Future Workplaces

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of work environments and how we communicate with our colleagues. The shift in how and where we are working presents an opportunity to reshape and reinvent the workplace for a life after COVID-19. 

Changing how we define work as a single office location to a more work-at-home or anywhere that has internet is how experts say a lot of employees will be allowed to work. Because of cloud based technology and rapidly evolving policies concerning remote work, these predictions appear more accurate.

However, the only way this type of workplace is possible is if companies give their employees the correct tools, support and strategy. 

HOW THE WORKPLACE CHANGED AT THE BEGINNING OF 2020

There was a study done in 2018 and it predicted that working from home (remote work) would equal or surpass in office work by 2025. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 the future has arrived sooner rather than later. A research firm released some data in April that showed 63% of United States employees worked from home due to coronavirus. 

The sudden shift to remote work has introduced new issues for both employers and employees as the virus made it necessary for organizations to prioritize safety over preparedness. Other research has shown that

  • 71% of employers struggled to adjust to remote work
  • 65% of employers said maintaining employee morale and well-being has been a challenge
  • One-third faced difficulties with company culture

This may paint a grim picture, but another study by a research firm found that remote work had only a small negative impact on productivity despite significant logistical challenges.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM FUTURE WORKPLACES

As you know the workplace is looking a lot different now. Here are a few ways that future workplaces may look different

  1. Virtual workplaces - Employers that don’t require employees to work on site may see a big turn toward virtual workplaces. Certain fields, manufacturing, distribution, health care and service-related industries will still need the majority of their employees to physically go into the workplace for the business to operate. However, jobs outside of those industries may go full remote.
  2. Distributed offices - Since a lot more employees are working remotely, some companies or organizations may open smaller regional hubs or provide remote workers with access to local coworking spaces rather than have everyone commute to one central office.
  3. Online meetings -Business travel and going into the office has come to a halt during the pandemic, a lot of companies have started using video conferencing more. With video conferencing the employees working remotely could safely and effectively meet and collaborate face to face with their colleagues, clients, and customers.

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Work Environments

Everyone prospers in different settings. Some people thrive in a high energy work environment with lots of activity. For others that type of work environment can stunt their productivity. Have you found which work environment works best for you? 

You are probably wondering what work environments we are talking about. There are a few to consider:

  • Fully remote
  • Partially remote
  • In an open-office
  • In a private office
  • On-the-go

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL WORK ENVIRONMENT?

Fully Remote

Because of COVID-19 some companies have adopted a fully remote office setup to make sure everyone is practicing social distancing. Now that companies are easing restrictions a few are deciding that they are going to do permanent work-from-home.

PROS

  • Employees can work from anywhere in the world
  • Easier work-life boundaries for experienced remote workers
  • Lower expenses on commutes for employees and operational costs for companies overall

CONS

  • Collaboration may be sometimes affected (if teams haven’t figured out how to work together online)
  • Employees have to be accountable to themselves, which for some people may not work
  • Loneliness is a problem commonly experienced by remote employees

Partially Remote

Other companies have started setting up a partially remote office setup where employees can report into the office a few days a week and work remotely for 1-2 days. Many companies are adopting a partially remote setup before committing to a fully remote office.

PROS

  • Employees can switch between the different setups, which can increase engagement and productivity as they are exposed to changing environments
  •  Teams are able to meet in person for regular meetings

CONS

  • In office employees may have a difficult time communicating with their remote counterparts if work is not happening at the same time

An Open-Office

Open office floor plans are often used in large companies to create an open space for employees instead of using cubicles.

PROS

  • Can increase communication and collaboration
  • Open floor plans can introduce wellness rooms and dedicated spaces for meetings and solo focused work

CONS

  • Boundaries maybe forgotten if employees are able to reach anyone whenever they want
  • Distractions can happen if there isn’t a designated area for chit-chat and meetings

A Private Office

Private offices are often associated with executives, but they may provide private offices for other people, even if for shared use.

