As Modern Workspaces Change, the Conference Room Must Evolve
The boardroom of the past is dying out. When you think of a corporate conference room, you probably imagine big glass doors, a long table, black chairs, possibly with video-conferencing capabilities set up at one end that can only be used to chat with very limited locations. These conference rooms, while great in theory, present a lot of problems in today’s modern workforce. Ranging from the hassle of scheduling meetings around the rooms availability, to the high cost to build the room, the traditional conference room is no longer suited for a business environment that is moving toward creative collaboration spaces over more structured modernist settings.
New Tech and Creative Clashes
Don’t get us wrong, we don’t believe that the opposite of the designated boardroom setting isn’t ideal either. With countless video chat options and the increase in fluid workspaces where the lines between office and home are being gradually blurred, the temptation to move all business interactions onto platforms like WebEx, Hangouts, and others is certainly there. However, there are several problems with this approach. The first is noise. If you are operating out of a co-working environment or an open office, simply conferencing in from various desks is problematic and leads to a lot of noise interference. Next is the obvious issue of variations in video quality, which can appear unprofessional if conferencing with an important client. Finally, there is dealing with accessibility to your network.
Think of all the times you’ve attempted to give a presentation and the tech has required you to jump through countless hoops just to show a simple graph. This may cost your team extra time and it may cost you a potential client down the line. There’s also the hesitation as a business owner to allow outside devices to use your network for presentations, as this creates a significant security risk. The modern conference room needs to have not only an intuitive and easily accessible system, but also one that is divorced from the overall company network, ensuring the security of all involved.
So where does this leave us? It’s simply not cost effective to keep building more of the large rooms of the past, and yet a full shift to online communication poses its own problems. Knowing both the challenges presented and the possibilities available with recent technological advances, we got creative and along with several partners, developed a vision for the evolution of the modern conference room.
To start with, we want to focus on providing spaces that have secure, safe and simplified video conferencing devices. With companies like Logitech developing low-cost, high-definition cameras, as well as the prevalence of easily integrated speaker systems on the market, our perfect conference room would afford you impeccable connection abilities with your coworkers and clients in other cities.
Having a designated “conference room” space, rather than relegating work to your desk, allows for a powerful Mini PC to be shared by all of those working in the space, ensuring that you have the power you need to live stream. Along with this, this modern conference room will be outfitted with dedicated hardware, like our Mimo Vue Capture with HDMI Capture, that will allow devices to be securely linked to the video conferencing software without putting the company network as a whole at risk of attack.
Other than higher quality video conferencing, the trend has been to move from discussion-centered rooms (think again of the long table and chairs setup), to rooms that can serve a myriad of purposes. Integrating “smart” whiteboards into conference rooms allows for teams to use the space as they need, import their work to be analyzed by the entire team, and then save their progress and then leave the conference room ready to be instantly occupied by a new team with an entirely different project.
Finally, these conference rooms of tomorrow we’d like to see are going to be much smaller than those we have today. By moving from a single boardroom to a series of smaller rooms, you can avoid scheduling hassles and even tailor the video conferencing systems in each room to serve different functions. As a consequence, the cost of video conferencing systems has to come down too.
While we believe these trends are certainly going to be the ones to shape the modern conference room, the truth is that adaptability is becoming the name of the game. By designing rooms that allow for a multitude of uses, that are intuitive and easy to use and that can be upgraded as the needs of the company change, these modern collaborative spaces will be integral to a successful business environment.
Check out our vision for the future of conference rooms by visiting our solutions page.