Reimagining the workspace – why displays are now the heart of a smart workplace

Main visual : Reimagining the workspace – why displays are now the heart of a smart workplace

The processor has been the focal point of the digital workspace for several decades now. However, this paradigm is now past its sell-by date.

With processor power and connectivity no longer the technical bottlenecks they once were, Fujitsu has taken the opportunity to reimagine the workspace starting from the user’s paramount point of focus – the display – with significant advances now available in terms of comfort, productivity and the total cost of ownership.

You can see changes happening already in smart workplace solutions like Fujitsu’s Clean Desk 2.0, developed in cooperation with leading institutes for workplace design, such as the Fraunhofer Institute.

Benefits include modularity (with different device connectivity options), ergonomics and ease of use, virtually cable-free desks, different viewing angles and options for positioning displays in a workspace created by well-designed monitor arms and stands.

The latest focus is on using the latest technologies in combination with a shared desk environment for employees. One enabler is an innovative, performance-enhancing docking concept to provide maximum flexibility.

Repositioning displays as the hub of the smart workplace

Taking a broader perspective, the Clean Desk platform repositions the display as the modern smart workplace hub because that is the logical perspective for the user. Although research tells us workers typically use four display types every day – mobiles, tablets, fixed and notebook – their clear preference is for a fixed, high-quality display.

We also know that 78 percent of workplace professionals prefer fixed screens or a mixture of fixed and portable screens. In a smart workplace hub, the display becomes additionally the power-charger and it provides LAN access, a data exchange point, audio device, and power on/off switch for all connected USB (type C) devices.

Take the FUJITSU Display P34-9, for example. This provides an ultra-wide curved display with HD-plus resolution and up to a 100Hz refresh rate, delivering consistent picture quality with flicker-free images to avoid eye strain. This allows workers the option of dividing large screens into sections for different applications. Features like nighttime blue light-cut, automatic brightness adjustment and a warning function for bad environmental lighting make it clear the user’s eyesight and comfort are at the top of the priority list.

Employees certainly have an appetite for larger, higher-resolution monitors that enhance multi-tasking and content creation, improve user comfort, and allow for viewing multiple applications simultaneously.

Larger displays have also been shown to improve productivity. In a study conducted by the University of Utah, findings revealed that people with bigger monitors could complete tasks 52% faster than those with smaller monitors.

Towards a new paradigm

This display-centric approach is quite a change. The old paradigm saw the PC as the center of the universe, with any devices connected to this central point - monitors, docking stations, KVMs, keyboards, etc. – perceived as ‘peripherals’. To make it worse, most of these devices were used to having their own power supplies, resulting in lots of cables. Data connectivity was handled permanently by the PC, with even more cables to the peripherals sprouting from it. The PC’s OS controlled the entire workspace ecosystem, often leading to complex or frustrating device driver or compatibility issues.

Increased mobility threw a cloud over this model. Reconnecting everything to a laptop every time the user returned to their workplace was cumbersome and time-consuming. This resulted in permanent docking stations or port replicators, with messy, complex cable installations and yet more external power supplies – paradoxically making the workplace even more complicated.

The new paradigm turns things around to display plus peripherals, where the data source – whether it’s a tablet, PC, smartphone – is treated as one among many peripherals. In effect, the display becomes the docking station – a new “docking monitor” – removing the need for additional cables and external power supplies.

An opportunity to reimagine the workspace

The switch-around is about much more than just a change of emphasis. By focusing on the display, organizations can reimagine their workspace around a clear structure that boosts ergonomics and therefore performance. This increases worker satisfaction, providing more usable working space with increased comfort and better long-term postures for health. And it reduces costs of infrastructure, installation, operation and maintenance.

Docking monitors enable more efficient home working set-ups and shared-desk offices where radical cost savings are also possible by sharing peripherals. Simplified set-up gets workers up and running faster and makes this more cost effective too. Management is simplified with remote inventory management support by tools for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SSCM), remote debugging capabilities and – coming soon – a DisplayView API for remote administration support.

The smart display is the last permanent IT device that actually needs to remain on an office desk. We will always need some form of visual display. And for all the advances in mobility and miniaturization, human eyesight is what it is – which necessitates high quality displays large enough to be comfortable for all-day, all-week use as the core parameter driving workplace efficiency.

Being the main human-machine-interface, monitors also play a major role in health and wellbeing. Some users interact more with their display in the working day than with their family and friends, making it a strong influence on happiness and productivity.

And when it comes to economics, typically, displays are long-term investments lasting for two PC or notebook generations - that’s up to 10 years. Smart workplaces therefore offer considerable savings in infrastructure, installation, maintenance and operation - easily exceeding the purchase cost of the monitor. If you are reimagining your next workspace, Fujitsu can help you to maximize the benefits of the investment.