Many organizations continue pushing back their return-to-the-office announcements as new COVID-19 variants emerge. But not all.
Others have found ways to enter the workplace again safely or plan to return in the months ahead.
Despite differing approaches, several trends have become more visible as leaders take action to prepare for post-pandemic work. For one, after COVID-19 most organizations in the U.S. (76%) plan to offer remote work options, according to research by Robert Half, a professional recruiting firm.
The report shows employees want to work from home three days a week on average, and two-thirds place particular importance on flexible work schedules.
The past two years of change forced HR and business leaders to rethink the office, company culture and the benefits employees receive. The research shows 88% of HR leaders have added new perks and benefits in response to the pandemic, including stipends for home offices, wellness programs, and more.
All of this will play a role in how organizations adapt to the future of work, attract and retain employees, and remain competitive.
As these trends continue to mature in the year ahead, the office — both at work and home — will undoubtedly look different. Whatever 2022 holds for your organization, it’s important to keep an eye on the market to know what tech has surfaced in support of these developing trends.
Here are some new and noteworthy solutions to consider for your workplace in 2022:
Remote and Hybrid Collaboration
Microsoft Teams Rooms (and Others Like Them)
Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other video conferencing solutions jumped in importance and popularity during the pandemic and for good reason. Without software like this enabling collaboration, remote or hybrid work would look a lot different.
Today, Microsoft Teams has over 145 million daily active users, which makes the company’s Teams Rooms particularly noteworthy heading into 2022. If employees do make their way back into offices in the coming months, a Teams Room could make their transitions smoother if they’re already working on the platform.
Able to scale easily, these rooms simplify the meeting room experience without sacrificing intuitive design, security and manageability. They come with many welcome features, like one-touch or “proximity” join, wireless sharing, and inclusive design for hybrid work, which is important considering Gartner estimates nearly half of employees will continue working remotely at least part time.
Not a Teams house? Zoom also offers a competitive solution to make deploying conference rooms exceptionally simple.
Logitech Remote Work Solutions
Logitech brings together remote-work kits that some at the start of the pandemic only dreamed of. For businesses, Logitech put together various kits tailored to the needs of different kinds of workers — from WFH minimalists to 4K UHD power users.
“The era of remote working is here. And as your workforce spends more time working at home or on-the-go — they need tools to stay as collaborative and productive as when they’re at the office,” Logitech writes on its website. “Plus, as every worker and workspace differs, they require solutions tailored to their needs.”
These collections, and the various devices themselves, make working remotely or in hybrid scenarios far more comfortable with easy setup, wireless use, and comfortable designs that are a joy to use.
Professional Video and Displays
LG One:Quick Series
In December 2021, LG announced a new line of professional displays that aim to make collaboration easier for all, whether people are in the office or at home.
The series of displays consolidate essentially all components into the device, streamlining the design and setup for conference rooms. The displays have built-in cameras (with privacy covers), mics and speakers, and they run Windows 10. The displays come with LG’s video conferencing software but they’re compatible with others too.
“LG One:Quick Series touchscreen displays with Windows 10 harness the power of a laptop with the advantages of a tablet,” the company said in an announcement. “They deliver next-level collaboration capabilities thanks to built-in conference systems and a wealth of features to make meetings productive and flexible while simplifying operations.”
HiFi Audio for Any Space
Bose Professional DesignMax Loudspeakers
A new line to Bose Professional, the DesignMax series of loudspeakers offers 15 options for virtually any space. The series includes speakers that are IP55 rated for outdoor applications, as well as low-profile options, in-ceiling, surface-mounts, pendants and more.
“A complete loudspeaker assortment to enhance any space, DesignMax loudspeakers offer rich lows and clear, intelligible highs, along with premium aesthetics that complement any commercial sound installation,” the company writes on its website.
Shure Microflex Ecosystem
Shure’s Microflex Ecosystem takes the hard work out of vetting and selecting disparate audio components for meeting spaces. The company packaged up secure and versatile audio solutions for meeting and conference rooms of varying sizes. What’s more, the Microflex Ecosystem plays well with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.
What’s included in the ecosystem are an assortment of microphones, DSP solutions (hardware and software), loudspeakers, and Shure’s remote management software.
“Endlessly flexible, for the most demanding spaces,” the company writes. “From microphones to DSPs to loudspeakers, the Shure Microflex Ecosystem offers a complete portfolio of networked audio solutions that can be precisely tailored to your needs, for best in-class collaboration experiences in any room.”
Call an AV HERO to Setup Your Pro AV Tech
As you consider returning to the office (or not), it’s important to ensure the physical or virtual work environment can accommodate your employees’ current preferences and comply with public health recommendations.
What’s more, if technology has sat dormant for some time and you do plan to return to the office, it’s worth testing your systems ahead of time, updating software, and doing an overall tech health-check.
If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to call. AV HERO deploys the largest network of trained and trustworthy technicians in the country. As you develop or execute on plans to bring employees into the office again, know you can call an AV HERO for installations, troubleshooting and far more. See how it works.
“Our AV HERO was knowledgeable and helpful and able to communicate clearly. I would definitely have him return. Thank you. Just what we needed.”
– Carolyn / Roca Gonzalez PA , Miami, FL