PROS

  • Dedicated space for work can boost productivity
  • Privacy and boundaries can be enforced

CONS

  • May lack natural lighting or have bad ventilation
  • Can lead to a divide between people

On-The-Go

You may like working on your laptop anywhere; i.e., the library, coffee shop, or even at home. On the go work can mean working anywhere in the world, especially if your company supports non-existent work hours.

PROS

  • Have a chance to work with your natural energy
  • Can increase your productivity by exposing yourself to different environments

CON

  • Constantly being on the move can be tiring over time
  • You will always search for spots with internet service to work

DEFINE WHAT WORKSPACE YOU WANT

Now is the time to ask yourself some questions about what your ideal work environment is. Since we have put the different kinds of workplaces in a nice package for you, you can now decide on which one may appeal to you and what you want. The next step is to think about these thoughts that you want to be clear on

  1. Freedom to travel - do you want to be able to have a job based in the United States, but work from Europe or live in two different cities a year while keeping your job?
  2. Ability to meet with your team - do you want to meet with your team five-days a week?
  3. Some time at home - do you want to spend a few days a week at home?
  4. Human connection - do you need the connection from another human? Or do you like to communicate in person with your colleagues everyday?

 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Hosting Your First Webinar

Establishing yourself as a leader in your field, whether you’re a large business, institution or single entity, means being yourself and making your voice heard. The best way to do that is through a webinar. Webinars have become a popular way of efficiently and effectively communicating ideas especially due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lifesize has created an easy way to organize, share and participate in webinars, as a guest presenter or attendee. You may already have started looking into hosting online sessions with customers or your target audience or will in the near future.

WHAT IS A WEBINAR?

A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an organization or company and broadcast to a select group or individuals through their computers via the internet. A webinar is sometimes also referred to as a webcast, online event, or web seminar.

Depending on the restrictions put in place by the host, the participants can share their audio, screen, and documents with other attendees – making for an engaging and collaborative virtual discussion. Webinars allow companies to build relationships with customers, partners, or prospects.

THE 3 MAIN FACTORS OF A WEBINAR

  1. The host - Most webinars have a single host who is responsible for making all of the arrangements and making sure everything goes smoothly. The host could be a person or a team, but one primary individual will host the webinar
  2. The participants - Participants are the people that will be included in the webinar presentation, such as experts. They should have a defined and active role in the webinar based on the agenda and goals of the discussion.
  3. The attendees - Attendees are simply watching the webinar and may comment or respond to the webinar. They do not directly host, share or interact with the webinar.

Creating a webinar could be a daunting task, but with Lifesize creating a webinar takes only a couple of minutes.

HOW TO USE LIFESIZE AS YOUR WEBINAR IN 5 STEPS

  1. Sign into Lifesize

You will have to create your Lifesize account, but once you do you can immediately host or join meetings from any device from anywhere.

  1. Create a video meeting webinar for participants

Once you are signed in you want to click the “Meetings” tab and then select “Create a Meeting.” After that enter the name of the webinar, choose a host, and create a numeric passcode to ensure only invited people can join

  1. Share the link with webinar participants

Next you are going to copy the new webinar link and share it with everyone who will be participating via email or any calendar of your choice. NOTE: this is the link for those that will be a part of the webinar, not the attendees.

  1. Create a webinar link for attendees

After you share the link with the participants it is time to create a link to allow webinar attendees to watch your presentation.

To do this you will need to visit the Lifesize Admin Console (manage.lifesize.com) and then follow these instructions:

  • Select meetings tab
  • Search for the name of your newly created webinar and select it
  • (within the meeting settings menu) select streaming
  • Then select enable live streaming
  • You’ll now have the option to either enable or disable audience questions for your webinar.
  • Choose whichever you prefer
  • Click save
  1. Promote your webinar link to the masses

After setting up the link for your attendees you can now start to promote your webinar. From the edit meeting details menu, the newly created streaming link is what you’ll use in your marketing material.

