Traditionally, business leaders have taken a one-size-fits-all approach when deciding which collaboration technology solutions to provide to their employees. In the months since the coronavirus pandemic first arrived in Australia, a large portion of the workforce has moved to remote working, and as a result, there has been a wave of business leaders allowing employees to choose their own tech. In fact, Barco’s recent research shows that 63% of employees are allowed to choose their own conferencing solution.

With many companies looking to implement hybrid or remote working moving forward, allowing employees to choose their own device will be a key component of the digital workplace, empowering individuals and increasing their productivity by enabling them to choose the devices that work best for them.

Below are three benefits of letting employees choose their own tech and tips to help business leaders make it possible:

  1. Increase efficiency and motivation by providing the right tools for the job

Regardless of the size of a company or the industry it is in, the coronavirus pandemic has required all businesses to find new ways of working. Despite there being a vast array of remote working solutions to choose from, knowing which one will suit your workplace can be the biggest challenge. If you are unsure which software and devices will work best for your company, start by asking your employees what they would prefer to use. By simply ensuring the technology you provide is easy to use and suited to the work that your employees are doing, you are likely to increase productivity, cut the time spent on tasks and boost the motivation and happiness of employees.

The key to making remote working solutions effective can also lie in finding software that matches your company culture. If your company values employee connection and has a strong social element, make sure the software you use allows for employees to chat casually as they would in the office, and to easily share updates, images and videos. Maintaining company culture, even when working remotely, will have a positive impact on the mentality of your employees, and their motivation to continue working from home.

  1. Allow your employees flexibility to use the technology solution that they prefer

Prior to the pandemic, most employees were still using company-supplied hardware. But in the months since the crisis and the shift to remote working, there has been a big increase in the number of employees using their own devices to join conference calls and virtual meetings or to exchange documents and data with colleagues.

As remote working continues, employees are likely to not only want to use their own laptop or device but also their own preferred video conferencing software – a trend known as ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ (BYOM). Many of us have experienced frustration trying to navigate unfamiliar software, only to find that it hinders our presentation to a client or takes up valuable meeting times. Employees do not want to be forced to use the ‘official’ company solution. They want the freedom to choose the tool they are most comfortable with. This is likely to extend beyond virtual meetings, meaning business leaders will be required to allow employees to choose their own software, and address how this will fit within the business’ processes.

  1. Introduce technology that reduces frustration and boosts collaboration

The coronavirus pandemic has proven that virtual and hybrid collaboration can be just as productive, or even more so than face-to-face meetings. However, Barco’s own research has shown that the lack of human interaction can impact those participants joining the meeting virtually. In fact, almost half (45%) of all respondents said they feel less important when joining a meeting remotely, while 43% feel frustrated or disengaged.

With hybrid working looking to last well beyond the pandemic, business leaders should not only adopt software that makes collaboration easier, but also consider designing meeting rooms that enable participants joining virtually to engage as if they are in the room. For instance, Barco’s ClickShare Conference enables teams to embrace ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’, by giving participants the option to use their device and UC&C platform. ClickShare Conference also has a range of features to enable more creative and productive sessions, including moderation tools, audio and screen display control and enriched collaboration via annotation and blackboarding.

As companies adjust to hybrid working for the long haul, business leaders must remain flexible to the individual needs and wants of employees. The shift to hybrid or remote working means companies are now more reliant on technology than ever before, to facilitate communication and collaboration both internally among colleagues and externally with clients. When given the ability to choose the technology that they prefer, employees are likely to feel more empowered and motivated to do their work, which is particularly important in this challenging time.