The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

62 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om V I EWPO I NT Good audio for better performance J E P P E DA L B E RG - L AR S EN : E POS Organisations worldwide are beginning to understand the effects of audio technology on the productivity of their workforces. Research and investment can ensure the future hybrid workplace is successful T he Covid-19 pandemic completely trans- formed not only the way we live, but how we work. The days of communicating with employees, partners and clients over a table in a boardroom are long behind us. Instead, commu- nication is taking place online via applications such as Microsoft Teams and other unified com- munication platforms. Connecting and commu- nicating with each other virtually has become essential to effective communication. Before the pandemic, employees lost an aver- age of 29 minutes per week due to poor sound quality, interruptive background noise and signal issues on video calls. Today, with the majority of communication and collaboration taking place online, decision makers are beginning to invest in collaboration tools to save both time and com- pany spend, with 45 per cent citing time savings and 41 per cent naming cost savings as two of the most important reasons for using video meetings or calls over face-to-face. But underpinning all our virtual interactions is the audio experience. In fact, the need for good audio quality has become a non-negotiable enabler of business continuity. New research from EPOS has found that audio is now an integral part of business performance and a company’s bottom line. When it comes to audio quality, issues and inter- ferences have skyrocketed while the tolerance for them is plummeting. In fact, 83 per cent of global business leaders say that audio equipment is more important today compared with two years ago. The risks and rewards of modern busi- ness are far too great to let something as big as audio quality slip through the cracks. For businesses that are operating virtually, audio issues should be a problem of the past. It is the responsibility of business leaders to better equip their workforce with the solutions needed to work effectively. No two individuals and no two roles are the same, so why should their audio solution be? What’s promising is that out of those leaders surveyed, 64 per cent say that having quality audio technology is more important than having a quality laptop or PC equipment to facilitate the required communication lines with clients and partners. That said, there is still a gap left by the 20 per cent of organisations who have decreased spending in audio equipment. These leaders have justified this decrease in spending by the expectation that employees will either bring their own devices or use their devices’ in-built audio. While this may be a practical solution, it still risks quality, and with hybrid and remote working styles set to become the norm, ensuring that employees have a positive working experi- ence and environment is key to efficient opera- tions and business continuity. One of the defining characteristics of a business is often the workplace culture. For today’s busi- nesses, a superior remote working experience is a true differentiator. It is already well established “Audio is now an integral part of business performance”