The meaning of the workplace has evolved beyond the office in a physical sense to where the ‘office’ is no longer directly linked to the concept of ‘work’. We can work and still be productive from anywhere. This past 18+ months has proven that. Now the challenge is to take those tangible office experiences and replicate them virtually in a way that will allow us to redefine and realign on what we expect from the workplace experience.
Ultimately, it will be the ability to merge the office, conference room and remote participant experiences that will create more meeting and collaboration equity for all meeting participants.
Today, we’re excited to introduce the next-generation of BlueJeans to do just that. By creating a 2D/3D virtual office space where distributed teams can come together to work—with all the necessary tools in one place to huddle, share files, brainstorm, organize and socialize—we’re providing a truly unified digital workplace experience for organizations of all sizes and their employees, whether working inside or outside the office walls. We call it BlueJeans Spaces.
Missing out on those spontaneous water cooler conversations or shoulder taps for casual catch ups? You’re not alone. According to a recent global survey by Momentive of more than 5,000 respondents, spontaneous conversations with colleagues are the number one most missed aspect about the office, with 43.5% of respondents admitting that their efforts at maintaining team culture as a hybrid team have failed. 82.3% of survey respondents admit to having less frequent casual conversations with colleagues.
To address these challenges, here are the three components that make up the Next-Generation BlueJeans:
With the introduction of Spaces, BlueJeans is redefining what it means to collaborate virtually in today’s hybrid work environment. This immersive office experience allows for a more natural, individualistic and inclusive workflow for teams to ideate, activate—or just hang—together in real time.
Spaces provides users with a robust catalog of customizable office layouts to virtually replicate the physical sensation of being in a shared workspace. Colorful presence indicators reveal who in the space is open to chat, who is talking, and who does not want to be disturbed. Further simulating the in-person experience, spatial audio offers a true sense of proximity, which means those sitting closer together in the virtual space will naturally hear each other more clearly than someone who is across the room from them. Paired with several different modes of communication—from messaging and audio to video chat, overhead-focused 2D and headset-free 3D—with BlueJeans Spaces users can personalize and switch between styles to spontaneously collaborate or communicate effortlessly without dealing with the monotony of back-to-back, scheduled video meetings.
While the past 18 months has proven that employee productivity can sustain in a remote or hybrid work structure, it’s also become evident that driving effective collaboration can be challenging in a typical virtual meeting setting. In fact, almost 40% of hybrid workers reported they are considering leaving their job because it feels like they are constantly doing the same thing.
Going beyond the existing strengths and limitations of current virtual whiteboard solutions, the new BlueJeans Collaboration Board fosters teamwork by bringing together ideas, thoughts and content into one single repository for ongoing ideation. Designed to foster creativity, agility and engagement, the Collaboration Board allows users to pick up right where they left off, whenever, wherever on any device—working seamlessly on desktop, mobile, web or integrated room systems.
Used separately or from within Spaces, where users can jump into a virtual office or persistent strategy war room, opening up a new Collaboration Board allows teams to efficiently capture ideas, manage and save their work to better track progress, gain cross-functional alignment and effectively get work done. With the addition of a live cursor to acknowledge real-time collaborators, users have access to a diverse palette of drawing tools and can add images, sticky notes or screenshots that can help visually explain thoughts and keep meeting notes and action items on track. With the nature of hybrid work occurring at all hours of the day, this infinite canvas will provide ample room for the best ideas to evolve over time.
For today’s hybrid teams that require meeting flexibility, control and interactivity-at-scale, the latest BlueJeans Meetings updates were designed to support expanded use cases for large audiences. New features include:
- 1,000-Person Meetings: With expanded Meetings capacity, customers now have the ability to host up to 1,000 fully active participants in a collaborative meeting.
- Audio Lock: With the all new Audio Lock feature, meeting hosts can hard mute all participants to limit potential disruptions.
- Open Breakout Sessions: Attendees in large groups will be able to take advantage of BlueJeans’ new Open Breakouts feature to have the freedom to select which sessions they would like to attend.
Providing flexibility to remote workers to define how and where they want to work is key to unlocking workplace productivity and happiness. By creating a virtual space where distributed teams can come together to work—with all the necessary tools in one place to huddle, share files, brainstorm, organize and socialize.
With Spaces, BlueJeans is addressing a major hurdle in today’s hybrid work reality. Sign up to become a beta customer here.
Information on how respondents are recruited is available at Momentive.ai. To view the full survey results see Can We Still Have Fun? Insights from the BlueJeans 2021 Hybrid Work Survey.