We foresee that the future of work will be hybrid: Ankur Goel, Managing Director, Poly India & SAARC

Ankur Goel, Managing Director, Poly India & SAARC

Traditional offices won’t disappear, but they will transform and people will split their time between home office and office. There will be an effort to bring down the actual office space, and workplaces will cater to different fitments to meet and collaborate on projects. Organisations will have to recreate workspaces that give people choice—places to collaborate, think, create or simply check in with others, says Ankur Goel, Managing Director, Poly India & SAARC, in an exclusive conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

  1. The sudden outbreak of Covid changed the way organisations operate around the globe. What challenges did you face in your leadership role and how did you overcome them?  

As soon as the lockdown was announced, there was a sudden spike in the demand for collaboration solutions, particularly work from home products like headsets and USB cameras.One of the biggest challenges we faced at Poly (as one of the industry’s leading collaboration players) was to keep up with the increase in demand and to ensure we can serve our customers in a timely manner.

We had to revisit our strategy and streamline our operations to move through this hurdle– we ramped up our production to meet the demand and worked closely with our partner ecosystem in India to serve our customers.

The other challenge was to motivate employees who were not used to working from home. Stress and anxiety levels were at an all-time high due to the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. We tried to boost employee morale by having many informal discussions and helped them get accustomed to the new way of work. 

  1. How has the adoption of collaboration solutions changed in the BFSI sector? How are your solutions and offerings helping remote workforce? 

The adoption of collaboration solutions amongst the BFSI sector spiked during the pandemic. We saw a huge mindset shift in how employees started using video conferencing to communicate and collaborate with their peers and stakeholders. Many banks upgraded their existing infrastructure with our latest video conferencing solutions during this period. Digital transformation was at an all-time high in the sector.

At Poly, we have a wide range of solutions to help remote workers work from anywhere. From top government officials to lawyers and judges, many of them are using Poly’s video and audio solutions and our headsets to communicate and collaborate. This has helped them not only improve their productivity and efficiency but has also saved considerable resources and costs.

Some of our popular audio/video conferencing devices and headsets that are specifically designed for remote workers to reduce distractions and focus on the task at hand include- 

  • POLY SYNC USB/BLUETOOTH SMART SPEAKERPHONES – Poly Sync, the latest product from Poly is a remarkable sounding three-in-one device – it’s a personal speakerphone, a portable music speaker and a smartphone charger all in one. Its compact, sleek design and carrying case make it perfect for users on the go. The USB and Bluetooth speakerphones are designed to enable today’s need to work from anywhere – whether that’s a remote work location at home or a conference room in the office.

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  • POLY VOYAGER FOCUS UC -A headset like the Voyager Focus UC comes in handy with its ability to filter out the background noise, while projecting the users voice clearly and confidently so that their contribution to the meeting can be heard. When it’s time to take a music break between a back-to-back calls, the Voyager Focus UC delivers rich bass, crisp highs, and natural mid-tones to let users enjoy their favorite tunes.
  • POLY VOYAGER 6200 UC–This is a professional yet versatile headset. The Voyager 6200 UC neckband delivers professional-grade audio performance for mobile and PC calls and features an immersive stereo for the music lovers. The earbud is comfortable, stable, fits nearly all ear sizes and shapes and is easy to put on and take off, while the neckband contours to any user while remaining lightweight.
  • POLY VOYAGER 5200 UC  – The Voyager 5200 UC, a mono Bluetooth headset lets users work from wherever they like, and with all-day comfort. Six layers of WindSmart technology and four omni-directional microphones work in tandem to reduce distracting background noise. A pocket-sized design also makes this handy headset a compact addition to the user’s mobile arsenal. 
  1. What are your views on Work from Home culture? Do you see its significant presence beyond the pandemic period also? 

Yes, certainly. Working from home is widely accepted now and many organisations have started realizing the cost benefits of remote working as they are saving a lot of expenses on real estate.

On the other hand, there are certain sections of employees  that prefer to work from office or have a central gathering space where they can ideate and brainstorm.

Therefore, we at Poly foresee that the future of work will be hybrid.

Traditional offices won’t disappear, but they will take a new form and shape and people will split their time between home office and office. There will be an effort to reduce the actual office space, and workplaces will be fitted out differently catering to the need to meet and collaborate on projects. Even if this move to reduce physical office space does not become mainstream, organisations will have to repurpose or redesign the workspaces. The number of people physically attending a meeting will reduce, with some opting to continue to interact through video and collaboration solutions. There will be a need to have smaller huddle rooms for when colleagues choose to interact face-to-face – these huddle rooms will be fitted with high quality video conferencing systems.

Going forward, organisations need to create workspaces that gives people choice—places to collaborate, think, create, or simply check-in with others. Homeworking and co-working spaces will rise in prominence, but even with all the benefits they bring, we’ll still see a need for a central company workspace for idea generation, collaboration and to give the workforce its sense of identity.

Across all these workspaces, the focus will be on creating environments that motivate and empower hybrid workers to be productive and do their best work.

  1. How are you planning your 2021 from a technology point of view?

For 2021, our focus would be on building collaboration solutions that would help people be productive no matter the work location.

From a technology point of view, our goal is to –

  • Equip workforce with the best collaboration toolsand user experience– The pandemic has helped shift the mindset regarding remote working and how we view work – work is no longer a place we go to; it is what we do. At Poly, we want to enable our customers to equip their workforce with the collaboration solutions that help them work from anywhere – at home, office or on the go and ensure that they have the same communication experience regardless of location.
  • Cater to prosumers – With more employees accustomed to working from home, home offices will be upgraded and renovated.  More than just throwing a chair and desk in the spare room, those working from home will be looking for the same experience they have in the office – comfortable and sturdy furniture, good lighting and enterprise grade technology and connectivity.

This will make way for the rise of the prosumer – the professional consumer – who isn’t shopping for the cheapest technology to get them by during a temporary lockdown situation.

Prosumers will transform their homes for the long haul, and spend on lightning speed internet, comfortable, noise blocking headsets, and crystal-clear audio and video conferencing solutions which allow them to join Zoom and MSFT Teams meetings with the click of a button. We will look at tapping into this opportunity and expanding our footprint within the prosumer space.

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