UC Advanced - issue #7

This is our first year at ISE but we’ve been to Infocomm for several years. I have to tell you, they’re both unbelievable shows. Infocomm is invaluable for North America, but I’m also finding a lot of people from North America here at ISE who are trying to learn, and see what’s changed in six months because the innovation in the space is crazy. So this show is my favourite bar none.

the device and that’s how we’re delivering the kind of feature that we might have called machine learning. “The application of AI to make the meeting experience even smoother is great. People are talking about how cameras don’t necessarily focus on the person who is talking in the room, because we might want to see other participants’ reactions to what is being said. “We already do something quite nice, which is that if two people are talking to each other it will deliberately place them in the right position so they’re actually talking to each other across the screen. So with our system, participants won’t be talking directly over the screen. They’ll all be sitting next to each other. It’s these things that we can do with AI.” The Attitude Problem Away from the technology, a key theme of the show was addressing attitudes towards remote or hybrid working within the wider business landscape. However, in a world where management seems to be clinging to the idea of coming into the office every day, Kristin Celano, Senior Director of Global Brand and Communications at Owl Labs pointed out we’re all new to this. “We spent something like 50 years to figure out the way to work is to go to an office every day,” said Celano. “Everyone is a little hard on hybrid, but we’ve been at it for three or four

commuting costs or transport costs, which is great. Another trend is that younger generations


want to wear what they want, so businesses might ditch the dress code, instead of paying them more money or covering commuting costs.” “Companies are trying to mandate it, and other companies are trying to sell it,” said MacDonald. “But the cost of incentivising employees to come back to the office has gone through the roof and maybe isn’t working as well as mandating it.” “You just have to look at the data and figure out the different levers that matter to employees and build better experiences,” continued Celano. “I always say, every year we come out with this report, for five years straight it has said that everyone is tired. But if you know the trends that are happening, we

Ben MacDonald, Global Channel SVP

years. We have to give it a second. “I think more immersive technology,

engaging technology is going to help, better hybrid policies, listening to your employees, there’s going to be a mix of things that are just different than how we’ve done previously. “We also learned it’s expensive to go into the office. In the States, it was something like $56 a day on average to come into the office, including commuting costs, if you buy lunch or dinner, or a coffee.” With this expense, it’s not a surprise that Owl Labs discovered that some employees believed that remote working should be a legal right in its State of Hybrid Report. Celano and Global Channel SVP at Owl Labs, Ben MacDonald, went on to address the question of how to convince employees to come back to the office. “Some companies now are covering




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