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Thursday, 28 October 2021 13:05

It's time to plan your hybrid work strategy


GUEST OPINION: Australia is opening back up and employees will be returning to the office but expecting new ways of working. It’s important to set a solid platform that will evolve with you. Crestron has solutions to help.

Remote working is not new, but COVID greatly accelerated and expanded how entrenched and adopted remote working is, across every industry. With lockdowns easing employers, and employees too, are looking to return to some semblance of ‘normal’. We will see reinvigorated team building, collaboration, conferences, events, sales calls, and all the other things we used to do.

At the same time, the world has changed; remote working is not going away and the reality is while there’s a place for face-to-face meetings, the work/life balance of remote working has been well proven. Instead, the future of work will be a hybrid model with people working in the office some of the time and outside at other times.

The challenge for business and government is effectively managing this transition and the ongoing evolution of work from here. It’s imperative to leverage equipment and tools that aid your workforce in being equally as effective wherever they are, whenever they work, and whatever device they use. Communication and collaboration must be ever so simple. Sharing and editing documents must be seamless and inspire confidence in the participants, even the technophobes.

Technology and business leaders who want the greatest results will be looking for platforms they can use today and which will expand in the future, and importantly, which don’t break the bank or force existing office equipment to retire prematurely.

For example, your company might now be committed to Microsoft Teams because it served you well throughout the pandemic, but your existing boardroom was never set up for Teams because it was set up during a simpler time.

Or, perhaps, you need to conference with people who are divided among the office and elsewhere. It’s not a great experience if you require all your in-office staff to individually dial-in to a call, and it’s similarly dissatisfying if your outside workers are unable to effectively participate in the discussion around the table.

Happily, these are solvable problems. What you want is a cloud-supported, standards-based suite of integrations that allow you to create hybrid collaboration spaces that allow for connectivity regardless of platform, implementing solutions without any custom programming or expensive setup.

These are critical in today's workplace and here’s where Crestron comes in; the well-known company has been in business for half a century and provides a rich suite of audio-visual, automation, and integration technologies which all come to the aid of helping people get back to work safely and reliably.

Crestron's roots are in audiovisual equipment but evolved over its 50-year history to be a smart space Internet of Things company, providing enhanced experiences for commercial and residential customers. Its solutions cater for all the places where people live, learn, work, and play, but especially focus on the workplace, bringing Crestron’s vast expertise in control and automation.

This includes the Flex platform with a full range of solutions for any size of meeting space and AirMedia (pictured above) which provides wireless sharing over an organisation’s existing network.

Crestron's options include unified communications, meeting solutions, collaboration tools, presentation solutions and more, but with simplicity at heart. Instead of piecing together multiple disparate elements, companies expect and demand options that are simple to deploy and manage and which largely are set-and-forget.

As one example, the Crestron Flex MX (pictured below) is such a product that allows any user or visitor to connect and present on any platform with one touch, for companies that have standardised on Microsoft Teams. It really can’t get simpler than that. The Flex M-series can extend beyond the camera, microphone, and touch panel to also handle shading, lighting, environment controls, audio, scheduling, and more - all without custom programming.

If your business is working on its return-to-work plan you need to consider your policies and processes - and you also need to consider the technology and practicalities of how you will facilitate hybrid working for the greatest business benefit. Crestron has your back with product offerings to implement your vision, limited only by what you can imagine, not by what you own or where you work.

 Crestron FlexMM

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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