We recently co-hosted an event with our partner and workplace design leader Convene in Philadelphia. The main draw was a panel discussion on “The Future of Collaboration Technology in the Workplace,” where we discussed and shared insights on trends that are transforming how workers collaborate with one another. The panel included the following key thought leaders who have led workplace planning efforts and collaboration technology deployments:
- David Siedell, Senior Director of Technology at The Wharton School, and School Board Member at Haddonfield Board of Education.
- Matthew Lesoveck, Architect for Collaboration and Mobility at Voya Financial.
- Christopher Jaynes, PhD,Founder and CTO at Mersive Technologies.
- Michael Judeh, Regional Director of Technology at Convene.
As previously mentioned, mega trends in workplace design are affecting how companies design spaces and leverage technology to boost collaboration. In the US alone, for example, coworking providers now offer up to 27 million square feet of office space. Corporate America is following suit by taking great measures to improve workplace innovation, collaboration, and productivity in their own facilities. According to a recent survey, 89 percent of global employees say they use collaboration technologies with 85 percent saying they use them at least once a week.
With this global shift in the workplace in play, we asked our panel several questions about how they approach this growing shift in collaboration and work. The following are three key insights that came from three questions posed to the panel.
- What do your users ask for most?
According to David Siedell it was, “More time in the room. Since users only have so much time in a room to accomplish their tasks, ease of use of in-room technology is key. Since they want to quickly get where they’re going, we need to provide only the most advanced technology to support them and constantly test it.”
- Are the rooms being used the way they were designed?
“We’ve designed rooms from large conference rooms, to huddle rooms, to bar type set ups where the users can share easily,” added Lesoveck. “We try to give our users options, so they can use a room that’s specific to their needs.”
- What’s next? What problems need to be solved to get to the next level?
Both David Siedell and Matt Lesoveck agreed, “…it has to be easy.” The more collaboration can be made to reflect the ease of use found in consumer technology, the greater the utilization will be and the quicker users will get to the heart of their collaboration needs. From the provider’s perspective, Michael Judeh of Convene felt that the quicker they can measure utilization of certain types of technology, the sooner they can move on to what’s being used like integration with voice activated technology like Alexa and Solstice Pods.
Everyone agreed that innovation has to consider the need for IT-levels of security and integration. But, as the boundaries for starting and ending meetings are lowered, the faster collaboration can take place and the sooner the users of today’s workspaces can reach success and the sooner everyone wins.
To learn more about the future of workspaces, see our video of the event here.