Connecting people, technology & future workplaces

Hurrairah bin Sohail sits down with a panel of experts, discussing the impact of Covid-19 disruption on the workplace, the future of workspaces and addressing the needs of the emerging hybrid workforce.

We have all experienced the disruption caused by the global pandemic, whether it be in the form of social distancing measures or working from home due to lockdowns. But what has the real impact of this disruption been?

Tom Miu, Managing Director, PTS Consulting Singapore, offers an answer: “Each person is unique, making it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all solution. You're going to find a proportion of folks who want to be permanently working remotely and those who want to work full-time in the office; You're going to have the ‘hybrid workforce’.”

Echoing Miu’s viewpoints, Jacus Long, Head of Display and Brand Memory, Samsung Asia, shares that he believes technology will be the key factor for the transformation required: “When countries first imposed lockdowns, we saw a sudden spike in purchases for certain technology products such as notebooks, network routers and PC monitors, as everyone was rushing to equip themselves to stay connected.”

Long further expands the problem of making effective connections: “This pandemic has certainly accelerated remote working and this comes with certain challenges. How can the employees be effective in the midst of this disruption? For me, it comes down to the two senses: sound and sight.”

Erik Tanuwidjaja, Senior Manager, Southeast Asia and Oceania Display Office, Samsung Electronics, also believes that the focus should be on people. He says: “There is a gap between how we used to work pre-Covid-19 and how we work today. For individuals, we do not have the same standards and experiences when we work in the office versus working from our home.”

Tanuwidjaja continues: “I believe that eventually, we will see people returning to office spaces – which means companies must think about how they can ensure that their spaces remain sustainable in the post-Covid-19 era.”

Bridging the gap

One thing is made evidently clear by the discussion among the panellists, the spaces we work in have to transform to meet the needs of the hybrid workforce. The need for transformation is prompting Samsung to approach product design and business in a whole new way to ‘bridge the gap’ between hybrid workforce and the workspace.

Long comments: “How is the hybrid workspace being redefined or reconfigured?”

Going into the specifics of how workspaces can be elevated to meet the needs of the hybrid workforce, Long says: “If we look at the meeting spaces we have right now, following state regulations means that there will be a reduced number of seats.”

“How can we still have effective meetings? If you start to augment these meeting rooms with mobile interactive boards like the Samsung Flip, you can bring the meeting rooms to the employees. And when we look at larger meeting spaces such as town halls, we should be considering how these spaces can be converted into ‘studios’ where we can have a live broadcast that can include the remote workforce properly. Indeed, this transformation will require the right display solutions in the right sizes,” shares Long.

Miu adds: “While we need to maintain social distancing today, this situation could change in the future and the same space would have to be reconfigured. It means we need to ensure that we are creating a flexible infrastructure which will allow us to reconfigure spaces easily and in new ways so that when the situation changes, we can respond to it.”

Tanuwidjaja gives his thoughts: “The key question from customers and clients coming to us at Samsung is ‘how can we elevate the experience of engagement with both internal stakeholders and external clients and partners?’. Our starting point in this discussion is bettering the communication and how information is delivered to the audience with display solutions.”

Tanuwidjaja presents an example of the transformation Samsung can help enact: “Boardrooms are used to make critical business decisions and to do this, stakeholders have to look at information, scrutinise documents over video calls with all the different workforces in different countries. We used to be able to travel and meet business partners in person, but that experience is no longer possible in this current pandemic, so we need an effective solution.”

He continues: “Hence, boardrooms need to be equipped with a big real estate screen in the form of an LED that can show high-resolution visuals with the exact details that you require for decision-making.”

Tanuwidjaja further elaborates how The Wall for business can make a difference: “In the past, you needed to have a display that was 200-inch in size to have a 4K display in a corporate setting. But with The Wall for business, we can actually shrink that screen down to a comfortable 146-inch while still delivering 4K resolution.”

He adds: “People want 49-inch ultra-wide monitors for their workstations, why not go for a 32:9 LED display for your boardroom? It is an exceptional solution to promote C-level engagement and with the rise in virtual meetings, it can really help represent the remote workforce in corporate spaces properly.”

Samsung Image 2

The Wall for business in a boardroom setting. [Photo Credit: Samsung]


The future of workspaces

So, with all this information in mind what changes can we expect for workspaces? Miu says: “One of the options that we are exploring is the future of the meeting room. I believe future meeting rooms might have the capability for content creation, both live streaming and for recording, because some clients aren't necessarily able to come in.”

Long says: “There is a lot of uncertainty in the future, so we have to be able to prepare and know how to engage the client for different scenarios. You have to consider that client engagement is changing and that it might not be as frequent as it used to be – which means that when you do have client engagement, there is added pressure on the spaces to be able to deliver an impact and an impression.”

Tanuwidjaja addresses the concrete changes he is seeing in the market: “In pre-Covid-19, we got a lot of requests for displays that could deliver a ‘wow’ factor for the space. But post-pandemic, we are seeing a swing towards functionality. For example, we now need to deliver information reminding people about safe distancing and other protocols, reminding people about personal hygiene and these are the big changes.”

Tanuwidjaja concludes: “The question is how do we enable this experience? How do we enable effective communication and minimise the chances of messaging being ‘lost in translation’? Visual tools are essential, and we will see how displays in workplaces can be a medium to communicate with customers and people in proper digital means.”

Book an appointment at Samsung’s Executive Briefing Centres (EBC) at display@samsung.com to discover how Samsung can be your partner in transforming your workplace.

Samsung’s EBCs are located in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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