The office is back.
Work from home may grab all the headlines, but offices are still important, despite how much work has changed during the pandemic. With workers beginning to return to the office, employers need to quickly adapt to the new status quo, where hybrid work is the norm and video collaboration is essential for all. And right now, when everyone is still adjusting, is the best time for workplaces to plan and implement their ideal hybrid work solution.
PREPARING FOR THE NOW
Video collaboration was already increasingly popular when Covid lockdowns began, as cloud-based platforms popularized quality and features previously only available in the C-suite. The pandemic simply sped up adaptation, turning a onetime luxury into an essential tool for keeping the economy running.
However, like all crisis adaptations, there is room for improvement. Even when everyone is using cloud conferencing, hardware is still necessary to actually produce video and audio. And the new context of universal conferencing has created a new need: enterprise-grade peripherals that are easy to implement for everyone inside and outside the office.
We have developed a line of video collaboration hardware that combines the simplicity of consumer USB devices with the powerful features expected of enterprise solutions. The PW513 webcam, for example, boasts 4K video and automatic speaker tracking. The AS311 speakerphone features AI-powered noise reduction, which effectively reduces noises that could disrupt conferences, such as construction or traffic. Not long ago workplaces would need to invest in expensive hardware and disruptive installations to get these features. Now all it takes is a couple USB plug and play devices.
Moreover, we have released products that address a variety of scenarios just as workplaces are looking for hardware they can standardize on, allowing them to implement the latest technology across the board. Even better, the PW513 and PW315 1080p 60 fps webcam are Zoom-certified, so users can be assured of excellent quality and seamless integration with the world’s most popular video conferencing platform.
A SOLUTION FOR EVERY SCENARIO
The most common hybrid work scenarios are individual workstations, huddle rooms, presentations, and work from home. In each case different models could be used, depending on what features are needed.
For example, the PW513 and AS311 is a great solution for huddle rooms. The PW513 provides the ample field of view (94°) needed to fit multiple people into the image, while the AS311 provides the audio range necessary to pick up several people’s voices (9 feet/3 meters, to be exact). The PW513 also offers 4x high definition zoom and automatic speaker tracking, which help keep the focus on whoever is speaking. If advanced features aren’t necessary the PW315 is an excellent alternative, with a field of view of 95°.
If anyone needs to give presentations during conferences the PW513 or PW315 are both great options, since their wide angles can take in plenty of background. The PW513’s zoom and auto tracking again give it an advantage, since they can clearly display small details and keep attention on the speaker. The AS311 is also vital since it provides enough microphone pickup range for presenters to move around the room while still being heard.
Individual workstations have a different set of needs. The PW310P autofocus webcam works well in this case as its narrower field of view can perfectly frame a single person. However, individuals will also benefit from the PW513, since its sharp video allows viewers to easily pick up nonverbal cues, leading to smoother communication and stronger relationships.
Finally there is work from home. The AS311’s artificial intelligence-powered noise reduction is the perfect solution for work from home, since it eliminates one of the main drawbacks of conferencing remotely- loud, disruptive noises. Any AVerMedia webcam could also be used, depending on needs: for simple calls the PW310P would do the trick, the PW315 is great for showing more background, and if zoom is needed then the 4K PW513 is ideal.
Of course, not all workstations, huddle rooms, and especially home offices have the same lighting conditions. We also provide the free CamEngine app, which lets users adjust video settings so they can get the best image for any environment.
No one knows exactly how much work will end up being done from home versus the office, but one thing is for certain- video collaboration will be vital for the entire workforce. And as much as video collaboration has come to equal cloud, workplaces still need quality hardware to keep up productivity, and they need to be able to implement it without the hassle that was commonplace pre-pandemic.