The full article, New Opportunities for WPT Integrators, was originally published in Installation magazine on March 16, 2023.
Written by Rick Winde, Workplace Technology Solutions Architect
In short order, hybrid and remote work options have become a permanent part of the workplace. Professional search firm Hiring Lab recently found that job listings featuring a remote component have nearly tripled since 2020, while data from career site Ladders show that 36% of all professional jobs are now remote.
This shift from exclusively an office environment to remote or hybrid work experiences has been challenging for employers and workplace technology (WPT) integrators alike. While employers have struggled to make certain their remote/hybrid workers feel engaged, productive, and part of the team, WPT integrators are confronted with creating technology solutions that enable every employee to have an effective, real-time exchange of ideas, regardless of where they are working.
To make certain employees look and sound great, regardless of where they are working, WPT integrators must focus on creating intuitive virtual and physical experiences that are simple to navigate – regardless of the platform being used. Microphones and speakers must be able to capture and transmit a clear audio stream into and out of the room. Monitors and video solutions must be positioned so that in-person and remote participants are able to easily view shared content and each other. Dimmable, versatile lighting must be placed in a way that reduces glare and enhances visibility for all participants.
Given that, office conference room systems, including cameras, microphones, and speakers, must be thought out to meet room size and typical number of participants. Boasting features such as auto tracking, autofocus, modifications of lighting conditions, acoustic fencing, and zone control, these systems come together to create an ideal atmosphere for both local and remote participants.
When it comes to home offices, integrators must mitigate common issues like participant movement, poor lighting conditions, and unwanted background noise. By investing in proper equipment and setup, remote participants can enjoy an optimal meeting experience. Utilizing the manufacturer’s software to fine-tune the device is essential to making the meeting a success. At the end of the day, that 30 minutes or two hours that have been dedicated to promoting an idea or message that someone wanted to discuss requires the same fidelity and clarity to promote the idea effectively no matter where the participants are located.
With that in mind, most of the newer interior designs are favoring an open workspace where users have the ability to sit comfortably in an isolated seating arrangement which makes for a perfect collaborative engagement. Given that, integrators are likely to see increased demand for VC-enabled devices that permit calls to be made anywhere in the office and accompanying power solutions that keep employees connected without having to hunt for outlets.
Bottom line, WPT integrators are going to see their role expand beyond installation and management of workplace technology to include a more strategic role in analyzing both traditional and remote workplaces and recommending solutions designed to expand productivity and ensure a better work experience for all employees.