Delivering new ways of working through leading audio communication

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Poly Supplied

The way that professionals work – across all sectors and segments – was fundamentally changed in response to the extreme disruption of 2020, and it won’t be changing back, even as life returns to normal.

Remote working (both part-time and full-time) will rise across all industries,” one KPMG report noted. The same report noted that emerging technologies, including 5G, video conferencing, virtual reality and augmented reality, will be key to the success of this new way of working. As employees become more flexible in how they work, meeting rooms will become a new “hub” of activity and interactivity within a workflow, and organisations will need to place a renewed focus on the audio experience, to ensure that communication is clear, precise, and information isn’t “lost” as a result of a poor experience. 

In these environments, having a high-quality speaker will be essential. Headsets are fine for communicating without video, but in the context of a meeting, they detract from the need to have people interacting naturally. Poly’s Poly Sync 20 is a Microsoft Teams-certified and Zoom-certified USB/Bluetooth speakerphone that aims to enable headset-free meetings without audio compromise. It features a smart multi-microphone array that tracks the speaker so that the person on the other end of the call can remain focused on the conversation without needing to worry about being distracted by unwanted noise. 

The Poly Sync 20 is also a highly portable device, offering as much as 20 hours of battery life. As flexibility in work grows, the concept of where work is done is rapidly shifting. As the KPMG report noted, the “measurement of ‘work’ will increasingly become about outcome rather than the input, regardless of when and where it is done.” What this means in application is that people will take their work with them, whether it’s to the office, while enjoying a coffee at the café, or even when they go on holiday. 

This is something that should be encouraged for the sake of the employee’s mental health. As the KPMG report noted “Remote working has further blurred the line between work and personal lives… Successful leaders will develop innovative ways to manage team member’s mental health and connection to purpose – which are critical to sustain performance and retention.”

What the does mean, however, is that employees will need to be equipped with the tools to do the same quality of work whether at a desk in the office, on the road to a family function, or at a deckchair beside the pool at a resort. This is why the 20-hour battery life on the Poly Sync 20 matters (it also doubles as a portable charging point for phones). It’s also water and dust-resistant to enable it to be used while travelling in all conditions. Finally, with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, the device also provides professionals with flexible pairing and functionality across any audio device.

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Poly is a specialist in conference room design, and what distinguishes the Poly Sync 20 from portable speakers is those smarts have also been built into the design. Users can access last number redial, voice assistant, and other enterprise features thanks to a programmable button on the device. Additionally, sound controls and a mute button are seamlessly integrated into the design, and a highly visible LED light clearly represents call status, under all lighting conditions and at a distance. 

As the Poly Sync 20 is only around the size of a phone, it’s easy to slip into bags – including carry-on luggage – so it can be used immediately when needed. As a final feature, the point of having a highly flexible work/life balance is that the line between work and leisure is thin, and it’s possible for professionals to transition between the two seamlessly. Poly’s heritage in high-performance enterprise audio means that when the Poly Sync 20 is used for entertainment and music, it makes for an excellent portable speaker as well. 

Research from Gartner shows that almost half (41 per cent) of employees are likely to continue working remotely at least some of the time post-COVID. There are benefits to doing so, as noted into a report on telework as a response to the COVID disruption by the OECD:“Telework can improve firm performance by raising worker satisfaction and thus worker efficiency, e.g. through better work-life balance, less commuting or fewer distractions leading to more focused work or less absenteeism.”

However, this new way of working is only going to be successful if professionals can continue communicating with their teams and customers without disruption and distraction, and accountability is built into the remote workflow. To achieve that, high quality audio, available regardless of the location and environment of the meeting, is essential.

Poly (formerly Plantronics and Polycom) is a global communications company that builds beautifully human connections, from the headset that transmitted the iconic “One small step…” of the first moon landing to video conferencing and phone used by leaders of nations and captains of industry

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.