In 2020 (before the arrival of COVID-19) there were already 7 million people working remotely in the U.S., or 3.4% of the population. At the height of Covid-19, 55% of jobs offered some kind of work-from-home option. Now, with vaccines being created, distributed and more distancing guidelines being relaxed, many businesses are ready to open their offices back.  However, like everything else from 2020, it might not look as it did before.


As offices seek to create a collaborative environment as well as a safe environment, many are looking to update their meeting space to ensure both.


Here we will explore 3 major trends in updating meeting spaces, not only for today but also for the future.


1. Huddle rooms

While we have covered huddle spaces before (and before Covid was in our vocabulary), Covid-19 has currently removed the ability to be in close proximity to each other. There will always be a need, however, for effective collaboration with colleagues and customers. This is where the huddle room shines.


While many of the key elements of a huddle room are still relevant, we will briefly explore how they just need to be utilized differently.


Pre-pandemic an office could have a small group in the huddle room – ideally four to six people. This could be for a quick group internal “huddle” or to join a group remotely. Post pandemic it is more likely that one or two people will be present in the room, depending on size, and a majority access remotely.


Many conferencing solutions now have the ability for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to join Teams or a Zoom call by connecting to the huddle space AV wirelessly. Systems like Mersive, Barco Clickshare and some camera manufacturers all provide these features.


With BYOD, employees now use their mobile or laptop to connect to the space removing the need to touch communal devices. This not only decreases the spread of germs, but also helps to increase employee confidence in the safety of the work space.


2. Reducing touch-points


One way many offices are reducing touch-points is with adding digital signage that shows room availability, capacity, and usage as well as the cleaning schedule of the space can also be available to reduce touch-points. Room display signage is ideal for this purpose, as it can provide realtime information about booking and cleaning schedules.


In addition to that, digital signage can also help with a contactless way to clock-in/out and monitor people’s temperatures.


Another aspect to digital signage is that it can be used to help boost morale. In an age of increased awareness of mental illness and “Zoom fatigue”, digital signage can be a great way to greet employees with positive and encouraging messages that let them feel seen and appreciated in these harder days.


Along with digital signage, making the conference and meeting space cordless helps to reduce touch-points.


Keeping a room cleaned and sanitized means cleaning each and every hard to sanitize surface like USBs, HDMI cables, volume buttons, light switches, etc. Cordless conferencing means that not only is this room easier to keep clean, but that its scaled for new technology to stream, conference and cast wirelessly.


3. Be prepared for things to change. Again.


While everyone would agree that “pivot” was one of the most-used words in 2020, we know that virus or no virus, the office and meeting space of the 21st century will always be in a state of evolution.


There will never be time when a conference or meeting space is completed without knowing that as technology and communication needs change (and viruses come) so too will meeting spaces need to be agile enough to change.


Cultivating a place where smart virtual meetings can take place with a strong secure network will only increase as employees return to offices and meeting spaces in 2021 and beyond.


Is your meeting space needing to be evaluated for these changing times?


Contact Audio Acoustics today to see where we can help bring both safety and technology to your meeting space.