Since the pandemic, many businesses have switched to a hybrid model of working. It gives employees the best of both worlds, with more time at home for a better work-life balance whilst still getting time in the office for in-person collaboration.
What started as a temporary solution has grown in popularity, with many companies opting to stick with a hybrid work model and transform the workplace, just like Google's recent £730M office investment. And, according to a study by Accenture, 83% of workers across industries find a hybrid way of working optimal for them, which is backed up by the likes of Forbes and BBC.
With so many switching to a hybrid model of working, the question then becomes how can we make sure that it’s working for everyone? With our 14+ years of expertise in shared immersive workspaces, we delve into four ways Igloo technology can add value in making hybrid work.
1. Create an engaging collaboration space
On the days that people do come into the office, they will be looking to collaborate with colleagues in ways they can’t at home. A study by Gensler found that US workers continue to see the physical workplace, and in-person collaboration, as key aspects of their jobs. They also found many want to return to the workplace to collaborate and socialise for the long-term positive impact on their careers and work relationships.
With this in mind, offices need to provide an engaging collaboration space for employees to meet. Perhaps they’re hosting an ideation meeting, giving a presentation or pitching to a potential client, and require a unique space to do so. An Igloo immersive workspace provides just that.
By retrofitting any existing meeting room with our immersive technology, we are able to create a space for teams to get inside and be surrounded by the content they are working on. It’s an extremely effective collaboration tool. It’s easy for the whole team to see the content, as opposed to being crowded around a small screen, enabling teams to work better, smarter and faster.
2. Have the right set-up
It’s one thing having a great collaboration space, but that space should be fully equipped with what your teams need to work successfully inside it. No one likes a broken internet connection, a dodgy microphone or a flickering projector – which is why we only work with the best suppliers to ensure your immersive space is of the highest quality.
Igloo provides the full turnkey solution; we don’t just supply our software and leave you to it. We work with you every step of the way to ensure we are fitting the room with exactly what you and your team need, whether that be ultra-short-throw projectors or a state-of-the-art video conferencing system. (But if you do want to source your own hardware, we can just provide our Immersive Media Player and consult on the optimum setup.)
And it doesn’t just stop there. Once the space is installed, we offer continued support and training to ensure your teams are comfortable with every aspect of the immersive space. Our world-wide and world-class support means that if there are any problems, we will get these fixed for you.
3. Make it accessible to all
Again, it’s great to have an engaging collaboration space with all the right kit, but what’s the point if no one can actually use it? Advances in technology can often lead to complicated ways of working or put off those who aren’t so technologically savvy. This can delay working as employees get to grips with complex systems. If you’re investing in technology to transform the office, it’s important that your teams can come in and get to work straight away.
Igloo immersive technology is designed with the user in mind. We make our spaces easy to understand, easy to control and easy to use. And, we integrate with the tools teams already know and love.
So, whether you’re using Microsoft Teams to dial in remote workers, Google Slides for presentations, Miro for collaborative ideation or PowerBI to analyse data: it will all work within an Igloo immersive space. Teams don’t have to spend time getting to grips with new programmes - our user-friendly software makes it easy for them to get immersed in familiar tools.
All of these tools can be accessed from our intuitive interface – Igloo Home. It’s designed to look like a mobile phone home screen, with clickable content tiles to bring up whatever application you desire. And to make things even easier, you can interact with the Igloo in several different ways, whether that be a laptop, phone, tablet or games controller. If you can use a phone, you can use an Igloo.
4. Include remote teams
Finally, and arguably the most important point of all, is how to include remote team members? Some people may not be ready to return to the office at all, and those who do are likely to still be spending some days working remotely, so it’s vital they don’t miss out on the office experience.
Whilst working from home will never be quite the same as being in the office, there are ways to improve the experience, meaning remote employees can fully participate and collaborate effectively. As noted by Harvard Business Review, “to be fully engaged, people need clear sightlines to one another and to the content. Designing for employee engagement in digital-to-physical space means thinking like a movie director – lights, camera, audio, content.”
Thanks to our integrations with the leading video conferencing platforms, you can easily bring remotely-located team members into the heart of the discussion. We design the set-up of the room to make remote teams feel as if they are sitting in the room with you (see our fantastic example below of how a room would look to someone dialling in remotely). And, because the content is surrounding you, they can easily see whatever is being worked on or discussed.
Since the pandemic, we’ve been working hard to develop our software to make remote working even more inclusive. The latest update for Igloo Cast features greater functionality for video conferencing. You can select a region of interest from your Igloo canvas to share directly to the video call, making it even easier for those working remotely to see smaller details, as shown in the below video eaturing the view from a Teams call, versus the view in the immersive workspace.
For those looking to make hybrid work, work, an Igloo immersive space opens up a world of opportunities for both in-person and remote employees. It’s changing the way businesses work for the better and it’s something we believe every organisation should have.
If you’d like to learn more about how a shared immersive space could work for you, get in touch to arrange an in-person or virtual demo.
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