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WCDs impact or productivity

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With the latest generation of cloud-based collaboration tools on show UC Expo also provided the venue for visitors to compare the new Windows Collaboration Displays as meeting room hardware from vendors including Sharp and Avocor.

Productivity is at the heart of the drive to agile working. BlueJeans reported that despite the recent investment in collaborative solutions, UK productivity is still decreasing. So what could the problem be? In Sharp’s latest report, author

Christopher Parker, interviewed by AV News at UC Expo, believes that employers could increase worker performance by 20% simply by increasing the fresh air supply in offices and meeting rooms. Other productivity factors include indoor air quality, temperature and lighting.

Showcased at UC Expo, Sharp’s incarnation of the Windows Collaboration Display not only incorporates the usual AV functions of an iFPD, but also monitors and collects environmental data and data on how meeting rooms are actually used. With the average UK office worker spending 17 hours a month in meetings, Sharp argues that it’s key that businesses get them right. The new report, developed by Sharp and workplace psychologist Dr Nigel Oseland, highlights the importance of creating the right conditions for meetings in order to boost productivity.

The report also identifies temperature as another key environmental factor that has an impact on memory recall, attention span, and creativity, which all affect performance. Gradually decreasing the temperature to 18°C one hour before the end of the working day was found to boost productivity and increase employee performance by 4.1%, beneficial for lengthy meetings and combatting the end of day productivity lull.

Office and meeting room lighting was also found to have a significant impact on concentration and productivity, with the research revealing that good lighting can improve performance by 15%. Good lighting and daylight are essential to employee’s wellness and mood, with findings showing that workers in offices with windows had 46 minutes more sleep a night compared to workers without them. This provides reason for businesses to consider the design of their workspaces to include lighting that delivers the optimal place for employees to think and collaborate.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that uncomfortable environmental conditions can negatively affect performance in the general office space and meeting rooms. This provides a strong business case to control and adapt these conditions in order to boost productivity and worker performance in meetings”, comments Dr. Nigel Oseland, Environmental Psychologist.

Chris Parker, Senior Product Manager at Sharp, adds: “Advancements in collaboration technologies, together with the capabilities offered by IoT and cloud platforms mean it’s now easier than ever for businesses to get better value from their meetings. When you know the temperature of a meeting room and you can send that data to the cloud, and from the cloud, communicate this to your heating and cooling system to take an action, you have a system that adapts to how your meeting spaces are used. We believe this is the start of a revolution in smart spaces.”

Enterprise clients

Avocor previewed its WCDs at Enterprise Connect in March, where the vendor also announced an alliance Lenovo will include Avocor in its Vendor Label Hardware Program this year, which includes listing Avocor displays for purchase through Lenovo global sales. The firms acknowledge that workplace optimisation is a top priority for nearly every enterprise customer, particularly integrating smart offices and meeting rooms.

Lenovo smart meeting room solutions help conduct and manage meetings, technology and information quickly and simply, allowing participants to focus on exchanging ideas, being creative and effective communication. “Lenovo is committed to be a leader in smart office technology and help define these collaborative workspaces through innovative solutions that solve customer problems. Avocor’s strategic vision and its collaboration displays with the Lenovo Smart Office portfolio is a major step in making technology seamless to use, which enables teams to focus on driving better engagement and enabling smarter business,” said Joseph Mingori, of the Lenovo Smart Office Business Group.

Avocor and Lenovo are working to co-develop solutions for collaboration spaces and will also include Avocor’s existing E series, F series and the new breakthrough Windows Collaboration Displays by Avocor. Capable of significantly enhancing and accelerating teamwork as well as room and device monitoring through its Azure IoT sensors, the WCDs by Avocor features the world’s most advanced touchscreen technology and is fully compatible with Windows 10, delivering the power and productivity of Microsoft 365 at room scale.

Avocor and Lenovo are currently validating equipment to provide guidance to enterprise clients about matching the ideal interactive display with compute for each environment, from conference rooms to executive offices to huddle and casual spaces. The robust Lenovo compute and Smart Office portfolio combined with the precision and touch of the Avocor displays enables the most seamless and powerful collaboration experience for any size room across the enterprise.

Bryan Denyer, editor of AV News, in conversation with Sharp’s Birgit Jackson, Commercial Director Europe, and Ian Barnard General Manager Europe – Visual Solutions at UC Expo. Sharp’s WCD not only incorporates the usual AV functions of an iFPD, but also monitors and collects environmental data.

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