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.


Digital Signage Box

A digital signage player is a small, physical device that extracts content to a TV, monitor, or other digital display. A digital signage player is a crucial part of any digital signage system. Digital signage players come with a variety of features. These features include support for multiple content formats, built-in security, multi-screen support and internet connectivity. 

Hikvision has created a new digital signage box because of today’s need for social distancing and customer safety. The box can display important information provided by Hikvision products such as:

  • People Counting – Displays the number of people that have entered and people who can still enter. Provides alerts when the maximum number of people are detected to ensure social distancing criteria. 
  • Mask Detection – When a customer without a mask is detected, a customized text notification will pop up.
  • Temperature Screening – An image from our highly accurate skin-temperature screening cameras with a temperature detection reading displayed.

Additionally, information such as advertising pictures or videos can also be displayed in a loop. Hikvision’s digital signage box comes with free software to set up and manage your display(s). The software can support up to 50 channels of digital signage.

SECURITY FEATURES

The Hikvision digital signage player provides multiple security features. A few of the features are; three-level verification of materials, programs and schedules to avoid incorrect releases, and encryption of data storage and transmission to prevent data tampering view temperature results on a local monitoring screen for quick identification. 

USER FEATURES

The player also features multi-level user permissions and organization features that allow for materials, programs, terminals and users to be managed from one central location. It will also support:

  • Static and dynamic materials, including applications, pictures, audio, video, PDF, streaming media, web pages, live video, third-party data, and more.
  • Variable display modes, such as display by day, display by week, custom display, and more. Remote control and management of one or more screens, including timed startup/shutdown, timed brightness/volume and screenshot previewing.
  •  Five-level organization for the management of materials, programs, terminals, and users
  • Creation of custom users and allocation of user permissions according to user levels.
  • Remote control and 433 MHz wireless communication that enables control over the information distribution box in any direction.

 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Hybrid Office

Since a global pandemic disrupted work and office spaces across the globe, owners and managers everywhere are having to rethink how and where their employees are going to be working. Many companies are having a productive time while their employees are working from home. 

While some companies, like Twitter, will stay remote and work from home, a lot of companies are more likely to shift into a hybrid workplace. It will accommodate both in office and remote employees. That means that companies are going to need the technology for collaboration and safety, enabling employees to interact and be productive without putting anyone in danger of getting COVID-19.

TECHNOLOGY FOR COLLABORATION

Moving into this new hybrid office environment, the layout of office spaces is likely to change to allow collaborative environments that are larger to support social distancing. What is that going to look like? Fewer cubicles and shared desks and more conference and meeting rooms. 

With Unified Communications and collaboration tools you can people count. In addition to people counting the platform also has built-in reporting and cloud-based analytics which can be used to understand how employees use collaboration spaces and how they can be improved.

PEOPLE COUNTING

Because of social distancing there are new rules for how many people could be in one space, that is where people counters come in. People-counting technology has been around for decades, but because of privacy and security it wasn’t widely adopted into businesses. With the latest Unified Communications and collaboration tools, which have cameras that support people counting. 

Some people counters in the UC tools can be set to detect issues. Like, if the camera detects a seventh person in a six-person max conference room, it can let facility managers and/or IT leaders know so they can intervene. 

CONTENT-SHARING

A personal device content-sharing gateway is the perfect way to safely share content to another display from your own personal device. Meaning that in-person meeting participants will not have to touch anything that isn’t theirs, which will help prevent the spread of viruses around the office. Gone are the days that everyone will have to be huddled around one person’s laptop in close quarters.

Content-sharing gateways allows employees who have been working at home, to use their own device that they have been using for a while, making it less time wasted learning how to control someone else’s device on the fly. It will also allow cross-collaboration with other video conferencing systems that customers, vendors, or partners may use.

