Reimagine Workspaces, Reimagine Work and Use AI as an Assistant for Collaborative Offices

By Greg Tavarez February 14, 2024

As return-to-office mandates continue, many organizations struggle with making the in-office experience worthwhile for their teams.

According to Aruna Ravichandran, senior vice president and chief marketing and customer officer of Webex by Cisco, who spoke during a keynote presentation at ITEXPO 2024, “80% of employees are mandating a fill or partial return to office. More and more are asking people to come back. Seventy-two percent of employees actually want to come back to the office.”

The truth is, people no longer need the office for individual work but instead want to use office time for collaboration, brainstorming, and connection with colleagues. Unfortunately, most offices cannot support these needs because they are designed for how the world used to work.

“Offices are not built for collaboration,” said Ravichandra. “More than half of offices are still dedicated for personal work spaces. Your home setup is likely more efficient for collaboration meetings than your office setup.”

How do businesses get offices ready for this new generation of employees? Reimagine workspaces, reimagine work and utilize AI as an assistant.

To create friction-free collaborative workspace, there are three important elements: video-enable every space, create that distance zero experience and digitize the workplace. Video-enable every space is self explanatory and is a way for employees to meet on any platform. If not, it can become difficult for employees

Creating the distance zero experience stuck out, and she goes into a bit of detail on what it means since it is not a term that is used too often.

“The distance zero experience means you need to ensure your speakers are always in the limelight, you need to see everyone’s reactions and expressions and you need to have life-like audio that lets you hear like you’re all there in person,” said Ravichandran.

Basically, if you are working from home, you need to clearly identify who is speaking.

As for AI, it’s an assistant that works for you. The AI assistant can summarize messages and can personalize the space for users based on who they want to read the messages.

AI also has a highlight feature that takes a 60-minute recording and turns it into one movie trailer, with chapters for more specific sections.

Additionally, the AI assistant can write messages, change the tone of a conversation and translate from English to over 100 languages in real time.

Here is a scenario Ravichandran used as an example to show how AI works.

“I am a working mother, and there are times that I have been late to a meeting,” said Ravichandran. “As soon as I join a meeting, the AI will know I missed a few minutes and it will summarize what I missed.

That is what Webex Suite offers - a single app for all collaboration needs.

“Now, with a single app, you can chat, join a meeting, call someone,” said Ravichandran. “Everything is driven through the same UI.

Again, reimagine workspaces, reimagine work and utilize AI as an assistant. These things brought together are what provides blueprint with AI at the heart. The blueprint lets businesses attract and retain talent, transform workplace productivity and maximize office efficiency. 

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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