Key take-aways from Crestron's Modern Work Summit

Paul Milligan was in Madrid for the 2023 Crestron Modern Work Summit, and this is the most significant pieces of insight he is taking way from the event.

1. The future is unknown
Everyone speaking at the Summit admitted the future design of office spaces has to change, but no one really knows what that means yet, or wanted to commit to one idea or philosophy. What we do know is that it will be hybrid (that's going nowhere), and it will have to be flexible. One quote that stuck out was from Naomi Sakamoto from architects Gensler; "The office is a landscape that can provide different environments."

2. Microsoft and Crestron tie the knot
At times the Summit felt like a Microsoft conference and not a Crestron one, if a presentation didn't feature someone from Microsoft then it was talking about Teams or Copilot or MTRs. This is a sign of the times with the dominance of the Teams platform, and makes good business sense for Crestron right now. What is interesting is that I'd heard at a Q-Sys event held last week in the UK, it was making a lot of noise about its close integration with Google products.  

3. Team up
The Summit confirmed that Teams is the dominant UC platform. What is coming next is interesting too, updates to come this summer include spatial audio, so the sound will come directly from the speaker. Live translations are now available for 34 different languages in Teams meetings, so language is no longer a barrier for meetings. The chat function is going to be a lot more prominent too. 

4. Intelligentsia
AI was a constant theme at the Summit, and again it was Microsoft who was leading most of that discussion. AI built within Teams will be used to become a virtual director of meetings when multiple cameras are used, to decide on the best angle and shot. AI will also take notes of each meeting, and suggest follow-ups for all participants based on what has been discussed. 

5. Hybrid is here to stay
The drive by employers for staff to return to the office may be on the rise, but hybrid working is out of the box and cannot be put back.  Digital natives will rise to 72% by 2024 of the global workforce. This figure was 52% in 2020 (figures are from an AT&T survey). 

6. Let it be
Office space rents are at a 10-year low. But the amount being spent on office lets is higher than pre-pandemic. Why? Because companies are investing in more quality offices to entice workers back to the office.  

7. Motivation for the nation
We need to give workers a reason to come back to the office. During the course of the Summit we saw multiple surverys which all said the same thing - we go to work to see 'work friends' not our bosses. Because of workers splitting their time between the office and home each week we only see our co-workers for an average of 6 days a month. The office has to be the clubhouse of the future - somewhere you go to swap stories, have fun, connect with people. 







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