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Ruth Clifford

Whiteoaks

Junior Account Executive

Read more from Ruth Clifford

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The Future Is Now

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One of the main purposes of technology is that it saves us time and assists us in being more productive. After all, time is a precious commodity and we could use all the help possible to make the most of it. This is especially true of industry trends, such as the consumerisation of IT and bring your own device (BYOD). They are evolving rapidly and enabling more flexible working, empowering mobile workers and allowing us to work a little bit smarter. This also applies to the organisation itself, after all, the majority of the UK’s workforce is still office bound and the drive to make them more efficient and productive continues.

Here’s a challenge: ask your colleagues where they spend a lot of time. If the answer is in meetings, then they are not alone. Now ask them if they think these meetings are efficient in terms of time spent and actions taken. If the answer is no, again, they are not alone.

Barco recently conducted research amongst UK business leaders where it was found that a significant amount of their time at work was spent in meetings – 15% said that in a week, meetings took up more than three quarters of their time, while a further 32% said that between 51 and 75% of their time was spent in meetings. And as for the productivity levels of these meetings – 36% of respondents said that meetings were only productive 26 to 50% of the time.

So if technology can be used to make our working lives more efficient, how do we apply that to the meeting room? Ironically, it seems that it’s technology itself that is one of the factors affecting time wasting in meetings. From the research, 19% of respondents said they experienced technical issues in every meeting while trying to display content on a shared screen, while a further 37% said that they often had difficulties. 

Meetings are meant to promote collaboration and often this can be done by sharing information, graphics, presentations, websites, etc., from more than one person, from more than one device, on a large screen. This can be a cumbersome process complete with cables, adaptors and advice from IT staff on how to get all participants connected and ready to share.  Add in that with the prevalence of BYOD, the devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops – are run on different operating systems and the time spent integrating them with the meeting room equipment would most likely take longer than the meeting itself.

What is the solution? The meeting room of the future uses wireless collaboration technologies, an emerging trend that is bringing efficiency back to the boardroom, at least from a technology point of view. These types of technologies allow multiple users to share content from different devices on a shared screen, at the same time. This trend is being driven by the demands of business and the continued focus on collaboration. And if the results of the survey are anything to go by – 53% of respondents want a presentation system that is easy to connect to and 50% would like collaboration solutions that make it easy to share visuals/information from different devices – the meeting room of the future is not too far away.

A complete overview of the results is available at www.barco.com/meetingroomsurvey

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Ruth Clifford

Junior Account Executive

Read more from Ruth Clifford
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