Logitech's Loubna Imenchal on tech redefining the employee experience in a hybrid world
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Logitech’s Loubna Imenchal on tech redefining the employee experience in a hybrid world

Logitech’s Loubna Imenchal on tech redefining the employee experience in a hybrid world

Companies are looking at ways to optimise collaboration, communication and productivity, ensuring that employees have the flexibility to work in a way that best suits them

Divsha Bhat

“A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” – Dr James McQuivey, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

The above phrase is a powerful statement that emphasises the impact of video communication tool especially in today’s world where remote work and virtual meetings have become more prevalent. Hybrid work has gained momentum and companies are investing in technology and tools to support this model.

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2023, 39 per cent of the global knowledge workers will work hybrid, up from 37 per cent in 2022. However, as the hybrid work model has evolved, the focus has shifted towards creating a seamless and engaging experience for employees. Companies are now looking at ways to optimise collaboration, communication and productivity, ensuring that employees have the flexibility to work in a way that best suits them.

“We are at present in the most important phase of its evolution – employee experience. Unless the devices and the environment meant to boost and embrace hybrid working does deliver the experience employees need and expect, the efforts will not churn out the desired results,” says Loubna Imenchal, head of Enterprise Business – AMECA at Logitech, a Swiss multinational manufacturer of computer peripherals and software.

Modern approach

Industry reports and experts have ascertained the fact that creating an environment that enables employees to work remotely as seamlessly as possible increases productivity and efficiency levels. The Logitech Meeting Equity survey that highlighted trends in the UAE revealed that 55 per cent of white-collar workers would prefer to work either in a hybrid or a fully remote work arrangement. This particular statistic is an eye-opener and organisations should pay heed to it.

“Investing in the workforce means going beyond the upskilling and reskilling agenda. Today, it’s more about providing the workforce with the work experience, be it a remote or hybrid work set-up, that empowers, enables and accelerates their capabilities,” believes Imenchal.

However, many organisations still lack technological knowledge, infrastructure and the know-how to meet employee expectations related to engagement, flexibility and support. As an organisation or an employer, one of their priorities is ensuring employees deliver high performance and driving better collaboration, and team work is critical to achieving the goal. “From this point of view, the biggest challenge is the organisational mindset. Organisations need to view this situation as an opportunity, instead of a hurdle. People have a perception that they can focus on work only in an office. This is an assumption that many organisations share. However, investing in the right technology and the right home office setup can help team members settle into a new work environment smoothly and with ease.”

Imenchal shares example of how webcams and headsets designed for business use can improve video conferencing experience. Additionally, most workspace setup focus on key furniture pieces but neglect devices such as keyboards and mice. “Ergonomic keyboards and mice such as Logitech Ergo K860 Split Keyboard and Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse, can help employees maintain a better, more neutral posture by reducing the amount of work your muscles in the forearm and shoulder have to do. This posture allows them to use their computer comfortably for more extended periods of time. With a quantifiable reduction in muscle activity, employees can achieve a greater level of productivity,” she comments.

Work-life balance: Finding the right mix

The new approach to work is characterised by flexibility, agility and round-the-clock availability. Although employees can work from anywhere, anytime, this new way of working also brings a set of challenges such as blurring the boundaries between work and personal life. As work continues to evolve, it is important to find ways to navigate these challenges and create a healthy and sustainable work environment.

To address the evolution of work, Logitech has introduced the concept “New Logic of Work”. It is a reflection of their understanding the current work environment. Logitech strives to design technology solutions that cater to the needs of individuals at workplace. Offering personal work and desk setups, team workspace products and solutions that promote equality in the workplace, improved performance and seamless collaboration among colleagues regardless of their location, the company priortises employee satisfaction.

“When comfort increases, both physical and mental wellbeing have a chance to improve, since the mind and body directly affect one another. However, while IT leaders can’t support the mental health of workers directly, they can surely reduce the barriers to getting work done seamlessly and drive an improved employee experience at the same time,” notes Imenchal.

To explain this further, she underlines some insights pertaining to poorly equipped workspaces, which negatively impacts employee focus, productivity, performance, and employee experience, which in turn affects wellbeing.

The Logitech Meeting Equity survey indicated that technical issues are the most significant challenges with hybrid meetings, with connectivity issues (48 per cent) and poor audio quality (42 per cent) ranking amongst the top concerns. Meanwhile, 38 per cent of respondents also shared that not being able to see/hear in-person participants also was an issue they experienced during hybrid meetings. Interpersonal issues such as participants not paying attention (37 per cent), poor video quality (36 per cent), participants being late (32 per cent) and getting talked over by other participants during meetings (31 per cent) were also cited as challenges in hybrid meetings. These factors can make or break effectiveness of meetings and employee engagement.

