How to Choose Useful Collaborative Tools for Hybrid Meetings?

  • BenQ
  • 2021-03-19

As many businesses and organisations around the world move to hybrid work models, tools such as interactive displays have emerged as essential for collaboration in smart meeting rooms. Since interactive displays stand as among the most useful technologies underpinning hybrid work, when you choose which ones to purchase, clearly security and privacy must be top priorities.

Effects of a worldwide emergency

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated certain global work and productivity trends. Primary among those is working from home or any location other than a fixed office. Due to both demands from employees and government regulations, employers find themselves needing to accommodate “work from anywhere”, which means linking a host of endpoints via dedicated technology. According to Forbes, the year 2020 indeed served as a catalyst for the adoption of remote work technologies. And this will continue in 2021 and beyond, with enterprise collaboration technologies expected to reach a revenue of US$45 billion in 2025.

Push to maintain collaboration

That’s not just due to COVID-19, as even without the pandemic, most enterprises are now global by default and therefore include collaboration with people not physically in the main building, or even on the same continent. Thus, modern collaborative tools that step up to meet the needs of team members are needed. While we may be physically apart, with good technology and optimised solutions, meetings and collaboration can be just as effective as when done face to face. Built to make the most of cloud services, good collaborative tools enable uninterrupted work from nearly anywhere in the world.

The essentials of good collaborative tools

Going on extensive research done by Gartner, meetings must accommodate all participants but allow the host to control the flow of the meetings as needed. Look for these features when choosing your collaboration solutions:

  • Screen and application sharing so that all participants can view each other’s relevant content and access communal apps, even if they don’t have them installed on their own devices 
  • Everyone can edit content presented and discussed in meetings, unless said content is locked for safety or priority reasons
  • Virtual whiteboarding to promote spontaneous creativity and effective brainstorming 
  • Voice controlled virtual assistants simplify background tasks and routine processes 
  • Meeting host controls to ensure collaboration stays on course and focused 
Remote and hybrid working

Regarding host controls, Gartner insights recommend a flexible approach that varies by case, but always promotes a productive environment for collaboration. Since most meetings that involve hybrid work and remote participation tend to be a little more casual and democratic, only basic controls are needed, and these may move from person to person, for example, from meeting initiator to each topic or segment presenter. Broadly speaking, meeting controls should cover:

  • The scheduling and commencement of meetings 
  • Add, mute, and block participants 
  • Sharing of meeting controls, or rotating controls 
  • Providing meeting hosts with visual and audible cues for different attendees

Of course, big meetings require different types and levels of host controls. These controls should offer the ability to delegate and accommodate a granular approach. That’s because with big meetings there may be several session leaders, multiple presenters, Q&A session moderators, and others.

BenQ DuoBoard interactive screens drive collaboration with video conferencing as the focal aspect. They include the Meeting Room 365 app ecosystem and integrate Amazon Web Services (AWS) with BenQ’s Saffi voice-assistant technology. You also get the EZWrite collaboration software suite for effortless creativity and sharing alongside video conferencing and voice calls.

Research before acquisition

While based on long-standing trends, the move to hybrid work and new modes of collaboration mandates you take a proactive approach and carefully evaluate solutions before taking the plunge. As each organisation differs, you should take a close look at the types of meetings and collaborative sessions your teams really need

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