‘Video Can Create an Inclusive Workspace for Remote Workers’

Marian MCHugh, UC Today, August 16, 2021

The past year and a half has caused many organisations to re-consider their working model, with many employees eager to maintain the flexible model that has been necessary throughout the pandemic.

In fact, only 12.4 percent of companies intend to bring their employees back to the office full-time once it is safe to do so, according to analyst Metrigy’s Workplace Collaboration 2021-22 global research report.

This means that companies must invest in technology that enables their distributed workforce to continue to operate efficiently but which also ensures that the remote participant feels included and engaged in the meeting.

Video is a key element to providing an inclusive environment to all workers, according to Andrew Wong, Business Development and Product Champion at MAXHUB, the number one domestic manufacturer of AV equipment in China, offering a range of professional products at different price points to facilitate the growing trend of flexible working.

As organisations adapt to this massive, long-term shift in working habits, they must invest in video endpoints that enable an engaging meeting environment for remote workers, he said, adding that the first thing they must do is figure out which video conferencing platform is most suitable for their needs and those of their remote workers. MAXHUB helps to facilitate organisations with professional-grade video endpoint to create ultimate video collaboration experience, both in-office and remotely.

“People-framing is good for a group meeting – if you have a big screen it will help with video conferencing – but when we do remote meetings, if I’m working with a laptop screen, then I’d prefer the cameras to be focused on the active presenters,” Wong explained.

“This means that the cameras – as well as framing the participants – will also bring the remote participants’ attention to the presenters, allowing them to see the person in the office as clearly as having face-to-face meetings. That’s why we always encourage participants to have their cameras on during remote meetings.”

The need to make video collaboration as intuitive, inclusive, and engaging as possible for participants is imperative for organisations. Research from Gartner indicates that within the next three years, just 10 percent of enterprise video meetings will take place in rooms, with the remainder on personal computers or mobile devices.

As well as this, companies will have to counter ‘Zoom fatigue’ from their remote workers, which is a feeling of tiredness from multiple back-to-back video meetings.

Wong advised that an AI functionality in video endpoints could be used to relieve this tension. AI could be used to cancel background noise, to track participants as they move about in front of the screen, and to decipher facial reactions to gauge their reaction to the conversation. MAXHUB aims to deliver natural and frictionless video meeting experience through its intelligence video collaboration solutions.

“Back-to-back meetings for a whole day can be draining and there is the chance that remote participants gradually start to shut down the video when they shut down the video and then it becomes more like voice conferencing,” he said.

“How do we reduce this fatigue? There is quite a bit of development in the pipeline, for example using AI for face detection and to track where my eyes are looking, as well as virtually align my face to appear as if I’m looking at the camera”

“AI also helps when you’ve been sitting for hours and have to get up. AI built into the camera allows it to frame you as you move around, and that allows you to be more relaxed because you don’t have to consciously looking at the camera, especially if you’re presenting.”

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