When large groups of employees suddenly started working remotely in early 2020, IT faced the prospect of providing tech support to thousands of employees whose technology and equipment they could not directly see or handle. To complicate matters, this technology and equipment was often purchased or acquired by employees without IT oversight or knowledge.
It’s understandable, of course. When the pandemic struck and people began working 100% remotely, they got by however they could, using whatever technology was available to them. That often meant participating in meetings with the headset or webcam they had on hand – whether optimized for business or not.
Or they relied on their laptop’s built-in hardware for video conferencing. That can be a problem because laptop audio and video capabilities are often subpar.
What remote employees really want (and need) is an environment that closely resembles the office experience. One way IT can help employees (and the IT organization itself) is to provide a set of “work from home” tools that includes a purpose-built headset and webcam in addition to the standard mouse/keyboard/monitor combination.
Why It’s Important to Provide Employees with Purpose-Built Headsets and Webcams
In some ways, 2020 has been a grand experiment in working from home – what works, and what doesn’t. We all know a lot more on that subject than we did at the start of 2020.
Many employees realized, for example, what IT already knows: consumer-grade audio and video equipment is not ideal for business. While great for many applications, such as gaming or music, consumer headsets and webcams are not optimized for video meetings:
- Consumer devices often lack noise-cancelling technology to help both the speaker and listener focus on what’s being said.
- Consumer devices are not certified or optimized to work with video conferencing software from vendors such as Google, Microsoft, and Zoom.
- Consumer devices don’t include features employees want, like voice-level adjustment and high-res video that help users look and sound their best.
These same limitations apply to the embedded audio and video in laptops. And laptops have another disadvantage as well: their cameras, mics, and speakers are useless when the screen is closed, as it often is when the laptop is attached to a remote keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
By contrast, consider the benefits of business-grade headsets and webcams.
Webcams designed for the enterprise typically have:
- Better resolution, frames per second, field of view, lens quality, enabling people to look their best
- Correct and adjustable positioning, especially compared to laptop cameras
- Automatic adjustment for lighting conditions, very important in home offices where lighting is seldom ideal
- Integrations with video software providers to support problem-free meetigs
- Privacy shutter for user reassurance when the camera is not in use
Headsets designed for the enterprise usually have:
- Noise-cancelling to eliminate background sounds and distractions
- Digital signal processing to make your voice sound natural
- Certifications with major video software platforms and built-in functionality such as a mute button
- Materials that provide comfort for longer periods of time, like extra-thick foam and soft ear pad covers
- Long-lasting battery for all-day use
How Providing Employees with a Standard Set of Productivity Tools Benefits IT
It’s clear that a set of personal collaboration tools like headsets and webcams can help employees create a more efficient workspace outside the office. But there are several advantages for IT as well, including:
- Reducing calls for support by providing plug-and-play devices that are easy for employees to install and set up
- Simplifying support when problems do occur by allowing IT personnel to quickly identify the issue or replace a malfunctioning component
- Enabling more efficient procurement from an approved list of vendors
Logitech Has Your Back
A trusted brand for headsets, webcams, and other peripherals, Logitech provides personal collaboration tools that are easy to use, flexible, and seamless in a business or home environment.
Every day, millions of business users rely on Logitech headsets, webcams, keyboards, and mice to work more efficiently. Our suite of personal collaboration tools reduce helpdesk calls and trouble tickets by simply working as intended. They offer the plug-and-play performance that users love and the lower total cost of ownership that IT leaders appreciate.