The Hybrid Model

As collaboration moves back to in-person interactions and many companies return to the office, the “hybrid model” has become a popular option for this workplace transition. Gensler Workplace Surveys showed that employees that worked some days in the office and others at home seemed to have higher job satisfaction and more time management skills.  People want to choose where to work, and while many adapted well to working from home, others had a strong desire for the productivity and social benefits of being back in the office.

The hybrid model has become a strong solution, providing workers with what they need to be productive, safe, and flexible. According to Zoom’s report How Virtual Do We Want Our Future to Be?, hybrid working was the more popular option for business appointments with 64% preferring both in-person and virtual, 25% wanting only in person, and 10% using only video conferencing. A flexible return to the office is the preference for the majority of U.S. workers.


Back to the Meeting Rooms 

With many companies providing a hybrid model for their employees, internal business meetings will have a mixed group of attendees in the meeting room and attending virtually. With this collaboration shift comes new strategies for conference rooms and workplace design. Here are five types of collaboration solutions that are trending for this hybrid office return!


1. Open Meeting Rooms

Even though people are back in the office, employers are not planning on squishing a dozen people in a conference room anymore. Now many need more options for meeting spaces in order to keep people spread out but still engaged. A popular development is a room without 4 walls, keeping an open space for more air flow. These open meeting rooms are in a similar location as a normal conference room or huddle room, so that a certain level of privacy is still provided while reflecting the flexibility of an ad-hoc design.


2. Bring Your Own Meeting

Workers became used to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for meeting rooms, but now people want to bring the comfort of their laptop’s experience to the conference room. The BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting) solution allows for users to host a video conference from their own device while still connecting to the room’s technology. Barco’s ClickShare Conference is a strong example of a solution that gives meeting hosts and attendees a collaboration room that can be used for any kind of meeting, by any video conferencing software. In a world where everyone got used to their own virtual experience, whether Zoom, Teams, Webex or more, meeting rooms that allow a user’s preference are becoming more popular.


3. "Work from Wherever" Spaces

While employees have become used to the Work from Wherever (WFW) mindset, offices will come to reflect this ability to be productive, well, wherever. This might look like more ad-hoc meeting spaces and multi-purpose rooms, for collaboration as well as focused work. According to Gensler unassigned seating was becoming quite the trend before COVID-19, and while there is some uncertainty about how productive workers are in a shared setting, the hybrid model will have employees coming and going on different days. Flexible workplace design allows many employees to work and meet in a new place when needed, keeping the WFW attitude alive.


4. Collaboration Boards

The ad-hoc meeting rooms for those in the office, as well as higher-end workplaces created at home, demand a high caliber collaboration board for video conferencing, white board notes, and more. Collaboration boards were becoming very popular before the pandemic, and now as companies build these open meeting spaces, the need arises for flexible and effective mobile solutions.


5. Native Teams and Zoom Conference Rooms

As employees became used to virtual meetings and a new workflow, they have become accustomed to certain meeting experiences. If an organization moved everyone to a specific video conferencing platform last year, they will want to provide their employees with a standardized conferencing solution in the office as well. By setting up Zoom Rooms or Teams Rooms across an office space, employers can offer meeting attendees a native Zoom or Teams experience, identically reflecting the interface everyone used from their own devices at home. This way both in-office and remote employees can share an experience and have quality technology available to make virtual attendees feel like they are in the room as well.

Whether Teams or Zoom is your platform of choice, having a certified partner help with setup and support of your rooms ensures that your video conferencing platform is properly integrated with the rest of the technology in the room. Other manufacturers such as Logitech are becoming more popular as they launch room bundles to provide users with the Teams or Zoom experience they know like the back of their hand.


Setting Up Your New Meeting Room

With all the options available for the new hybrid workplace, it can be overwhelming to decide what your organization needs to keep your employees productive, happy, and collaborating. By talking with an integrator like Profound Technologies, you can have a clear understanding of what technology and room types can fit your need and your budget, as well as next steps to achieve these goals. Contact us to talk to an expert about your meeting rooms and plans for hybrid work.