Working from home has proven a longer lasting reality than many of us anticipated. For those who are returning to the workplace, conference rooms are one of the shared spaces that managers are giving extra attention in order to keep on-site staff healthy. 

Cisco has long had several features in its Webex Meetings suite that can be easily enabled now to reduce risk of contagion.

Start using Webex Assistant for Cisco video devices

Cisco's Webex Assistant is a voice assistant that is built into Cisco's Room 70, Room Kits, Desk Pro and Webex Boards. Employees can use voice prompts to command the Webex Assistant to join a meeting, call a specific individual and end the meeting, minimizing contact with the tabletop touch panel.

How does it work?

Say "OK, Webex" to wake devices and activate Webex Assistant. 

Voice Assist Display
LG Display configured for digital signage, with Cisco Webex Assistant to start calls.

You can then give any number of voice commands to get meetings started: 

"Start the meeting." 
"Record the meeting." 
"Join Allison's Personal Room." 
"Call Megan Wilson." 

That solves for getting the meeting started. 

We can also reduce risk associated with touching cables for screen sharing. Enable Webex Proximity detection in video devices. Then, instruct staff to download the Webex Proximity app or use the Webex Teams app. Proximity is one of the coolest features of Webex, and for our goal of contact-free meetings, it is what enables wireless screen sharing in the conference room. 

When entering a conference room, on-site staff will have the option to join the meeting and connect to the endpoint wirelessly. If Proximity isn't yet enabled and you are using wired connections in the conference room, users can still use Webex assistant to start or stop sharing with a simple voice command.

"OK, Webex, share my screen." 

To use Webex Assistant for Devices at your organization, it needs to be set up in Cisco Webex Control Hub. For IT staff, this guide at Cisco is a good starting point.

Digital signage for occupancy limit and safety instructions

Put your Webex boards and video screens to work as digital signage. They are the centerpiece of each meeting room. With a few configuration steps, you can update messages displayed in meeting rooms to advise on-site staff about occupancy limits in any given room. Displays can be configured to indicate when rooms were last disinfected and give clear instructions on how to exit the room and maintain social distance.

Displaying maximum occupancy
Displaying maximum occupancy. Digital signage enabled on LG Displays, integrated with Webex room kit.
Displaying exit path instructions.
Exit path instructions. Digital signage configured via AppSpace on LG displays via Webex Control Hub.

Webex Assistant, Proximity and digital signage features have been built into Webex Meetings from the beginning. Now as many organizations refine their plans to safely reopen and return to the workplace, enabling these features is a low-risk, high-value project to prioritize.

If your organization is not currently using Webex for Meetings, you may be interested in our review and comparison of Webex, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for Meetings. 

Interested in more practices and the technologies that can enable organizations to reopen with confidence? Consider booking a one-hour call.
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