Your meeting space can have a lasting impact on your team’s productivity. The layout and, according to multiple studies by colour psychologists, even the decor of your meeting room can affect the efficiency of your workforce and their ability to get things done.
While you might be stuck with the drab grey or a bland beige on the walls, don’t let your technology solutions be another excuse for reduced productivity. If you want to get the best from your team, maximise your meeting room’s potential with wireless presentation systems to enable colleagues to collaborate easily.
Barco research, which measured employee stress levels in the workplace, found that the most common technical issues were caused by projectors or screens and trying to share content between computers. The same research found that being impeded by such technical issues has seen employees miss deadlines and lose business. But it doesn’t have to be this way; with the right presentation systems, your meetings can run smoothly and efficiently, reducing stress and increasing productivity.
If you’ve found us over here at DisplayPoint, chances are you have already invested in a central display screen for your meeting room to give team a focal point around which they can share and discuss their projects - or you are at least considering making the investment. But as the Barco research confirmed, quite often, it’s the practical day to day use of this screen that actually causes the most frustrations among employees.
And the challenge of providing a display screen that’s easy to use and agile enough that it can adapt to your team’s demanding and evolving requirements is only going to get harder. The bring your own device trend, or BYOD, has been a major hurdle for quick and easy content sharing in the workplace. While the flexibility that BYOD facilitates is of significant benefit when it comes to productivity and flexibility, it also causes something of a stumbling block when it comes to meeting rooms. All of a sudden a business that ran on company-managed Microsoft hardware, needs to cater for the huge variety of personal devices favoured by its staff. It’s a bit of a jump for the tech team to say the least.
Fortunately, technology can solve the problem that it has created. For a lot of teams, the answer to how to reduce stress and increase productivity in the meeting room is the use of wireless connectivity for audio visual technology and presentation systems.
One of the most popular wireless solutions is the Barco ClickShare range of presentation and collaboration tools. Quick and easy to setup and capable of supporting multiple devices and operating systems, ClickShare is a very simple way of enabling teams to display content from any number of different personal devices straight onto the main meeting room display.
Laptops and Apple Macs can connect and share their content on the meeting room’s main display screen through the use of a simple button. All any contributors in the meeting room need do is simply connect a ClickShare Button to the USB port of their device and then, at the simple press of that button, their screen will be shared with the room via the main display; no need for wires and cables connecting all the way around the room from the laptop or Mac to the screen.
Things are even simpler for smartphones and tablets thanks to the ClickShare app: a quick download of the app and contributors can just tap their screens to connect and share their content on the display screen.
Agile wireless connections like this make the upheaval of changing HDMI cables and rummaging around for connectors a thing of the past. Apple’s proprietary cables and connection points are evolving with almost every new product release making it time consuming and expensive to provide adaptors for every Apple device that might enter your meeting room. Simply cater to USB ports (which, as the name suggests, are pretty much universal) or task teams with quickly downloading an app, however, and you’ve saved everyone a lot of time and frustration.
Barco’s ClickShare collaboration devices are scalable too so they can grow with your team as your needs evolve. You can read more about the system here.
Connecting a single contributor to the main display screen in your meeting room is stage one. But recent presentation and collaboration devices are capable of much more. Split screen functionality, for example, is a huge benefit for meetings led by more than one presenter and is also fast becoming essential for group collaboration in real-time.
Several wireless screen sharing devices enable multiple users to sync more than one device with a screen at once, however they may need to wait in a queue to display their content on the screen. The best options, therefore, are those that facilitate multiple contributors to share their screen at once, meaning maximum productivity.
Barco ClickShare is not the only option here. Take the Awind WePresent WiPG1000; as an entry level package in the WePresent range, this multi-platform device is packed full of features for its price tag. It connects Windows, Macbooks, iOS and Android devices all wirelessly and enables up to four users to be visible on the central meeting room display at once.
Perfect for enhancing productivity in a BYOD environment, WePresent - along with Montage by DisplayNote - offers some impressive connectivity solutions. Montage has an added bonus, however, in that it can connect up to 12 devices simultaneously, both in-house and remotely, with the additional benefit of supporting onscreen annotation. It’s all about those little extras that reflect a team’s existing working practices and help take them to the next level.
Exploring wireless presentation solutions that support annotation can help to streamline both the layout of your meeting room and the flow of your meetings. Instead of viewing content onscreen and brainstorming or making amends on a separate flipchart or notepad, with annotation support, you can use a touchscreen and work through shared content via your wireless presentation device.
To maximise productivity and introduce touchscreen technology into your meeting room, have a look at products like Awind WePresent WiPG2000, which supports multi-touch screen control for more than one user. You can also save onscreen annotations during a meeting, so anything you write or draw on the touchscreen can be saved directly to a USB pen drive. You won’t believe what a simple time saver this really is! It dramatically cuts down on the time spent taking minutes and removes the danger of conflicting notes from multiple participants in a meeting. Instead, by simply emailing round your saved annotations after the meeting, you can make sure that everyone is quite literally on the same page.
Some screen sharing devices even support annotation remotely – like Montage by DisplayNote. A device like this could transform the productivity levels of an advertising or graphic design team, for example, allowing visual content to be annotated remotely in real-time, removing conflicting instructions and multiple rounds of feedback, which in the past could have increased the risk of misunderstanding when it comes to making creative decisions and amending client assets.
Finally, don’t neglect the simplicity of a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you’ve decided to set up your meeting room with a fixed PC from which the team can share their content and contribute on the main display, then don’t forget to consider the physical use of this machine. Are you going to tie people down to working within range of the mouse lead from the PC? Making the simple decision to buy a wireless mouse and keyboard opens up contribution through the fixed PC to pretty much anyone in the room; the team can simply pass the keyboard and mouse around to whoever is leading the meeting or contributing.
Sure, allowing people to contribute from their own devices might be even easier from their perspective, but many organisations have solid reasons for limiting the devices that employees can use to connect to company hardware. If this is the case, make sure you’re not also limiting the productivity and dynamism of your team’s meetings simply because you’ve tied them to a single seat closest to the room’s PC.
It’s amazing how much the atmosphere of a meeting room can be changed by removing the need for leads and cables. It’s possible to completely transform the dynamic of the workspace, boosting output and the creativity of your team as a result, simply by allowing them the flexibility to work wirelessly.
It’s all about selecting the right technology to suit your office culture and drive progress within your business. When it comes to kitting out your meeting room, we’re always on-hand to talk you through the options and discuss how wireless presentation systems could benefit your business.