In February 2020, the Lewcon team attended the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition in Amsterdam. Covering over 15 halls in the RAI, the show brings together the AV world to showcase the very best in innovative technology. At the time, we had heard that Coronavirus was heavily impacting China, while there were concerns about the feasibility of the virus arriving in Europe, we never could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 on how we live and work.

We have now almost faced 365 days with lockdown restrictions in the UK, 12 months of working from home, activities cancelled, shops and facilities closed and don’t even get us started on the home-schooling! But has it all been so bad?

But has it all been so bad?  McKinsey Global Survey of executives, recently reported that the pandemic had accelerated the digital transformation agenda across all industries.  One of the fascinating facts is that ‘digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organisational and industry levels’ and many companies stating that they moved 40 times quicker when implementing remote working solutions than they ever thought possible.

Web Conferencing

Technology has been our undoubted saviour. Whether it’s connecting teams through solutions such as Microsoft Teams or enabling loved ones to stay in touch via Zoom, conference camera sales went through the roof, and collaboration applications like Monday and Trello ensured team productivity didn’t decline. And now, as we enter the (hopefully) final stage of lockdown in the UK, what have we learnt? It seems highly doubtful that we will return to ‘normality’; instead, we will inevitably embrace the benefits that COVID-19 has delivered, such as better work/life balance.

The common consensus is that we are entering a new phase for the global workforce, with more people choosing to adopt a hybrid approach when they are allowed back to the office, looking for more freedom around where and when they work. Just as organisations needed to adapt to remote working environments back in March rapidly, the challenge now facing them is bringing their staff back into the office safely. How can employers ensure that staff can enjoy the flexibility and benefits of hybrid working but ensure productivity doesn’t suffer?

After months of standing redundant, office and meeting spaces now need to be flexible and adaptable, transitioning seamlessly from 1-2-1 catch-ups to larger executive meetings that require social distancing spacing. So, once again, technology steps into the spotlight. Technology now needs to enhance the working practices that we have adopted over the last 12 months. We have accelerated video collaboration globally, and organisations must ensure that we can continue this trajectory, connecting people regardless of physical location. Companies need to ensure that they have a post COVID, ‘return to the office’ plan that doesn’t just focus on employees’ safety, and encompasses technology acceleration when we are no longer confined to the four walls of our homes.

Over the last few months, leading collaboration brands have launched new solutions designed to bridge the office-based and remote worker gap. Here are three of our favourite solutions to accelerate team engagement in the next chapter of work.

AV Control & Panels

Designed for mid-sized meeting rooms, the Logitech Rally Bar delivers brilliant video, outstanding audio and includes an AI viewfinder that can count meeting participants, track room occupancy and even provide insights to maximise ROI for meeting spaces.

Avocor recently launched their W6555 Windows collaboration display, the world’s first interactive display that has been certified for Microsoft Teams, delivering a display that has been optimised for Teams meetings and enhances the user experience in Microsoft applications including Whiteboard.

The Crestron Flex series delivers a seamless experience in every type of meeting space. Crestron’s solutions enhance collaboration and productivity from home office environments to large corporate rooms regardless of distance, enabling teams to do more together.

The experienced team at Lewcon AV can help guide you through the myriad of solutions available in the market, working with you to identify your specific requirements and matching your needs to solutions that simplify your organisations return to office strategy. We work with world-class vendors in the unified communications space to ensure we are fully versed to recommend the right solution for your business, today, tomorrow and beyond.

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    Throughout the whole process, Lewcon accommodated our needs with speed, flexibility and technical knowledge. Whether the project was in the UK or Europe, the team ensured it was delivered on time and within budget. I will continue to use their services for the foreseeable future and will happily recommend them to other organisations. A huge thanks to everyone involved at Lewcon.

    Albert de BeerDirector of Real Estate & Workplace Services, EMEA Hitachi Vantara

    I was contacted by Connor from Lewcon regarding our Audio Visual needs. Connor and Lewis listened to what we wanted to create and designed the perfect system for our budget. The quality of work was brilliant and the installation team did not leave each site until we were happy with the set up of the system. The reactions from our staff have been fantastic. This has not only saved us money on flights and hotels it has also engaged our staff across different countries.

    Dean WilderIT Director, EUSA Pharma

    Lewcon’s ability to resolve our issues and source the right solution we wanted, in spite the technology being discontinued was excellent. They accommodated our needs all within the budget set for this project. I can’t fault their service and will definitely be using them again

    Malcolm ButlerSenior AV Programmer and Planner, The University of Bedfordshire

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