Meet the future of hybrid meetings

According to the World Economic Forum, 68% of employees prefer hybrid work, with only 8% preferring to work from the office full-time.

It’s now commonplace for meetings to take place with some participants in the meeting room in person, and others connecting remotely via Microsoft Teams. While this gives businesses and employees useful flexibility in their working arrangements, many Teams users don’t always get a quality meeting experience. It’s easy for them to be forgotten about as conversations progress, or not be given the same chance to speak and contribute.

In this blog, we’ll explore how you can ensure that in-person and remote participants get equal treatment and experiences across all of your hybrid meetings.

What hybrid challenges are businesses facing?

Organisations naturally want to standardise meeting room experiences across their estate. That way, every user in every location can contribute to every meeting, and so consistency in equipment can increase user adoption and lower the demand on internal IT support.

However, many meeting environments haven’t sufficiently adapted to the very different nature of hybrid meetings. Meeting rooms are still being laid out in a traditional way, with long tables around which people can sit, and the video collaboration camera and screen placed at one end – almost as an afterthought. This actively works against remote participants, because those in the meeting room physically are facing each other and better able to converse, whereas those connecting through Teams are effectively looking in from the outside.

Many businesses are proving reticent to make the changes needed to better include remote participants into meetings . Much of this is down to the investment that they’ve made into their meeting spaces, that they will naturally feel reluctant to give up on by spending more money on reformatting. But hybrid working is here to stay, so making changes is essential: without doing so, meetings can’t be as effective or efficient as they can be, which affects productivity, employee morale, and ultimately business competitiveness.

Why the future is Microsoft Signature Teams Rooms

The take-up of meeting rooms designed with hybrid collaboration in mind has, until now, been relatively low in the UK. However, as hybrid working becomes more embedded long-term, they will become far more commonplace, to the point of being an employee expectation. And this is where Microsoft Signature Teams Rooms come in.

Signature Teams Rooms are a radically different design of a traditional meeting room that brings both types of attendee together equally. In-person participants sit on one side of or curved desk, looking towards a large screen from which all the remote participants can be viewed and heard with meeting equity. This is supported by a comprehensive audio visual solution that delivers a immersive telepresence experience, which brings together high-quality audio and video, automatic camera tracking, directional audio from remote participants and seamless content sharing. This means that everyone in a meeting gets a similar experience, wherever they are, and that everyone can hear, see and understand the body language of everyone else.

What’s more, Microsoft Teams Rooms also includes Microsoft IntelliFrame, an AI-driven online meeting experience designed to improve hybrid meetings. Microsoft Teams Rooms equipped with supported cameras create smart video feeds by zooming in on and framing in-room attendees, so that online participants can more clearly see their faces and gestures.

How SCC can help

We can provide everything you need to create the perfect hybrid meeting space, we carefully install it using the industries most qualified and experienced engineers, and finally we then help you with proactive support services to monitor and keep everything up and running.

This is available as a managed service that’s paid for monthly, meaning you don’t have to commit to major up-front investment, and can substantially enhance meeting experiences without putting any pressure on your budget.

Learn more about Microsoft Signature Teams Rooms, and SCC’s full managed service, in this brochure.

At SCC we understand how complex this can be, which is why we have developed a unique all-in-one managed solution that takes care of every part of the deployment process for you.

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