Enhancing Productivity and Collaboration for a Dispersed Workforce

CIOReviewIndia Team | Sunday, 12 December 2021, 19:29 IST

In an interaction with CIOReview India, Ankur Goel, Managing Director, Poly India and SAARC shares his views on the massive shift in the workplace culture and how workplace transformation can be achieved by enabling hybrid working.  

 

Workplace transformation has become a priority for enterprises to enable innovation, agility, and flexibility for an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce. How do you see this market evolving in India?      

We have come such a long way since the pandemic. Work and workspace as we know it has changed completely. Work is no longer a place we go to.

We have observed that remote working is widely accepted in India now. Before the pandemic, organizations were still wary about allowing their employees to work remotely. However, this mindset has shifted drastically. Companies have realized that their employees can be productive no matter where they are, provided they have the right communication and collaboration tools and the company culture that supports a dispersed workforce.

Employees are happier, too, as they can spend more time with family while working remotely and reduce the otherwise stressful commute time to work.

Overall, there has been a massive shift in the workplace culture, and workplace transformation has become a priority for organizations.

Hybrid working is set to be the future of work amongst many companies in India, and many organizations are already planning their hybrid work strategy and deciding on the way forward.

What are the major expectations of businesses from workplace transformation solution providers? How can those expectations be met, and what are the trends you foresee?

When it comes to workplace transformation solutions, businesses are looking for providers that help their employees have the same meeting and work experience, regardless of their work location (whether they are working from home or the office).

The other major requirement from organizations is to have a collaboration and communication vendor that works with multiple cloud platforms. For instance, many of Poly’s products support multiple cloud platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom and are a popular choice among customers.

Some of the trends include –

Tech investments will focus on employee productivity, participation, and equality of experience

Companies’ technology investments will move beyond deploying tech solutions and ensuring employees know how to use them.

It will be about ensuring technology plays a more effective role in helping employees work seamlessly and effectively without disruptions

According to EY’s Work Reimagined Employer Survey.-

  • 75% of employers plan to invest in better in-office technology, as well as those that help transition to new ways of working on-site and at home.
  • Employees surveyed are asking companies to invest in at-home technology for better productivity while working at home, with 56% of companies said they will invest in collaboration tools for improved home office productivity.

Video conferencing will continue to be the norm for collaboration and meetings- The pandemic has led to new usage models of videos, especially within sectors that traditionally do not rely on or use videos as a mode of engagement. This trend will continue and grow. This will drive demand for pro-grade technology and collaboration tools, which will drive better user experiences, and in turn, improved productivity and collaboration among employees

How is WFH demand evolving? Are corporate IT departments beginning to standardize work from home tools?  

We see both IT and individuals playing a role in purchasing WFH tools. In some cases, IT is either making bulk purchases or allowing individuals to buy through a company-procured eCommerce site. In other cases, companies are giving individuals a stipend and allowing them to shop on Amazon or other e-tail sites.

For the long term, we see most organizations adopting a clearly defined WFH procurement policy. As WFH becomes part of an organizations’ go-forward plan, the need for remote management and support of all devices will become paramount. 

What are some tips you would provide for companies implementing the hybrid work strategy?

Invest in solutions that offer a fantastic user experience. Video and audio conferencing have now gone mainstream. Investing in these collaboration devices, which have features like embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) included in them, provides an amazing end-user experience. At Poly, we are applying advancements in AI, machine learning, and new technologies to deliver the best camera angles, which consistently provide superior audio quality, no matter the calling platform used.

Choose solutions that are platform agnostic and provide investment protection.   No matter which UC platform an organization chooses for its internal communications, many customers will find that users likely need to connect to several different platforms due to the needs of a client, partner, or prospect. As a result, one cloud platform for communication and collaboration purposes no longer suffice.

Customers should keep in mind to invest in solutions that support a multi-cloud environment and purchase an audio and visual technology provider that works equally well with any platform.

Go for vendors that offer a complete portfolio of solutions where services play a big role. Choose a vendor that provides a full range of portfolio of collaboration solutions (be it for a remote worker or a large conference room) that offers rich monitoring and insight capabilities so that they can keep a pulse on device status, meeting performance, and end-user experience.

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