What can you learn from our recent AV installations in London?
MVS has been busy doing AV installations in London and it’s obvious that hybrid working has become the norm. Many employees now expect to work from home for part of the week and for the office to be properly equipped when they go in.
So here’s what we have learnt.
Hybrid working is here to stay across most sectors
The most recent AV installs we have completed in London have consisted of organisations from the following sectors:
- Architecture & Planning
- Computer Software
- Government Administration
- Real Estate
- Venture Capital & Private Equity
Employees everywhere have got used to a reduction in commuting and the ability to better fit work around their home life. They don’t want to return to the old ways. As a result, forward-thinking employers are busy redesigning or even reducing their expensive office space to make it fit for hybrid working.
Meeting spaces now comprise booths, huddle rooms and collaboration areas in addition to traditional rooms – all equipped with AV for hybrid meetings. And with an increase in meeting spaces and reduction in desk space these employers are utilising room and desk booking systems to ensure employees have a great experience when in the office.
Rushed AV installations during the COVID-19 pandemic are being refreshed
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit there was a rush to roll out Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaborations (UCC) apps as employees were forced to work from home. Many organisations provided equipment for home offices and it didn’t take long for home offices to become suitably equipped for remote work.
Meanwhile back in the office companies rushed to equip meeting rooms for hybrid meetings in readiness for the post lockdown return to work. Either through lack of expertise, challenges with the availability of appropriate AV equipment, or both, the results were often not great and we’re seeing a lot of demand to rip out and start again.
Commercial Real Estate firm Delancey quickly realised that the AV equipment they had was simply not fit for purpose.
Presenters who like to walk around the room quickly found they had to stay close to a desk mic to be heard and within the limited field of view (FOV) of what was little better than a web cam to be seen.
MVS Audio Visual accepted the brief to equip their rooms with easy-to-use AV equipment that just works. Following careful room surveys we did just that with Yealink solutions, installed to our highest standards.
Microsoft Teams, Zoom or BYOD
Understanding which video conference platforms are used by your employees, customers and partners is important. There are pros and cons to deciding on a native meeting room solution (like Microsoft Teams or Zoom Rooms) versus BYOD.
Broadly, the former brings ease-of-use and utilises all of the features brought by the VC platform and their certified devices, but lacks the flexibility of BYOD. BYOD allows meetings to be conducted in any VC platform, but it requires more involvement from the meeting host and their laptop with reduced functionality. For more information read our blog, BYOD meeting or “Native” meeting room solutions? Which is better? Spoiler alert – to understand what is better for your company you’ll need the help of an expert AV Integrator!
Teams and Zoom installation
Lee & Thompson is a legal firm that specialises in the media sector and works with customers all around the globe. They use Microsoft Teams for internal, hybrid meetings, but most of their customers use Zoom.
MVS designed a clever solution. The boardroom is divisible, so we installed a Zoom Room in one room and a Microsoft Teams Room in the other. When opened out the whole room works with either type of meeting. See full case study
Teams and BYOD installation
MVS installed a Microsoft Teams Room in the boardroom for RX.London’s new Soho office, but they required the flexibility to host and receive video calls in other VC platforms.
So we kitted out another meeting room which included a Logitech Swytch, providing their employees with the ability to plug in their laptops and utilize the room camera and audio in any meeting type.
Room acoustics require careful consideration
AV technology is getting more and more clever, but it can never totally overcome a room which hasn’t been designed with acoustics in mind. Current trends in office design mean that we are frequently faced with meeting rooms that have hard floors, open ceilings and glass and / or concrete walls. And if your meeting rooms have bad acoustics they won’t get used.
The key learning here is to think acoustics when you are planning your new meeting rooms. If you are using a fit out company ask them how they plan to treat the rooms? Or pick up the phone to an AV expert. The best AV companies in London will be able to advise.
If you already have your meeting spaces built our AV Consultants will provide advice on acoustics and where necessary recommend an acoustic survey, which would provide you with recommend acoustic treatments.
There are some straightforward things you can do like putting carpet down, using soft chairs and hanging canvasses, but there are also some specialist acoustic products available. Here is an example of acoustic lighting installed at Motorway.
Flexible spaces require considered AV installations
The charge towards hybrid working practices has meant many organisations have looked at how they can better utilise their office space. Generally there has been a reduction in fixed desk space and an increase in usable meeting spaces. However, the needs placed on meeting spaces today go far beyond the traditional “TV on a wall” video conference rooms.
An AV expert will seek to understand how you want to use each space and then provide an appropriate design based on their knowledge of the art of the possible with AV equipment. Below is an example of a multi-function space we installed recently.
Motorway is a success story and early adopter of hybrid working. Before they moved office they had to hire a cinema for all hands meetings.
Now in their new London HQ they have a large town hall space which uses AVoIP with a 98” LG display, Bose speakers, Sennheiser mics and a background music system with a Dante plate and Sonos Port. This AV installation provides the tech for any occasion.
What to look for in an AV company
Today, equipping your organisation with effective audio visual technology is business-critical, so it’s important to involve AV experts, because AV is a specialist area and AV technology is evolving rapidly.
The best AV companies in London will:
- Take time to understand your needs
- A good AV Consultant knows the questions to ask to ensure a thorough understanding of how your office spaces will be used. A clear brief is the foundation of a successful AV installation.
- Be experienced working with Fit-out and Office Design teams
- An experienced AV Integrator will participate in site evaluation, contractor meetings and align with a programme of works in order to carefully supply and integrate AV into the office design.
- Assign you a dedicated Project Manager
- You may be surprised that many AV companies outsource project management and installation. The best insist on having directly employed teams in order to maintain quality.
- Design solutions to best address those needs
- Based on your brief an AV Integrator will provide detailed schematic drawings that show what AV equipment goes where and which can be used in conjunction with other trades involved in your office refresh.
- Specify and purchase the best-fit professional AV equipment
- The best AV companies will have relationships with all the top professional AV equipment manufacturers and be able to recommend the right products to fit your needs and budget. Look for AV companies that are vendor agnostic, rather than those pushing a more limited range of brands in order to increase their margins
- Install your AV solution with the minimum of disruption and highest quality
- The best AV companies in London are experienced at working in busy environments, working with your project team and any external trades involved. Testing and pre-commissioning of equipment helps to increase the speed and success of an install. Get it right first time.
- Provide a proper handover
- We hear many stories of companies finishing an installation and then just picking up their tools and leaving you to it. A good AV Integrator will send an Commissioning Engineer in to test and sign off the installation and then conducting a formal handover to your team.
- Provide ongoing support and maintenance
- AV is a specialist area, and an AV company will ensure that your AV equipment is serviced and software updates are maintained so that you maximise your investment. And downtime will be minimised with expert remote / onsite support, freeing you up to get on with your jobs
Speak to an expert
MVS Audio Visual is a commercial AV Integrator with a passion for anything audio visual. If you need expertise to help with a new AV installation or AV refresh we would love to have a chat before conducting a FREE site survey.