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AV for the Hybrid Workplace

Creating the right AV environment for WFH and office staff to collaborate easily and effectively is now an essential requirement for the majority of workplaces – how does the flexibility of Dante AV make the transition to the ‘new norm’ an easy one?

AV for the Hybrid Workplace 

Even as more employees return to the office, hybrid collaboration will be integral part of work for most everyone. It’s up to employers to provide comfortable, distraction-free spaces where employees are able to chat and collaborate with remote workers. In this article we’ll look at how Dante AV-over-IP can be used in three types of hybrid collaboration spaces beyond the standard conference room. 

One-to-One Meeting Space 

Small one-to-one meeting spaces give employees a private, noise-free place away from open seating work environments to connect and collaborate with remote employees or make client calls. Here’s where all-in-one (mic, camera, speaker) devices might be used, though sticking to a networked ecosystem can be easier to remotely monitor and troubleshoot than local USB devices. You can probably get away without having to install DSP hardware in these rooms as Modern UC Software (Zoom, Teams, etc.) have decent DSP. That said, room acoustics are important so make sure there are soft surfaces – no glass fishbowls! For audio, a Dante-enabled table microphone and speaker bar are your best bets and provide easy installation with a single network cable and power provided with PoE. Zoom Rooms uses Dante Application Library so audio can be sent directly in and out of the software. For other UC software applications Dante Virtual Soundcard can be installed on the in-room PC or a USB to Dante device used. 

Team Collaboration Room 

Team collaboration rooms can be flexible spaces with movable tables and chairs providing multiple monitors, with cameras and whiteboards for presentation and collaboration with remote participants. The dual monitors can be used to display remote participants on one screen and shared content on the other. A PTZ camera can capture participants with flexibility, and a whiteboard capture camera can make physical content in the room easier for remote participants to see.  

Dante-enabled ceiling microphones benefit this space as they provide excellent coverage and allow in-room participants to move freely about the room and still be heard clearly. A DSP can mix sources and provide any other signal processing and control needed for this larger space. Dante-enabled speakers can be installed mounted to walls or in the ceiling. As these spaces are more technologically advanced, training for users should be a priority so they can fully take advantage of the collaboration technology. 

Open Meeting Space 

Open meeting spaces can provide a casual and comfortable place to connect with remote employees. Audio can be a bit of a challenge in open spaces as acoustic distractions are a concern. Additionally, remote participants might be more hesitant to share not knowing who else can hear them. Make sure these spaces are in less busy areas of the office or provide more acoustic barriers to alleviate these concerns. Depending on the ceiling height, ceiling microphones and speakers might not be ideal. In that case multiple Dante-enabled microphones could be placed throughout the space on furniture close to where participants are sitting. Speakers should also be placed so they provide proper coverage of the space without having to blast the volume of calls. Once again, a Dante-enabled DSP is used to mix multiple microphone sources, provide AEC, and any other signal processing needed. As this space is geared toward more informal work a monitor and camera at the front of the space should be sufficient for video conferencing. 

Since AV-over-IP uses fewer cables than traditional point-to-point AV systems, it can be unobtrusively installed in today’s modern collaboration spaces. The flexibility added once your AV devices are on the network allows you to get audio from where you are to anywhere you need it in the building easily. AV-over-IP even makes support a breeze as you can monitor and resolve issues remotely, making in room visits less frequent. Dante’s ease of install and use helps you create the spaces employees are excited to work in! 

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