Will Future Office Furniture Include Video Pods?


Steelcase is preparing for a future where virtual work and office work converge. Sure, we know that workers can technically e-commute and teleconference from anywhere. But, as it turns out, some locations are more conducive to video chatting than others. For example, you don’t want to be shouting at your computer screen in a crowded coffee house. Even worse, you don’t want to be on a video conference in your home office and have your spouse walk by in the background wearing nothing but their underpants. Now that video technology is so cheap that everyone can use it, the bloom is off the rose and people are starting to worry about how well they are using it – especially for work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Your Video Conferencing Backdrop Is Part of Your Brand

If businesses want employees to have professional conversations with clients or collaborate with team members across a continent, they need to start thinking about video conferencing as a production. When it comes to appearing on video, quality matters to employees.  According to survey data collected for Steelcase by the Harris Interactive research firm, people are actually pretty picky about how they come across on video. Most get distracted if they see an image of themselves on-screen (and most don’t care for what they see).

Is the Office the Best Location for a “Movie Set”?

Only if businesses create space for it using appropriate space planning, furniture design and technology. More than one third of survey respondents said their office doesn’t have a sufficiently private space for one-to-one video communication. So, Steelcase has responded with the creation of a new idea for office furniture – the video booth. It’s got all the bells and whistles for audio and video along with acoustic privacy, a complexion-enhancing backdrop, and adjustable lighting to create the most flattering appearance for users. This design is still in the concept stage. But it may be time to start thinking about how you could outfit your office with a video pod. Perhaps a small meeting room or a large cubicle could be retrofitted for just this purpose?


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