Is the office v WFH battle coming to an end?

Video conferencing manufacturer, Boom Collaboration believes that three years on from the first COVID lockdowns, the ongoing conflict between working from home and returning to the office may be coming to an amicable end.

Boom Collaboration was founded by Fredrik Hörnkvist and Holli Hulett in 2020. The company initially saw an explosion in demand for USB home working devices but is now witnessing a 40 per cent rise in office video bars plus a 32 per cent growth in high-performance PTZ cameras and expandable audio devices, this year.

Holli said, “through these interesting, challenging, and evolving times, from lockdowns to hybrid working, conferencing has been at the fulcrum of dramatic changes in daily and working life; how people interact and communicate, almost from anywhere. In many ways, there’s no going back to how we were before in an increasingly AI-driven world.”

She says the impact on the office property market has been particularly hardest hit with the true costs yet to fully emerge.

Fredrik feels ‘it’s a lot more complicated argument than just wanting to work from home’. He said, “there’s still a ton of companies pushing hybrid and in-person. Maybe the real estate crash will not be that bad. Time will tell.

“Some companies at first were looking to go full remote but now they have requested staff to come back. Some went full-time whilst others prefer hybrid. Some will never go back. It’s kind of a mixed bag. The key is to be flexible to maintain their culture and retain a happy workforce.”

Holli believes going full remote can be difficult to achieve. She said, “even here at Boom we are a relatively small team dispersed across many miles but we all value getting together in person on a regular basis when we can. There’s a balance. Face-to-face meetings and direct human interaction on a regular basis matter and add value in so many ways. There’s social interaction as well as business benefits.

“However much some people want to work from home in terms of a work-life balance, they still need to be face-to-face regularly, rather than just being isolated. Obviously high-performance video technology offers a compelling alternative.

“One of the main arguments I used to hear from friends is, what is the point of being in the office if my colleagues are not there so I end up on a video call anyway that I could have made from home?

“Regular patterns of behaviour are being formed with people in the office with key colleagues when they need to be, and working remotely too. This can boost business productivity and smooth any friction between departments.

“Over recent years there seems to have been a constant battle between the office or hybrid work. But it doesn’t need to be that way. There’s a benefit to both and that’s certainly the view of many of our customers around the world.

“Wherever people are working the latest video conferencing technology can help. The battle is over. There’s no war. Peace is being restored.”

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