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Video Conferencing for the Home

We have been remotely socializing, learning and working for months now. You are probably tired of sitting in an uncomfortable chair in the corner of the room looking at a laptop screen. Or you are tired of looking at your small phone screen talking to your family and friends on zoom. 

Technology is changing and adapting to the new normal way of life. Crestron has created HomeTime that is a professional video conferencing for your home. Crestron has leveraged their experience in enterprise UC to bring professional quality Zoom conferencing into your home. You can also have it integrated within your Crestron ecosystem. 

 CONTROL FROM ANY TELEVISION IN YOUR HOUSE

With the Crestron HomeTime video conference system it will allow you to join and host Zoom meetings using any television in your house. That is right now laptop required. The benefits of the new Crestron conference system are:

  •     Full-duplex, advanced beamforming microphone enables natural conversation
  •     See friends and family in a much larger video window
  •     Logitech MeetUp conference camera captures everyone comfortably in-frame – no more crowding around a laptop
  •     Its built-in speaker delivers high-quality audio throughout the room

 INTEGRATED REMOTE CONTROL

The TSR-310 has a 3-inch color touchscreen, backlit buttons, voice control capability, and enhanced Wi-Fi. You can use a TSR-310 handheld touchscreen remote, the same one you use to control lights, shades and thermostats, to conveniently control your Zoom meetings. 

The uses of a TSR-310 on HomeTime are:

  •     Start/join scheduled meetings
  •     “Meet Now” (enter your meeting ID and password from remote)
  •     Volume/mute control
  •     Select view (speaker, gallery, full screen)
  •     Camera control (pan and zoom)

ADD ROOMS

Crestron’s DM NVX AV-over-IP technology supports both video and USB. Because of that the Crestron HomeTime video conferencing engine can be located remotely. With the optional “add-a-room” kit, you can easily route meetings to televisions in other rooms.

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Mobile Room Control

Just about everything that we do nowadays is from our phones or iPads. We can do anything from our hands; from ordering dinner to buying a car. We expect our handheld devices to have intuitive functionality to help us with our everyday tasks and make our lives a little bit easier. Crestron thought that it was time to bring that level of intuitive to simply control a room into the workplace.

Innovation for the better.

Crestron has been the lead in way of room control. They were the first ones to introduce a color touch screen in the ‘90s. They strive year after year to innovate to give their customers a better experience.  Now they are using their experience and expertise to deliver the most seamless user experience for controlling workplace technology for your mobile device.

Crestron Mobile Room Control

You have to go through an authorized Crestron dealer to have the mobile room controller setup and programmed. You will tell your dealer what functions you would like. After it is all set up you and your staff would be able to use your phone or iPad to set up a new meeting room, control your lights, set up your presentation or present your presentation.

Safety and security

It is your job to make sure that your workplace is as safe as imaginable, to make sure that your returning employees can collaborate using technology safely, securely and successfully. Crestron is hard at work creating a mobile device room control experience that functions seamlessly and has the security we expect from our mobile devices. With the mobile device room control anyone should be able to walk into a room and use their mobile device and instantly have control of the room without having to touch any screen but their own.

Ease of use

You won’t have to type in IP addresses, remember passwords. You just simply open the app and go. The employee’s personal device will be detected by the nearby AV system and will automatically connect. For security, you can have authentication via a PIN or QR code enabled that will be displayed on the touch screen. 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Quite Home Workspace

With some businesses deciding to keep a work at home environment for a while you have to come up with some creative ideas to actually get some work done. I am sure a lot of you have a similar story; your kids are at home trying to do their schoolwork online for the first time, you are at home trying to get your work done. Your kids get tired of it and start trying to get your attention, but you are on a video meeting. It can get pretty loud pretty fast.

Everyone is trying to figure out how to tell their family that they are busy and, on a call, or in a virtual meeting and to please come back without sounding rude. Well there are a few things you can do especially if you have a home office set up in a room.

