I’ve seen my fair share of workplace transformation. Reimagining how people work and collaborate in the workplace is my passion, and I’m fortunate enough to live and breathe this transformation every day. The one thing I can say with certainty is that the workplace of the future isn’t a specific place — it’s where you are at any given time whether that’s a home office, coffee shop or an office building. We’re already seeing this shift become pervasive.
Just last week, my team hosted a meeting on the Webex platform with 107 participants (and a dog) from around the world on the new Webex Room Panorama (lab edition). It was distributed collaboration at its best. We had people working from home joining from laptops, Webex DX80s and Webex Desk Pros, people on the go with mobile devices, and in-office workers joining from Webex Room Kits and Room Series devices. When I walked into the room, the Room Panorama automatically paired with the Webex Teams mobile app on my phone where I was able to start the meeting and easily share content.
These are the kinds of seamless in-office and remote experiences that are delivered by Webex Rooms. Technology has redefined how and where people work as we are now letting go of “work-life balance” and finding ourselves in a world of blended professional and personal experiences. This means that people have less need for a physical workplace and are empowered to collaborate from anywhere. It solidifies for me that the future of work really isn’t out there in the future…it is NOW – and requires action.
I find that to be true in my own life. Having the Webex Rooms innovation engine out of Oslo, Cisco’s HQ is in San Jose, and customers and partners globally distributed means there really isn’t a starting or stopping point for work. Whether I’m in the office, at home, or traveling, I need to have a flexible and seamless experience to get stuff done. It seems I’m not the only one that requires this. Gartner estimates that by 2024, remote work and changing workforce demographics will impact enterprise meetings so that only 25% will take place in person, down from 60% today.* That’s a massive shift from how teamwork and collaboration operated just a few short years ago.
As I said, the future is now. Many organizations have begun planning on how they will meet the changing needs of their workforce. One of the questions I hear from customers undergoing workplace transformation and preparing the future of work is ‘how can I ensure that our teams will be as collaborative and productive throughout the day when meetings are increasingly distributed?’
Personally, I get excited when customers ask this. Why? Because I see all of this goodness daily in my own teams. It started by adopting the right collaboration platform and building a video-first culture. You might say to yourself, of course, Sandeep, because you work for Cisco. But Cisco is an organization like any other in that we’re on our own workplace transformation journey. It takes planning and commitment to adoption, and then, with the right tools in place, distributed collaboration can be just as effective, if not more effective, than in-person meetings. For example, in the Cisco Singapore office we were able to reduce our square footage by 68% while improving employee experiences, satisfaction, and productivity.
Successful transformation requires a collaboration platform that provides people with the capabilities they’d expect in the office while blending in what they’d expect from home. This includes whiteboarding and AI assistance. Further, technology-driven experiences that go beyond what can be achieved from in-person meetings takes this concept to an amazing level with features such as facial recognition with name labels and automatic transcription.
So how can your workforce achieve a high-quality collaboration experience when teamwork is increasingly virtual? It starts with Webex Rooms as a pillar of the Webex platform.
Webex Rooms provide distributed team collaboration experiences that rival in-person meetings. They work seamlessly with the rest of the Webex platform, including Webex Meetings, Webex Teams and Webex Calling. Our collaboration devices are purpose built to help teams collaborate and create together in real time, no matter how far the distance. From local wireless sharing and high-quality video conferencing to intelligent, connected workspaces, Webex Rooms offer rich collaboration experiences to support the needs of your workforce as it evolves.
Join us on the journey to the future of work – where distance isn’t a barrier and face-to-face collaboration is the norm. And if you’re already on that journey, share it with us over Twitter! I’d love to see how you #WorkFromHome. Feel free to tag me (@sandmehra) along with @CiscoCollab and @Webex. Here’s a view of my home office:
*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, September 2019. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.