Categories: Collaboration Devices

Work, made better: Webex devices for hybrid work

It’s more important than ever that companies place an emphasis on empathy and well-being. The last few years have flipped the modern enterprise and its ways of working on its head. The world of work has changed.

The reality of hybrid work presents new challenges. In a study of meeting fatigue by Dimensional Research, 81% of participants indicated experiencing physical ailment at the end of a day filled with video meetings. Even though they felt greater flexibility and increased productivity working remotely, the rise in video meetings caused wellbeing to be negatively impacted.

With change can also come progress. Under a hybrid working model, intentional design and powerful technology have incredible potential:

  • We can design meeting experiences that reduce fatigue
  • We can design a workplace that’s more sustainable
  • We can build inclusive experiences that connect minds around the globe
  • We can make where and how work gets done more flexible than ever before

And in this new world, Webex devices are designed to bring out the absolute best of hybrid work. In fact, Webex device users indicate being better enabled, more productive, with improved collaboration, and 65% more likely to say they never get frustrated during video meetings. Let’s talk about why.

Videoconferencing that supports wellbeing and sustainability

Hybrid work has given employees the flexibility to work virtually anywhere. Any space can be a workspace. At home, at the office, or on-the-go, each workspace brings with it unique challenges. In the study, background noise, poor sound, and video quality were the top video meeting frustrations leading to fatigue. Which begs us to consider the questions:

  • How do we promote natural connection when some participants are in the office and some are at home?
  • How can we solve for uncontrollable variables in workplace environments?
  • As we return to office, how can we reduce our workplace’s environmental impact?

Human-centered design in hardware and software can solve for these challenges. I shared some of those solutions from Webex in my last blog on reimagining work experiences. And, as companies are rearranging their offices and incorporating new technologies, we can design them to promote user wellbeing, and to be inherently more sustainable.

Introducing the Webex Room Bar

We’re unveiling the new Webex Room Bar—a powerful room device that turns huddle spaces and small-to-medium sized meeting rooms into a hub for engaging collaboration, so that people can thrive when faced with distance. The device uses AI to make sure everyone in the room is perfectly framed, giving all participants equal presence on the call—wherever they work. Spatial audio makes it feel like dispersed team members are in the room with you. AI-enabled background noise removal keeps distractions to a minimum, and ensures participants can hear clearly, without strain. And, third-party video interoperability provides unparalleled flexibility to join any meeting, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

The Webex Room Bar is also raising the “bar” for sustainable room conferencing—it’s lighter, thinner, and is manufactured for easy disassembly and recycling. The device and its packaging use significantly less materials: no box-in-the-box packaging, single-use foam containers, or redundant parts. This compact, flexible and powerful room device can enable any huddle space and small meeting room with immersive, multi-platform video conferencing.

Devices designed for inclusive experiences

The corporate office looks different in this new world of working: more flexible seating solutions, like hot desks, and less dedicated space. The challenge with shared seating is inclusion—it can leave employees feeling a loss of personalized space. To address this, we’ve made hotdesking a personal experience. Users can easily sign in and book an available Webex device with their Webex profile, and then have access to their calendar meetings, whiteboards, and recent calls. It’s like taking your desk with you, wherever you sit.

This solution works across our Desk Series portfolio—on all-in-one collaboration devices like the Webex Desk Pro and modularly through the Webex Desk Hub.

And, on days you can’t make it into the office, Webex’s portfolio of devices enable users to be present in any meeting, wherever they are.

Introducing the Cisco Desk Camera 1080p

We’re introducing the new Cisco Desk Camera 1080p—featuring omni-directional microphones and face-detection to deliver best in class auto-exposure, auto-focus, and white balance. That way, whatever is going on behind you whether you’re at home or in the office, your team can hear and see you clearly. The Cisco Desk Camera 1080p adds superior video quality on your home monitor or laptop, and can also be used at the office for hotdesking experiences.

One of the most basic tenants of inclusion is understanding. Hybrid meetings have the opportunity to be more inclusive, by ensuring all participants understand the content being shared, regardless of language barriers. We’ve announced real-time translation, available on Webex devices. Translation interprets your meeting into more than 100 languages as on-screen text.

Now, for your higher stakes meetings and events, we are happy to share that Simultaneous Interpretation is also available for devices. With this incredible feature, meetings are translated by a live interpreter, and enterprises can overcome geographical and language barriers.

Flexible collaboration devices

In hybrid work, technology plays a centralized role in many of our modes of communication: Conversations, meetings, innovation, and creativity, for example. When team members are working across spaces, technology is the connective tissue that allows connection to thrive. If technology feels clunky, or if it simply doesn’t work with your existing tools, connection is broken, innovation is lost, and creativity gets stifled.

Collaboration technology should work in the exact ways you do—wherever and however you work—including the ability to share content from the tools you already use. We announced that the Room, Desk, and Board series will support AirPlay content sharing through RoomOS 11.

I’m excited to share that Webex devices will now support Miracast wireless content sharing from Windows devices.

I’m also excited to share that as an extension of our open philosophy, our users can now customize the UI of their devices. Webex Desk and Board series devices will support Kiosk Mode—a feature that allows the enterprise to replace the native UI with their own customized web app. For instance, from the web app, users can place calls to a receptionist, a help desk, or to a subject matter expert.

The world has undoubtedly changed—and with change is the potential for progress. With Webex devices, hybrid work can be better than any way we’ve worked before.

***

To learn more about how Webex devices make hybrid work better, read our best practices for returning to the office.

To see how we are reimagining workspaces for hybrid work, visit the Hybrid Work Experience.

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Published by
Snorre Kjesbu

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