CRESTRON ROOM INDICATORS

Crestron makes room status indicators that mount to the ceiling or door. A lot of corporate offices use them to let other people know that there is a meeting going on (red indicator) or if the room is free (green indicator). You may not want to go this route as it would make your house look like an office.

LED LIGHTS

Another option you could do would be putting LED lights above the door that would change colors. Red for you are in a meeting and cannot be disturbed. Green for when you are in between meetings and you can help out if someone needed you. Then when you were done for the day you can turn off the light and it would look like the outside of the room.

A lot of people use LED lighting for different parts of their houses. Cove lighting, lighting around your television, under your steps. The best part about using either of these options is that you can integrate it into your Crestron system. If you decide to use LED lights on your Crestron system to do something similar, you could have control over when the lights would be on. 

 

If you would like us to take a look at doing this for you, give us a call and we will set you up with an appointment to go over your options. We will make sure that you have all of the information you need to make the right decision for you and your home.

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.


Team Building

Everyone is used to in-person team building exercises. Team building is the procedure of turning a group of individual employees into an interconnected team. A team is a group of people organized to work together interdependently and supportively to meet the needs of their customers by accomplishing their purpose or goals. Team building helps bond employees.

Due to coronavirus and everyone having to work from home at this moment, team members are having to connect remotely. Companies are having to get creative with virtual team building activities so their employees can still get close to each other and build a team cohesiveness.

Thankfully there are virtual games and activities that your team may find enjoyable and help them connect and get to know one another. A lot of the video conferencing tools make it easy to connect to the virtual events.

Here are some virtual team building activities:

VIRTUAL CARD GAMES

Because everyone got quarantined a lot of physical card games were transferred to digital card games. You can get your team together and play Cards Against Humanity or Uno.

VIRTUAL LUNCHES

Just because you can’t have lunch together physically doesn’t mean you can’t have lunch with your team. You could set up a virtual lunch with your team and you could also provide lunch for everyone so they could be eating the same thing.

VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR

A normal way that in-person teams used to bond was by going to happy hour after work. This is something you can do virtually. You can even add virtual backgrounds.

VIRTUAL SCAVENGER HUNT

Because you will not be able to actually hide items for your team to find physically you can create a list of items they have to find in their homes. 

 

Lifesize has a blog called, Our 15 Favorite Virtual Team-Building Activities to Boost Remote Team Cohesiveness. This blog has a lot of different ideas for virtual team building activities that you can use for your company.

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Conference Call Lighting

Since the coronavirus pandemic started people who could work from home have. Which means that video conferencing has become the solution to not being in the office. Most of the people who have had to start working from home were not used to video meetings and now some of them are experts. The major part that is disregarded for video calls is the lighting.

There are four very common lighting issues; backlit, harsh shadows, overblown, underlit. 

BACKLIT

Backlit lighting is the process of illuminating the subject from the back. Meaning that the lighting instrument and the viewer face each other with the subject in between them. It creates a glowing effect on the edges of the subject, while other areas are darker.

HARSH SHADOWS

Harsh shadow lighting has too much light on one side. Meaning that the light will create a shadow on the subject. Harsh lighting could be direct lighting or lightning from a lamp that has no covering. 

OVERBLOWN

Overblown lighting is the result of too much light meaning that the subject is practically white (there are no details in the highlight at all). 

UNDERLIT

Underlit lighting is the result of not enough light meaning that the subject is dark.

 

Unfortunately, most of the time the lighting is backlit. Lousy lighting can interfere with the participants clearly seeing one another. That is why it is essential to have proper lighting for your conference calls. When looking for lighting solutions for video conferencing you should keep a few things in mind; dimmable lights, color temperature control, and adjustable positioning. 

Dustin Smith from Lifesize has created a blog about the different video conferencing lighting solutions called, 5 Inexpensive Video Conferencing Lighting Solutions. In the blog Dustin tests out 5 different inexpensive lighting solutions. 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.