Slow Death of Meeting Rooms

More meeting rooms are now empty. Soon, they will go the way of the dinosaurs according to the latest report from BT called People, productivity and the digital workplace - 2018.

According to the report, 90% of 1,100 executives and 600 IT decision makers believe mobile tools and collaboration services improve productivity in the workplace -- up from 60% in 2015.

Digital transformation is helping the pave the way for better collaboration. But the report also noted that only a quarter of the executives saw their digital experience as "excellent." Eighty percent indicated that they would make boosting productivity as their priority if they were the CEO.

"Our research tells us that there's a straightforward way to boost workplace productivity that doesn't involve refitting offices. New, smart ways of working can be achieved through mobile and collaboration tools deployed as cloud-based services backed by wireless connectivity," Andrew Small, Vice President, Unified Communications and Contact Centres, Global Services, BT, said.

The report highlighted five building blocks for improving employee productivity: a more connected video-led workspace; easier working and collaboration away from the office; corporate apps; instant messaging services; and better devices.

Wifi trumped over meeting rooms for work efficiency at the office. Sixty-three percent wanted "better Wi-fi" compared with just 28% who suggested "more meeting rooms." Digital video is becoming more popular, with 39% suggesting "interactive smart collaboration screens" and 32% pointing out "video rooms" as productivity enhancers.

The report also noted a widening gap between digital transformation initiatives and employee expectations. While employees want IT to work seamlessly, IT departments have the thankless task of making this possible.

Seventy-six percent of IT decision makers said that "employees often don't understand how difficult it is to make our IT work effectively," up from 67% in 2015. They felt that delivering a more digital experience for employees is piling even more demands onto their already long "to do" list.

Even convergence of voice and data, which a favorite topic a decade ago, is still not a reality in many firms. Six out of ten IT decision makers said that they are still at the planning stage for "convergence" — a first crucial first step in the digital transformation of their business.

IT decision makers are prioritizing investments in the cloud to support their collaboration and mobile services. Meanwhile, 84% of IT decision makers agreed that "one day cloud will be the accepted way of delivering collaboration services," compared with 545 in 2015.

"Our teams of specialized professional consultants can help customers design and implement solutions that fit their needs. Digital transformation may sound daunting but ensuring employees get a great mobile, and collaborative experience is a very good place to start," Small added.