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    Most companies reacted well to the crisis but it’s time to evolve

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    The global health crisis has forced companies to think outside the usual bounds and act quickly to keep operations running smoothly. But businesses that spent most of 2020 in “react mode,” patching here, improvising there, must now look to mature certain of their crisis-borne initiatives.

    The workplace is one area where business leaders will need to focus going forward. People returning to the office post-pandemic will undoubtedly have strong expectations, including but certainly not limited to:

    • Space – the expectation that, regardless of where they are, they will have adequate personal space, and the more general assurance of being in a “safe” environment
    • Flexibility – the expectation that they will have the same access in-office and outside the office to the tools they need to perform their role
    • Collaboration – the expectation that, regardless of location, they will have the ability to freely and efficiently communicate and collaborate with clients and coworkers

    While in the first days of the pandemic companies may have moved to equip their staff quickly with inexpensive solutions, the ground has shifted.  Coming into 2021, business leaders are realizing they must evolve from the reactive “survival mode” purchasing decisions when Covid first hit, to a more planned and strategic roll-out of technologies that can benefit employee’s wherever they may be working from.

    “You initially had companies going for entry-level solutions like corded USB headsets,” said Jabra Canadian Channel Sales Leader Eric Ross. “This was aimed at quickly satisfying the whole ‘Just get me anything’ rush. But now, with people working from home long-term, perhaps even permanently, businesses are looking at solutions that promise more, that unlock mobility, collaboration, and higher-end productivity.”

    A different kind of noise

    The notion that working from home is not as complex or even noisy as working in a traditional office, is simply not true, says Ross. “There’s so much made of in-office noise. But there are complexities, and a different kind of noise, working from home, where you have other adults, kids, pets, and Amazon delivering packages. While earlier on companies thought they could make do with anything, they now acknowledge their need for a more technologically advanced product to enable people to be flexible in how they work, and to remain highly productive.”

    Read: “Jabra Evolve Series – now certified for Microsoft Teams”

    For high-productivity remote collaboration coming into 2021, more companies are evolving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. “With Teams and a Jabra headset, people can move seamlessly from on the road to the home office to a video conference call,” said Ross.

    Powering the “new” huddle team

    With the new distributed workplace model, it may not be uncommon to have five video conferencing attendees in the office, four at home, one en route to a client site meeting, and another at an airport cafe in London. But through the power of partnerships, it’s now possible to offer these individuals a greatly enhanced meeting experience.

    For anyone who has been told “you’re on mute,” there is a shared understanding that one of the supreme challenges in the work-from-anywhere era is the creation of a meeting experience that is as close to in-person as possible. One-on-one with a laptop cam gets the job done, but little more. This is where Jabra PanaCast comes in. The PanaCast is a small (four inches wide and less than one inch tall) but very powerful intelligent 180-degree panoramic camera that automatically detects who’s in a meeting and changes the field of view to include everybody without compromising video quality.

    Learn more: Jabra PanaCast

    “Say you have five people in-office in a meeting room and a few more working from home,” said Ross. “PanaCast’s real-time image stitching for a true 180-degree view gives those offsite more of a feeling of ‘being there’ in the meeting room. Add to this intelligent zoom and colour balance, and sensational 4K video, and you get a meeting that feels as close to the real thing as you can possibly get. This is great for productivity, communication, and of course morale.”

    For more information about the changing face of office collaboration, watch Ready for your team. Ready for Teams.

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    Glenn Weir
    Content writer at IT World Canada. Book lover. Futurist. Sports nut. Once and future author. Would-be intellect. Irish-born, Canadian-raised.

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