The relatively recent explosion of collaboration technology has been remarkable. Just a few short years ago, organizations only had a handful of collaborative options to choose from. Today, countless applications lead to nearly limitless options. On the surface, that sounds great – who doesn’t want options? In reality, the wrong choice of technology can lead to increased frustration and decreased productivity for many organizations. How could workplace technology that is meant to foster collaboration actually lead to a break-down in productivity? Unfortunately, it happens quite easily and often. Here’s why:
Too Much Complexity
Often times, an organization’s meeting rooms will have different audiovisual systems as well as collaborative software applications. This creates inconsistent experiences for users. If meeting room technology isn’t similar from one room to the next, it can create a high level of confusion and frustration for users during normal operation. If something goes wrong, troubleshooting becomes even more difficult for the users and technicians alike. Multiple variations of technology can greatly reduce maintenance efficiencies.
Have you ever arrived early to start your meeting only to be stumped by which remote to use, which cable to connect with, or how to make the audio and video in the conference room actually work together? Worse, there is a control system but the user interface gives you a headache. When the process isn’t intuitive, what should be a seemingly simple task becomes overwhelming. Anxious users will swamp IT service teammates to solve simple technology issues, taking IT away from working on more strategic objectives.
Difficult to Manage
Not only does inconsistent technology impact end-users, but it also impacts the IT teammates that are called to provide support. What should be a quick response becomes a lengthy exchange determining which room the end-user is in, what type of technology is utilized in that room, and what technical issues are actually being experienced. If the problem can’t be solved remotely and must be dealt with in-person, frustration goes even higher, wasting time and money for everyone involved.
Your experience with collaborative technology doesn’t have to be so maddening. There are steps that can be taken to streamline workplace solutions that will increase user satisfaction and productivity while reducing the workload of your IT team.
Evaluate Workflow before Selecting Technology
Conference room technology isn’t “one size fits all.” Every organization has unique goals and needs that impact technology decisions. Understanding workflows and expected outcomes for meetings within an organization should drive the discussion on the types of technology that will align to meet objectives. Off-the-shelf technology solutions can save organizations money in the short-term, but if the technology solution doesn’t support longer-term goals and create productive collaboration, it will likely turn out to be a costly fix in the long-term.
While ensuring that technology aligns with workflows is a key to success, so is choosing a technology solution that is intuitive for end-users. Having identical audiovisual systems in every type of collaboration space isn’t always realistic. But choosing solutions that create similar experiences and start-up processes in each room will dramatically increase productivity and reduce frustration.
Simplify by only installing high-end AV in meeting rooms where it’s needed. Keep the remainder of meeting space technology simple to save money and positively impact the user experience.
Likely, there are recurring issues related to conference room technology that end-users could resolve on their own if they were given the right tools to do so. Identifying frequent issues and proactively providing tips and training materials that allow users to address technology problems on their own, is a great way to save time and money for everyone. Not only will this boost user confidence, but it will also reduce repetitive calls for the IT service team, freeing them up to work on more productive projects.
Providing intuitive start-up instructions and labeling equipment is another way to empower users to successfully start, manage, and end a meeting on their own. These can be written instructions or developed into a highly intuitive touch control system interface.
Whether your existing workplace technology isn’t performing as effectively as it should, or you’re preparing to upgrade collaborative solutions throughout your enterprise, defining objectives and planning ahead for technology will ensure the solution is right for your unique needs. Globally, Mechdyne has been aligning technology solutions with company workflows and objectives for over 20 years. Let us show you how we make technology work for you.