With workers returning to offices in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are new expectations for what meeting behaviors and habits will become standard in the age of hybrid work. One of the biggest trends emerging is the "bring your own meeting" (BYOM) practice, which gives employees the flexibility to use their personal devices, linking up with in-office videoconferencing systems to work seamlessly during meetings.
This shift requires IT leaders to implement a variety of new operational practices and capital upgrades in a fast-changing business ecosystem. But even with the challenges and questions that will emerge in the transition, establishing BYOM in the hybrid workplace is essential, and IT teams must move quickly to set up the right technologies. With lower turnover, improved collaboration and productivity, and other positive KPIs as a result, BYOM is a smart practice that separates the winners from the rest in the new business climate.
Videoconferencing systems can provide real-time communication with others, which leads to greater productivity.
However, when traveling or working remotely, hybrid work isn't always accessible due to a lack of equipment or networking restrictions, conflicting time zones, or technology limitations. BYOM allows staff to host conference calls from their preferred tool, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet. Employees also have access to preexisting hardware within meeting rooms to collaborate more efficiently.
BYOM means complete connectivity. Within a BYOM environment, the personal device an employee brings into the meeting room connects to and controls the room technology, delivering a personalized, user-centric experience. In a hybrid work model, employees can use their own devices to accomplish tasks from their home or the office, invite colleagues into sessions, collaborate with co-workers anywhere, and remain efficient and productive.
Ensuring employees have a secure BYOM environment is essential to supporting this productivity. Partnering with employees to equip them with the right tools, knowledge, and resources for security helps safeguard their devices and company information.
Even before the pandemic, studies showed that 67% of employees use their own devices at work, and employees who do so create $350 of additional value annually for their companies. Those numbers have undoubtedly increased as devices have become more portable and nearly ubiquitous in our daily lives. BYOM takes this to the next level as it encourages more workers to use their personal devices at work.
One of the many benefits of a BYOM strategy is increased work efficiency, as it's easier for employees to use devices they're familiar with. This can improve the effectiveness of videoconferencing since employees will be more inclined to collaborate in hybrid meeting environments and huddle rooms.
That social connectivity with colleagues increases satisfaction and builds community in a workforce that spent a year or more working without in-person interaction. In the era of the Great Resignation and high rates of turnover, BYOM may help reduce the frustration and disengagement that can lead to job switches.
Communication also improves in BYOM environments since workers are likely to receive notifications through personal devices they keep on them at all times. This especially benefits manufacturing sites and other situations where workers spend significant time away from computers but still need to receive important information.
In addition to enhanced communication, collaboration, and job satisfaction on the individual and team levels, businesses also benefit from BYOM models by increasing their talent pool range. With BYOM, organizations can recruit talent from anywhere, and they can easily set those employees up with collaborative and efficient workflows. This creates a stronger and wider market reach and helps boost retention efforts.
Companies that decide to transition to a micro-distributed team model still want to provide the same collaboration opportunities that are available at their headquarters, creating huge demands for IT and unified communications staff. This is accelerating changes in on-premises and cloud-based tools by two to five years, according to Gartner. IT directors, managers, and leaders need to be prepared to onboard and train the staff needed to support these digital efforts.
IT leaders should also keep in mind that the transition is expected to increase spending on public cloud technologies by more than 26% by the end of 2021, Gartner notes. Establishing collaborative connections through the cloud can bolster hybrid and BYOM work models, so setting up the right cloud technologies today can help a BYOM model tomorrow. Other requirements of increased BYOM capacity include expanding VPN range and enabling wider use of UC meeting and collaboration tools to allow employees a variety of options.
Building a strong BYOM culture starts with IT teams educating staff on the benefits of using collaborative tools. Then, IT leaders need to make sure they have the tools and video conferencing technology that enable employees to connect their personal devices securely and efficiently. Conferencing tools that allow employees to adjust the volume, screen positioning, and zooming from their smartphone or to connect their smartphone to the technology as a speaker enhances the employee BYOM experience overall.