Shift from Traditional Rooms to Collaborative Workspaces: 3 Key Drivers

If it feels like the walls are closing in on you at work, you’re probably right. A survey from CoreNet Global, an association of corporate real estate and workplace professionals, revealed that the average allocation of office space per person will fall to 100 square feet or less within five years. Square footage per worker has already shrunk from 225 in 2010 to 176 today.

However, one thing that is growing is the footprint of collaboration spaces. As the workplace evolves, more work is being done outside the office or cubicle and is being handled in teams in smaller, collaborative workspaces. The rapid advances in voice, video, and content sharing technology is enabling such spaces as the trend continues to take hold.

Three key drivers are responsible for the shift.

Changing workforce

The millenials are coming, or rather, they’re already here. According to Wainhouse  Research, millenials – those born between 1982 and 2004 – now make up a third of the U. S. workforce. They are expected to make up half of all workers by 2020 rising to nearly three-quarters by 2025. The millenials are the first wave of tech-savvy “digital natives” to enter the workforce. They grew up in an “always on”, hyper-connected world and expect the same environment in the workplace.

Millenials tend to thrive in a more informal, fluid workplace and they want to collaborate, rather than just listen. These characteristics lend themselves to more open workspaces where teams can meet in group settings, rather than being isolated in single cubicles or offices.

Changes in how people work

Wainhouse research shows that collaboration is up in over 90% of the organizations they surveyed and nearly all of them report increased use of video conferencing. As organizations continue to spread out across the world, the need to accommodate remote workers becomes more acute. Even in more centrally located companies, there is a significant rise in people working from home. Businesses increasingly need spaces where these dispersed employees can virtually connect.

Changes in where people work

Wainhouse studies reveal that nearly half of organizations contacted are adding collaboration spaces as opposed to less than 5% who say they are reducing them. In an overwhelming number of cases, the spaces being added are small and medium sized meeting rooms, and open workspaces. Huddle rooms, smaller spaces for 5-6 participants, appear to be the most popular. Wainhouse estimates there are 30-50 million huddle rooms compared to 10 million large conference rooms.

Meeting the technology need

To meet the demands of these new collaborative spaces, Polycom has developed a series of advanced collaboration tools. In particular, the RealPresence Centro was designed for small groups and enables remote and on-site participants to meet in a powerful, collaborative circle, allowing equal collaboration from everyone in the meeting.

The large, four-sided video device is placed in the center of the meeting space allowing everyone to easily see and be seen, no matter where they are located in the space. An intelligent 360-degree camera, Polycom’s legendary audio quality, and ability to share, annotate, and save content make the Centro the perfect solution for these new collaborative spaces.

Setting up an effective collaboration space is important to empower your remote teams. An experienced integrator like IVCi will help you design and implement a comprehensive collaboration environment based on the unique requirements of your organization.

IVCi and Polycom use a comprehensive project management process to ensure successful implementation of your system. The process is driven by IVCi’s project management application tailored specifically for video conferencing and AV deployment. Off-the-shelf project management software is generic in nature and therefore misses crucial components needed to manage an AV project. Years of experience, commitment to a thorough project plan, and use of customized project management application, ensures you of a comprehensive, tightly integrated project management experience that will ultimately enhance the use of your video conferencing system.