Article: Making Hybrid Meetings Work for Everyone

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Person framed to fill the screen in a video conference meeting

As hybrid work becomes the norm, remote meeting participants often feel like they do not have a seat at the table, which is resulting in a number of organizational communication and engagement issues. Inequitable meeting experiences are becoming a growing concern as organizations continue to hire in a distributed way. Establishing the “digital office” is no longer just an IT challenge, but a human resources and people operations challenge as well.

The Problem with Inequitable Hybrid Meetings

In today’s typical virtual meeting, remote participants by default miss out on non-verbal cues that they would normally get in-person, along with overall context (for example, the ability to keep track of who is speaking). When the camera frames only the active speaker, remote participants can miss reactions like body language, facial gestures, and other cues that are vital to communication and collaboration.

The problem affects in-person participants, too. In-person participants in hybrid meetings often struggle to see and hear remote participants fully. In-person participants can often feel disconnected from those who join remotely and will often instinctually focus on those who are in the physical room rather than those who are on-screen. 

Over time, this can lead to “proximity bias”, where in-office workers gain arbitrary advantages over remote workers due to their location. This leads down a predictable path: unequal participation, disengagement, and meeting outcomes left on the table.

Organizations are increasingly finding that this is not a sustainable approach to hybrid work. There is an increasing sense of urgency to solve this problem and make the hybrid meeting experience equally accessible for all participants, with equal visibility and equal presence.

New Update: CollabOS 1.5

In our CollabOS 1.5 software update, we have introduced new features to help make this possible. With CollabOS, our dedicated operating system for video collaboration, you get hybrid work solutions that continue to get better throughout your ownership, and extend the life of your investment:

  • New features are added to your meeting devices via free firmware updates shipped over the air, at no cost to you 

  • It's easy to make these updates across your deployment with Sync, our device management software, or through your service provider's management tool

New Feature: Speaker View

With RightSight 2, we’ve added a new video mode called Speaker View, where both the speaker and entire room are shown at the same time. With an immersive view of the whole conversation, remote participants can enjoy an equal seat at the table. Speaker View also makes it easier for in-person participants to connect properly with their remote counterparts by reducing any perceived distance.

Video of auto framing in action during a meeting

RightSight 2 is Here

In CollabOS 1.5, we’ve introduced RightSight 2, our latest advancement in auto-framing for Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini that brings much-needed conversation with context to hybrid meetings.

Engineering an Equal Experience

RightSight 2 is a big step forward on the journey to creating an equitable hybrid meeting experience, which is an essential aspect to thriving in the new world of work. This is what we are striving for at Logitech and is why we create these innovations.

Furthermore, RightSight 2 will be used to create unique, platform-specific experiences. For example, we’ve integrated Speaker View with the Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery platform, which supports multiple streams from a single meeting room. Specifically, we take the stream of the active speaker and the stream of the room, and make these into two individual tiles for the remote participant's viewing experience. Additional platform integrations will be released through future CollabOS updates.

RightSight 2 is compatible with major video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams on Android and Windows, Zoom Rooms, Google Meet, GoTo Room, RingCentral Rooms, Pexip Rooms, and Tencent Meeting Rooms.

Update to the latest CollabOS version using the Sync device management platform, and read more about the CollabOS 1.5 release here.

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