, with co working spaces you see dozens of businesses working out of the one Co-working location. Understanding these unique challenges is critical in specifying the right equipment for the job. Several factors need to be looked at; reliability, useability, simplicity and of course staying within budget.
The reliability of the AV system is one of the fundamental factors for a successful system. As many smaller flexible working sites remain unmanned it could cause frustration if a user can’t get a system to work correctly and are unsure who to turn to for a solution. Another potential issue is if a member has booked a meeting for a particular time and that meeting can’t take place because of system failure. Another consideration is the turnaround time for most companies requiring days if not weeks before returning to site to fix the issue. That’s why partnering with an AV team that have a service/maintenance program where you can receive same day turn around is critical. The creation of user and troubleshooting guides are another way to combat any potential technical headaches. The importance of a user-friendly system cannot be overlooked. If members of a flexible working space are hesitant to use a system due to the complexity of it, they will shy away from it, becoming an underutilised and undervalued space.
At Seon Solutions we opt for a system that’s as simple as plugging in a HDMI or USB into their device and within seconds you’re in the meeting. Often what makes flexible working spaces so fantastic is their diversity. Therefore, incorporating a system that is user-friendly for members that have varying technical knowledge, diverse skill sets and age range plays a critical role in the success of the AV installation. Your AV contractor should roll out training sessions for the staff so they can familiarise themselves with the system. Finally keeping within a client’s budget is critical for the overall success of the AV system. A system must be designed to both meet the needs of the user while keeping in mind of the flexible working space operator’s budget. Designing a system that is affordable and allows for the rollout into multiple meeting spaces will attract members and help the overall success. Adapting to the changes in technology and the users needs is required to stay at the forefront of an ever-changing industry. Users need to know that the flexible working space they are members of are always adapting and
evolving to keep up with latest technology trends.
This article was written by Matthew Johnson, Director of Seon Solutions.
FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE AUSTRALIA
Flexible Workspace Australia is the peak body for coworking and flexible workspace providers and partners across all cities and regions of Australia.