How we work is changing and so are our workspaces. 34% of businesses recently surveyed said that more than 50% of their full-time workforce will be working remotely by 2020*. This workspace shift is pushing IT departments to re-evaluate worker roles and the facilities where work is performed to better inform PC purchase decisions. For the manufacturing industry, there are extra challenges due to the array of work environments - offices, factories, warehouses - for which computing must be accommodated.
In regards to office spaces, some manufacturers are designing open floor plans and employing "hot desking," whereby employees aren't given permanent desk spaces. Companies are also trading traditional conference rooms for "huddle rooms"—small, flexible spaces for team and client collaboration. According to Forrester**, nearly 50% of manufacturers have implemented some form of open collaborative workspaces, either in place of traditional offices and desks, or in addition to them.
Space-saving & Collaboration Ideas to Consider
To replace aging PCs, look to devices and accessories that not only optimize space, but promote flexible working:
These devices integrate the computer inside the screen, saving desk space and reducing the need for cables to connect a separate computer and display.
Today's desktop computers are available in a range of sizes. Lenovo's ThinkCentre Tiny has a footprint smaller than a laptop for mounting under a desk or placing behind a monitor. Smaller doesn't mean you'll compromise performance and there are options for storage expansion, monitors and powerful graphics capabilities as users require.
Docking offers the benefits of a desktop computer without sacrificing the portability of a laptop. A range of connectivity ports enable users to quickly connect peripherals and displays to their laptop, minimizing cable clutter and desk space. In a hot-desking scenario, several users may share the same desk and peripherals at different times by simply docking their laptop. In seconds users can be connected to displays, peripherals and networking.
Individual Web Conferencing
If users are conducting VOIP calls and web conferencing in an open plan office, are they disturbing others because they struggle to make themselves heard through their PC? Simply having a good quality headset, a PC with noise suppression and digital mics can make a big difference.
Frequently, users experience frustration getting meetings started – equipment doesn’t work, or they can’t find the right adapter to connect to the projector or screen. A smart meeting room solution will solve that, enabling users to connect to displays wirelessly, reserve rooms automatically through Outlook, and collaborate with remote participants seamlessly.
Eliminating the complexity of meeting room equipment, devices like the ThinkSmart Hub 500 replace conference room phones, dongles and adapters, and simplifying cabling.
*London Business School 2016 Global Leadership Summit **Forrester Workforce and Workforce Recontact, 2018
As you look to modernize, consider the following:
- Employee's job roles: are they 'fixed' at a desk or often mobile and/or hot-desking?
- What are the performance needs you require from hardware?
- Do they need to collaborate with others in the same building or remotely?
- How much time is spent in meeting rooms? Are they able to efficiently connect to meeting room services?