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Offices today look a little different than they did in 2019. COVID-19 may have been the catalyst, but many of the changes in workplace dynamics created by the pandemic are here to stay. As more and more employees return to the office, health and safety remain high priorities. Certain changes are necessary to physical spaces and routines alike.

Office AV trends are popping up in response to these changes. Here are five office AV trends we’re seeing here at Bluewater and that we believe are here to stay.

The Growth of Touchless Technology

As society became much more acutely aware of disease transmission, touchless technology has seen tremendous growth. Any high-touch area that can be converted to touchless is ripe for innovation.

One way this plays out in office AV trends is through the expansion of bring your own device, or BYOD. It’s become much more common for employees to want to bring their own device to control rooms or for use running presentations in conference spaces rather than touch a shared workstation.

Touchless (or less-touch) building access is also becoming more prevalent. A fully touchless entry system requires powered doors, but short of that kind of investment, RFID keycard systems paired with arm or foot pulls reduce hand contact significantly.

Another promising area of growth in AV trends is the touchless kiosk. With the proper configuration, a touchless lobby kiosk can register guests or sign them up for rewards programs using voice control, smartphone control, or a mix of both.

Touchless Display

Temperature Scanners and Occupancy Sensors

Larger companies have outfitted building entries with temperature scanners to identify potentially infectious people at the door. The pandemic will eventually fade, but some businesses may retain this practice to proactively scan for signs of illness.

Bluewater offers several temperature check systems, each designed to cover a variety of applications. Learn more about temperature scanning solutions from Bluewater.

Occupancy sensors are another interesting development in office AV trends. Many jurisdictions have instituted occupancy limits, such as 25% or 50% capacity. But tracking the number of bodies in a building is an excruciating manual process.

Occupancy sensors at primary entrances can improve tracking and compliance. And AI-powered solutions like WaitTime take occupancy tracking to the next level. Read about Bluewater’s partnership with WaitTime — in place before the pandemic, but perfectly suited for tracking reduced occupancy limits, too.

Smaller Spaces, Huddle Rooms & Repurposed Spaces Present New AV Needs

As businesses return to in-person work, many are repurposing some of their spaces and creating new ones. There’s a demand for smaller space huddles where just a handful of people can meet (and distance appropriately).

Some businesses are simply repurposing existing conference rooms by reducing the maximum number of occupants. Others are creating new spaces built with distancing in mind. The era of the large in-person meeting seems to be slowed, at least for now.

In all of this, there are significant AV needs. New or repurposed spaces need digital displays, support for BYOD control, room control, and built-in audio for Zoom, Teams, and other conferencing tools.

Remote Work and Blended Offices Are Here to Stay

For all the complaints about remote work, there’s a segment of the workforce that loves it unashamedly. Many of these workers don’t plan to return to the office full-time unless required. Remote work and blended offices are here to stay, and it’s time for businesses to put long-term solutions in place, not just the quick fixes they issued at the start of the pandemic.

Bluewater’s remote work kit is an ideal solution for remote workers who need improved equipment for frequent video and audio calling. We can customize and scale this kit to fit your needs and the size of your remote workforce, as well.

Flexible Leases and Subletting Demand Adaptable Signage and AV Equipment

Some businesses are dealing with excess office space, a side effect of having fewer workers on site. More than ever before, companies with ample office space footprints are subletting portions of their spaces.

Short-term leases (both in these newly-sublet spaces and elsewhere) are becoming more common as well, whether for a short-term regional project or by a less-established company navigating uncertain waters.

One of the office AV trends related to these shorter lease times is adaptable or mobile AV solutions. In spaces like these, complex, permanent installs just aren’t feasible. Yet businesses still want the ability to present professionally.

To meet this need, Bluewater offers mobile AV kits that can include digital signage plus a conference room in a box — everything you need to establish your brand in a space and conduct flexible meetings. Yet our mobile AV kits are portable, so they can easily travel with you to the next space.The pandemic changed office life in many ways. Some of these changes may revert over time, while others are here to stay. Bluewater has helped many businesses navigate these changes, and we’re ready to help you too. Reach out today to learn what we can do for you!