For the fashionable worker, almost any environment can be a work environment, from their desk to a room, and from a home office to an eating place to an airport. This can be the case now quite ever as knowledge workers around the world and across multiple industries have migrated to work from home. In short, remote work is here to remain.
But simply because modern workers are physically scattered, they still need a way to speak and collaborate face-to-face as if they were within the same room. They require to be ready to brainstorm and innovate any time in any space, and they want the collaboration experience to be consistent regardless of where they’re.
Keep reading this article to learn more about employee experiences and expectations in the modern workplace using Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, the solution that creates a consistent collaboration experience across the office and virtual environments.
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Keeping Your Teams Connected from Anywhere
What happens when the collaboration experience isn’t consistent from room to room, place to place, and in the cloud? For one thing, teams lose valuable collaboration time. When participants struggle to use unfamiliar collaboration technology, meetings inevitably start late. With the average organization spending 15 percent of their time in meetings, and with 37 percent of meetings starting late by an average of at least 15 minutes, that’s a lot of minutes wasted. Time isn’t the only thing that’s wasted—lost time leads to lost productivity, too. Fourteen percent of employees say when a meeting starts 10 minutes late or more, they lose concentration for the duration of the meeting time.
Whatever causes the delay, whether it’s user error caused by unfamiliarity with the room technology or actual technology failure, the time it takes to fix a problem is time teams are not spending working and innovating together. Luckily for your teams, it doesn’t have to be this way.
What if the functionality you are used to on your laptop or mobile device—like easily launching or joining a video call—was also available in your meeting rooms and conference spaces? What if you could take the tools and apps you use every day and access them easily from anywhere—in your office environment or remotely—to keep the collaboration going and move your project forward?
No employee has time to waste, and no employee wants to spend the time to learn multiple collaboration technologies, or remember what space is equipped with which tools. Employees want to be able to use the same technology, whether they are sitting at their desks, meeting with their team in a conference room, or working remotely on a personal device like a tablet or smartphone. Anywhere access to familiar tools will remove the added burden of having to learn different collaboration platforms based on where you are working, keeping frustration low and productivity high for everyone.
Solutions to Keep the Collaboration Going
So, what are the tools you need to keep your teams connected? Meeting spaces and remote participants need the following tools, at a minimum, to successfully collaborate:
- Digital display
- Content Sharing and Annotation
- Commonly Used Business Software Applications
There are many cloud-based collaboration platforms that, when paired with an audio and video-enabled laptop, can provide a productive collaboration experience. For example, as work habits have changed and more people than ever are working remotely, Microsoft Teams has reported a steady increase in usage. The number of weekly Teams calls and meetings using video more than doubled—from 21 percent to 34 percent— between March 2 and March 31. And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reported that Teams usage has increased to more than 75 million active daily users, with other collaboration platforms reporting similar upticks.
As for usage increases, collaboration platforms are working to provide users with increased functionality to improve the remote collaboration experience. Teams have released new features based on customer feedback, including custom backgrounds for video calls, simultaneous viewing of up to nine active video windows, and the raise hand feature. Teams also plan to release an update for group Team chats that raises the participant limit from 100 to 250 people.
With more people likely to stay working from home companies like Microsoft continue to develop new features to meet their evolving needs. But even these additions can’t completely replace to ease and productivity of collaborating in-person. Organizations will have to rethink the experiences their employees need and want, and provide them with the right long-term tools and solutions to be productive.
With the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, teams can collaborate fully whether they are in the office, at home, or a combination of both. And, since it comes from Microsoft, the Surface Hub 2S is a natural fit with the Teams-based collaboration functionality employees are already familiar with and comfortable using.
Enabling Teamwork with the Surface Hub 2S
The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S is an interactive all-in-one device that integrates with the Microsoft tools teams already use to stay connected. A digital whiteboard, meetings platform, and collaborative computing device, the Surface Hub 2S brings extra power to teamwork, no matter where that work is happening. The Surface Hub 2S is a perfect solution for meetings where participants are expected to collaborate and not just sit and watch a presentation.
For users in the same room, the Surface Hub 2S turns any workspace into a collaboration space with a 4K resolution touch screen and easy access to all your favorite Microsoft collaboration tools, including Office 365 apps, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Whiteboard.
In-room participants can also use the Surface Hub 2S to collaborate easily with remote participants, whether they are across the office, across town, or the world. In-room participants can project their screens wirelessly to the Surface Hub 2S using Miracast from a Windows 10 device, and then share that screen with remote participants. Using Teams, remote participants can also share their desktop or a specific application, and in-room participants can see the content on the Surface Hub screen.
Powerful Content Sharing and Annotation Features
Meeting attendees can display content, including software applications, from their laptops or other personal devices to the Surface Hub 2S through a wireless Miracast connection or through a wired USB-C connection. If the source device is Windows-based, it can use the Touchback feature to share video and audio to the Surface Hub 2S as well. When the source device’s screen is mirrored to the Surface Hub 2S, users can then control the shared content using touch or pen on the Surface Hub.
This is a particularly powerful feature when the Surface Hub does not have an application that end-users typically use on their laptop – like a CAD program for example. Using Touchback, an end-user can turn a personal computer into a group collaboration device.
The Inkback feature enables team members to annotate the mirrored content on the Surface Hub 2S. So even though the content lives on the source device, you can mark it up using Surface Hub tools as a team. When you disconnect, you can take the annotations with you.
Microsoft Whiteboard allows all participants—remote and in-room—to brainstorm ideas and share insights. This interactive whiteboard lets you save the content to the Microsoft cloud and share it with all meeting participants. That means every participant can access the content and add to it any time using the whiteboard “re-hydration” feature—no matter where they are and no matter what device they are using. Your progress doesn’t get stalled or stop just because your meeting ends, or your team members are working remotely.
What about when in-room meeting participants need to move their collaboration session to another location and don’t want to lose the progress they’ve made? No problem! You can simply unplug the Surface Hub 2S, wheel it to another room, and keep on collaborating thanks to the Steelcase Roam™ Mobile Stand and APC™ Charge Mobile Battery. These features are excellent for organizations trying to improve the employee experience and offer a high degree of flexibility for all kinds of work styles and habits. With smooth mobility and a sleek, unobtrusive design, the Surface Hub 2S can quickly and easily turn any space—large or small—into an effective collaboration space for participants everywhere.
But perhaps the most significant benefit of the Surface Hub 2S is removing the need for employees to learn how to use multiple different collaboration platforms based on where they are working. With the Surface Hub 2S, every on-site collaboration space can be equipped with the same tools and technologies, and every remote meeting participant can engage using the collaboration apps and platforms they already know and trust.
The Surface Hub 2S brings the power of Windows 10 to all your teamwork. Easily collaborate with:
- Access to Microsoft Whiteboard
- Access to OneDrive files and Office 365 apps
- Microsoft Teams Integration
- Wireless content sharing with Miracast from Windows 10 (and Android) devices