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Four Work Solutions You’ll Need in the New Hybrid Workplace

As workplaces increasingly move toward hybrid models, organizations can adopt devices to boost productivity and fully harness the hybrid work model.

Workforces around the world have gone from traditional working arrangements to, in some cases, fully remote work, and are now in the process of transitioning to the next normal as businesses and workers chart a path toward what they expect the new office and workspaces will look like. While it’s still uncertain what that entails, they do know that hybrid work is here to stay as a permanent fixture in the work landscape.

Remote work skyrocketed in implementation in 2020, with up to 42% of the US workforce working from home, according to a Stanford University study, accounting for more than 60% of US economic activity. Looking forward, organizations are now preparing for the hybrid work reality, with many envisioning a 4-to-1 or 3-to-2 work arrangement with employees going into the office mainly for collaborative purposes such as meetings, to conduct research, or if their work can’t be done from home. A recent Gensler survey of nearly 10,000 office workers in the US, UK, France, and Australia found that more than half of them prefer a hybrid model going forward. Employers agree too; a recent survey by Inavatefound that many mid-sized companies in the UK expect to cut office space, with 74% predicting a reduction of up to a quarter, and a further 12% likely to cut up to half of their office space.

1. Collaboration Devices for Smaller Meeting Spaces

As offices de-densify, in some cases potentially to about 20 percent of previous in-office levels, meeting spaces will also most likely shrink accordingly. Therefore, there will be an even greater need for meetings to go hybrid and include more remote participants. This could even include participants in another part of the office in order to keep too many people from cramming into a single, enclosed space. A multistreaming presentation switch such as the VP2120 allows for meeting participants to bring their own devices and connect, upload presentations, take notes with a virtual whiteboard, use a native chat room, video capture, and group broadcast. Lastly, they can then share meeting notes and content with other participants. In addition, employees in different rooms or another floor can join the meeting, thus maintaining social distancing protocols but with greater functionality, and improved video and audio quality, over more commonplace cloud-based remote meeting tools.

The ATEN VP2120 Seamless Presentation Switch with Quad View Multistreaming integrates a video matrix switch, AV streaming, audio mixing, and collaborative functions into one compact device.

2. Livestreaming Tools for Better Video Content

Video content creation and viewership was already on the rise before 2020, and the pandemic accelerated this trend to the point that creating engaging video content, including livestreams, has become indispensible for many organizations. However, in order to produce pro-level content, it’s generally been a case of having to buy expensive equipment and editing software, plus investing the time needed to edit video and even overcome learning curves. However, more portable multi-channel AV mixer devices have the ability to replace green screens, add lower thirds and other graphical overlays, switch between cameras, and either stream it out or store it as a program mix.

Livestreaming AV mixers can help you create pro-level streams with camera-switching, backgrounds, title cards, and more.

The ATEN StreamLIVE PRO, for example, allows you to livestream on two platforms at once, such as YouTube and Facebook, switch scenes, edit graphics on the fly, and more, all on your own. With fewer staff working in-person at an office, or for those streaming from home, being able to do all of this by yourself is a huge boon to creatives, marketing, and other departments that want to create better video content for their audiences, not to mention teachers streaming classes to students.

3. Portable Docks with the Power of USB-C

With more workers looking to work from anywhere, not just from home, people need more than just a portable laptop and smartphone. To expand device functionality, many people have turned to USB docking stations, so the more portable and ergonomic, yet powerful, a hub can be the better. A USB-C multiport mini dock such as the ATEN UH3234 allows you to connect your laptop to a 4K HDMI or VGA FHD monitor, as well as to use a single USB-C cable to charge devices, transfer data, and expand a workstation by up to 10 ports. Plus, users can extend their Windows USB-C laptop to two monitors, or their Macbook or Chromebook to a monitor in 4K.

The ATEN UH3234 is purpose-built for work from anywhere, allows connection of up to 10 devices, and has power pass-through.

Workers looking for a dock that they can leave in an office, or take to a hot-desking workplace, could also make use of a device such as the UH3237. It sits discretely under a laptop, supports power delivery 3.0 for laptop charging, and expands your laptop’s capabilities with 13 more ports, including USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, audio, and more.

4. Desktop KVMs for PC switching and USB-C functionality

Whether you’re a financial analyst, CAD or graphic designer, or in sales, there are some careers that simply require more than one PC at a workstation but with one set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse. What’s more, workers who are on the go now expect to be able to take devices to meetings and then return to their desks and quickly and easily sync any new work they’ve generated. One of the best ways to do that is with USB-C connectivity, which is why new desktop KVMs also feature USB-C.

The ATEN CS1953 is a desktop KVM that features USB-C functionality, 4K DCI visual clarity, SuperSpeed data access, and flexible port-switching options.

KVMs with USB-C functionality can also feature Power Delivery 3.0 to charge connected USB-C devices in addition to SuperSpeed 5 Gbps data transfer rates. A desktop KVM such as the ATEN CS1953, for example, does all of this. Adding all of that functionality to a desktop, allows workers to not only be more productive but also more mobile.

Lastly, switching between computers is easy with a KVM such as this one as it can be done with hot keys, pushbuttons, mouse, or a remote port selector. In other words, users have various options and can choose the switching style they like best.

Charting a Path Forward

While organizations are still settling on which work setups they’ll use going forward, it’s clear that both fully remote and hybrid options are going to be viable ones that many companies will choose. In order to be best prepared for these working arrangements, organizations should invest in the kind of technology that will make it easier for employees to quickly and easily collaborate and stay mobile, whether they’re livestreaming, having an enhanced remote meeting, hot desking, or more. With these types of solutions in place, organizations and workers will be able to bridge the gap between working arrangements and make sure that productive hybrid work is here to stay.

ATEN Solutions for Hybrid Workplaces

ATEN specializes in flexible, easily deployed solutions for hybrid and remote work to future-proof organizational productivity and meet the needs of both employers and employees. These include:

  • Remote and hybrid meeting room solutions for enhanced collaboration and productivity enterprise and education
  • Livestreaming solutions for pro-level streaming content that’s easy to make for educational, enterprise, and content creation purposes
  • Desktop and remote access solutions for greater productivity, space-saving, and ergonomics in an evolving hybrid work landscape

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 About ATEN

ATEN International Co., Ltd. (TWSE: 6277), established in 1979, is the leading provider of IT connectivity and management solutions. Offering integrated KVM, Professional Audiovisual, and Intelligent Power solutions, ATEN products connect, manage, and optimize electronics in corporate, government, industrial, educational, and retail environments. ATEN has 500+ issued international patents and a global R&D team that produces a constant stream of innovative solutions, resulting in a comprehensive portfolio of products available worldwide.

Headquartered in Taiwan, ATEN International Co., Ltd. has grown to include subsidiaries in China, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Russia and Turkey – with R&D centers in Taiwan, China, and Canada.