The Envisioning Centre
What is the Envisioning Centre?
The Envisioning Centre, a collaboration between Digital Technology Services (DTS) and Estates to showcase flexible workspaces, was open in URS building between January and March 2023. It aimed to demonstrate what a future working environment could look like. The intention was to challenge traditional perception of office space, to give you ideas for how you could be working, and to introduce new technology in a working environment.
Why have we set this up?
Through the New Ways of Working (NWoW) Programme, the University has identified a need to move current working methods for staff to a more agile and flexible model in order to create a modern working environment and systems.
Despite the roll out of mobile devices and working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, many existing University workspaces remain as a traditional setup which are occupied on a 1:1 ratio (where one desk = one person). By moving away from static workspaces and creating new ways of working environments, this ratio can be changed to free up workspaces which are currently underutilised to create workspaces that people want to work in, whether they are in one or five days a week.
What is there to see?
In the Envisioning Centre there are various scenarios for you to look at:
- A large formal meeting room, enabled for hybrid meetings
- A small casual meeting room, enabled for hybrid meetings but also suitable for in person meetings
- A standard meeting room with video conferencing abilities
- Individual booths and private hubs for taking calls
- Informal "stand up" area for ad hoc meetings
- Teams Rooms set up with booking screen and meeting information
- Individual desks (in permanent and/or hotdesk set up)
- Plus lockers, seating options, accessories...
We have included everything you might expect to see in typical office, and some new items you might not be expecting!
The Envisioning Centre has been laid out as several example meeting rooms, so you can see the potential and try out technology in situ.
Formal meeting room (G04b)
This room has dual Sony screens plus a Yealink video conferencing camera with Speaker Tracking and Autoframing, which means the camera focuses on the person speaking. The equipment is all MS Teams certified, so you can invite the room to a video conference, come in and use the touch panel on the desk to start the meeting without the need to connect a laptop. You can call via Teams panel to add extra people if required. There is an information panel outside the room which displays the room’s availability with lights displaying current status of the room.
Casual meeting space (G04a)The space has the same camera system as the formal meeting room (G04b) with a touch panel to start meetings. The room can be added to your meeting - accept the room from the panel to join the meeting so no laptop needed. If you want to share you can connect with the cables provided or join the meeting via Teams and share content with your laptop. The furniture in this room is arranged for face to face meetings as well as hybrid meetings.
Office space (G04)
This space has been set up with a collaborative table and screen. Link up wirelessly to the screen to share content from your laptop. The screen displays instructions on numerous ways to connect including a USB dongle to plugin and click to share. Multiple devices can share at the same time. It also has a Biamp wall mounted touch panel to switch the screen on/off.
Collaborative working space with Video Conferencing (G10)
This room has the same set up as the office space in G04 with video conferencing abilities. It also has a Biamp wall mounted touch panel to switch the screen on/off.
Personal computing equipment
We have set up an area in G04 which shows a modern workspace which can be used as either a fixed or hot desk environment.
A typical desk set-up has dual monitors and a docking station which allows any employee to quickly and easily connect with a University-issued Windows device. Height-adjustable monitors are recommended but there is also the option to have them mounted on arms. For hot desk spaces a wired mouse and keyboard makes flexible working easier but departments can choose to provide a wireless mouse and keyboard.
The devices on display are the University standard Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 and MacBook Air.
Two Dell Hub monitors are being evaluated and can be seen with a built in dock in 24” and 27” sizes. These remove the need for a separate docking station and provide a cleaner desk look.
Office and meeting room furniture
Items showcased in our Envisioning Centre include electronic height adjustable desks, fixed high meeting tables and chairs along with lockers and more informal soft furnishings. There are also some bespoke individual working pods.
Much of the furniture on display is from BOF, who are a Welsh company who design and supply workspaces and sustainable office furniture. Information can be found at the BOF main webpage.
Page created by lm920207 on 25/01/23
The URS building was closed in March 2023 to allow for necessary repairs and refurbishment. As a result the Envisioning Centre is no longer open for viewing.
If other envisioning spaces are created within the University, we will update this page with details.
If you have visited the Envisioning Centre, we'd love to know what you thought. We've set up a short form here so you can let us know!