Employee Engagement & Retention

As Hybrid Work Becomes Norm, Workers Demand Better Tech, New Survey Shows

By Eliza Haverstock

Last updated: Feb 15, 2023

A survey published this week by office tech giant Poly shines a light on the tools hybrid workers need. We spoke with Poly’s CTO to learn more about what the future might hold.

Luis Alvarez for Getty Images.
Luis Alvarez for Getty Images.

How will office technology change over the next two years?

The company’s CTO Bryan said his team has spent the past year working on hybrid workplace products like sound-blocking microphones that only pick up on the person speaking in a meeting and video conference software that can automatically zoom in on the speaker. Poly’s production timeline is often two or three years out, so Bryant is quite literally building the future of office tech.

“We get to go play with the fun stuff,” he told The Org. “We get to just build next-gen things and new technology and really see how it resonates with the customers as a pipeline into what we end up building further out in the future.”

These days, Bryan is focused on “meeting equity,” or ensuring that remote workers have an experience equal to in-office counterparts--and vice versa. “It's not just for you feeling like you're in this meeting room, but for us to feel like we're out there with the rest of the [remote] participants,” he explained. “For many years, we spent a lot of time trying to make sure that the one or two remote participants were able to get a great experience of feeling like they're in the room with the maybe dozens who were in the meeting space. Today, you could certainly end up with not only equal numbers of remote and local participants, but also a situation where maybe there's only a few people in the meeting room, and there's even a new set of challenges to that.”

His second priority is integrating “more intelligence in our devices, having them be a bit smarter.” The automatic noise-blocking features that his team has already rolled out represent one example of this.

Bryan’s end goal: “Hopefully, if we did something like this [survey] again in a couple of years, we'd see higher satisfaction.”

Poly appears to have plenty of money on hand to implement this vision. In late March, computing giant HP said it would buy the company for $3.3 billion in cash--sending Poly’s stock price up 52% the day the deal was announced. The acquisition is slated to close by the end of 2022, but the companies aren’t sharing many details yet.

“Until closing, it is business as usual for Poly,” the companies said in a statement. “Both HP and Poly will continue to work as separate, independent companies and will continue their normal employee, customer, supplier and business partner interactions as they had been doing before this announcement.”

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