Therefore, we should not overlook the workplace setup. “Outfitting employees with ergonomic hardware that works while charging, ensuring enterprise-grade wireless connectivity, and selecting software-empowered tools that streamline a workflow based on the end user’s personal preference all contribute to better work experience and less frustration for employees.

We are bridging this gap with our Ergo Lab designs and products which are built to create healthier work solutions that reduce key muscle activity and improve overall posture and comfort. It is a human-centered and science-driven approach to designing, developing, and reinventing tools that help people feel better at work,” she says.

Meanwhile, the Logitech survey also revealed that 51 per cent of respondents who joined a hybrid meeting virtually felt that they had fewer opportunities to build rapport amongst meeting participants.

On the other hand, 58 per cent agreed that their input would be valued more if they were attending the meeting physically instead of virtually, and 47 per cent felt less included as compared to in-person meeting participants.

Keeping these insights in mind, Logitech encourages organisations to follow the three-way policy to ensure a conducive meeting environment that is equitable, to facilitate greater levels of engagement. “Firstly, organisations need to give their teams the tools they need to succeed.

Secondly, the right equipment is only half the solution to deliver a seamless employee experience. Every solution, product or device an organisation invests in, needs to have and illustrate the top three pillars necessary for a successful implementation, which are, ease of use, deployment and management. And finally, accountability and collaboration of managers and top-level management is necessary to empower and enable employees to foster a workplace climate that is equitable.

“Organisations should regularly assess their remote work policies and practices to ensure that they are achieving the desired outcomes and adjust accordingly. This can help to ensure that the company is continuously improving and adapting to the needs of its employees,” explains Imenchal.

Strategies for businesses

Incorporating video conferencing tools into businesses can be a complex and challenging process that requires careful consideration of several aspects. IT will need to become even more agile and responsive to support rapidly evolving business needs. While becoming adept at working remotely themselves, IT staff will likely field many more questions from employees who rely on technology to do their job. To stay ahead of that curve, IT leaders should become proactive about technology deployment and training to support a mix of office and remote workers.

Imenchal also states that given the large number of video meetings taking place in an organisation, IT must automate and centralise the management of conference rooms and all the equipment they contain. They should opt for AI-based technologies to enhance user experience and improve meeting efficiency.

“With AI camera control technologies, cameras can now move autonomously and adjust the zoom to create more immersive meeting experiences, ensuring that everyone is included in the picture. Moreover, AI can compensate and manage room lighting, reduce video noise, optimise white balance and fine-tune colour and saturation, making everyone look their best on camera.”

For example, the Logitech Sight, the AI-powered multi-camera system works to intelligently capture the best perspective of meeting participants and track conversations as they move around the conference room. Logitech Sight is the latest in a series of innovations designed to level the playing field for all workers, regardless of whether they choose to collaborate from the office or home.

Moreover, as IT managers are adopting cloud-based software to support employees who work remotely, they can leverage Logitech Sync, which enables them to remotely manage their entire video conferencing infrastructure by deploying firmware updates and enabling new features for personal collaboration devices like webcams and meeting rooms. This reduces potential issues before they become trouble tickets and bring productivity to a halt. Sync works across most popular cloud collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet.

Future of work

The workplace is constantly changing – hybrid or remote work is here to stay with accelerated shifts in digital transformation and globalisation.  As a result, the workforce is becoming more dispersed and we will see an increase in on-demand communications to create and maintain strong relationships with customers, partners, suppliers and internal stakeholders.

Video meetings have become the preferred method of communication for many leading organisations, driving rapid adoption of video-based platforms, tools and channels. As this trend continues, Logitech’s wide array of personal workspace solutions and products are here to meet the everyday needs of hybrid and remote workers.

The company is also pushing boundaries to help restore the planet by reducing carbon impact, using renewable energy sources and rethinking the circular economy.

“We consider environmental and social impacts as part of every product design decision, from the moment raw materials are sourced, right through to the end-of-life of a product.  We are increasingly using recycled plastics across top-selling product lines for mice, keyboards, webcams and speakers. More than 65 per cent of the mice and keyboards in our largest product portfolio are now made with recycled plastic.”

With a focus on sustainability and meeting the changing needs of the workforce, Logitech appears poised to take a prominent position in the industry, thanks to its strong outlook for the future.

Read: Logitech shares key trends in hybrid work models

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