Monday, March 01, 2021

Video conferencing tech goes viral in Asia’s New Normal

Aug 26. 2020
Samir Sayed, Poly's managing director for Asean and South Korea
Samir Sayed, Poly's managing director for Asean and South Korea
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By Sirivish Toomgum

The Nation

Global communications company Poly has seen growing demand for its video conferencing tech in Southeast Asia during the “new normal” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Samir Sayed, Poly's managing director for Asean and South Korea, said today the company's products were in demand as more employees work from home in response to lockdowns after the outbreak.

Poly products range from headsets, software, and desk phones, to audio and video conferencing services.

The firm says Covid-19 has disrupted workplace norms, forcing many organisations to quickly accommodate a large remote workforce, but also rethink strategies and investments for continued communication and collaboration during this challenging time.

As economies around the world look to reopen and restore normalcy, changes in companies’ working practices are here for good.

Workers around the world are shifting their focus from “place” to “purpose” in a model where their time is split between the office, and the home office. So-called hybrid working is here to stay.

Businesses are looking to find better ways to adapt to this new model, and at the same time to realign business priorities, as well as reset their values, culture and purpose to reflect the realities of the “Next Normal”.

Poly recently launched two new reports discussing the future of the workforce, titled “The Future of Work in the New Normal: Re-thinking your Digital Priorities”, and “Hybrid Working: Creating the ‘next normal’ in work practices, spaces and culture”.

They highlight the evolving trends of today’s modern workplace (and work spaces), where hybrid working will become the norm, and continued investments in the right technologies and collaboration solutions will go a long way in helping organisations plan for the future.

Work in the New Normal: Re-thinking your Digital Priorities

A new study from Ecosystm 360 commissioned by Poly discusses key priorities of business and IT leaders in Asia Pacific as the Next Normal emerges, and provides guidance to enterprises on how to negotiate the changes in their business and employee engagement models.

The study revealed that hybrid working will become the norm for many organisations, with continued investments in cybersecurity, education and technology as key digital priorities to focus on. Some highlights from the study include:

Hybrid Work Model is Here to Stay

• Working from home will become the norm for many organisations. Forty per cent of organisations surveyed expected to continue using virtual meetings, even after Covid-19, irrespective of location. In the Philippines, for example, business process outsourcing (BPO) providers are piloting different models by having some employees work from home and some in the office.

• The nature of the workplace will change; workplaces will be fitted out based on the need to meet and collaborate on projects; 55 per cent of respondents expect increased use of digital technologies for Employee Experience; 47 per cent of respondents expect increased use of collaborative tools and platforms even after the Covid-19 crisis is over.

While just 15 per cent of business leaders in Asia Pacific state they will reduce investments, business leaders in Malaysia bucked the trend, with 33 per cent indicating they expect to reduce the use of commercial office space post-Covid-19.

Organisations Will Focus on Making Remote Working Possible

• Implementing Virtual Private Network (VPN) access – 44 per cent of organisations surveyed implemented or boosted their VPN infrastructure in order to let more employees securely access internal tools and confidential data, in order to make remote working possible for a larger portion of their workforce.

• Investments in laptops and collaborative software – Many organisations had to invest in laptops for employees using desktops (36 per cent) and collaborative software (41 per cent) during this crisis. Across several countries in Asia Pacific – and mainly in the emerging economies – employees were just not equipped to work effectively from home. Laptops, monitors, and headsets had to be purchased for the home environment.

• Proactive changes to data protection and HR policies – Organisations took the opportunity to revamp data protection and compliance policies (43 per cent), re-evaluate HR policies (34 per cent), and implement measures to monitor the emotional well-being of their employees (31 per cent).

Videoconferencing will Drive Workplace Engagement and Collaboration

• Videoconferencing is the new voice – 63 per cent of organisations in Asia Pacific significantly increased their investments in conferencing devices and headsets to address the collaboration challenges during the Covid-19 crisis, with 41 per cent increasing investments in videoconferencing devices significantly.

• Cloud video adoption to continue growing – 33 per cent of organisations increased their investments in cloud video and collaboration solutions due to the pandemic, with demand expected to continue over the next 12 months, as they scale their technology capabilities to meet the needs of an increasingly remote workforce.


Hybrid Working: Creating the “next normal” in work practices, spaces and culture

Drawing on experts and futurists in the future of work, workspace design and psychology, this Poly report sets out the path to the “next normal”, where employees enjoy flexibility and choice, and businesses thrive through motivated collaborative and productive teams.

Highlights from the study include:

Post-lockdown work practices will incorporate ‘hybrid working’

• New working patterns – new working policies that bring employees flexibility on when and where they work.

• Outcome-based working – taking the onus off the hours and location, to being productive and delivering results.

• Optimised investment – looking beyond the company office to create collaborative, technology-enabled personal workspaces anywhere.

Creating the best environments for employees to be productive and collaborative will be vital to the new hybrid working era:

• Home offices will be given as much attention as the kitchen – ergonomically organised and crafted into places that inspire.

• A prevalence of co-working – organizations will invest in co-working spaces outside of cities to attract talent. Group collaboration and social connections with colleagues and others will lead to cross-fertilisation of ideas and innovation.

• Cityscapes will change – will we continue to see high-rise office buildings? The city as a structure will stay as apartment living means the city is integrated into people’s lives; restaurants are an extension of their kitchen and gyms their workout space.

As organisations respond, redesign and reinvent their business models, technology will play a fundamental role in enabling the shift to hybrid working.

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