While much of Europe has now returned to the office, it is no longer full-time. With at least part of the working week taking place remotely, there is a continued need to rely on video conferencing technology to stay connected with colleagues – in or out of the office.
With hybrid working models now the norm, hybrid meetings, featuring a mix of virtual and in-person participants, will continue to play a vital role for businesses now and in the future. However, insights from Sharp reveal that ongoing technical challenges could have a significant impact on their success.
Sharp conducted research with 6,000 office workers in SMBs across Europe to investigate the impact the pandemic had on workers’ expectations for workplace collaboration, and how they felt about the changing meeting environment.
Just under half of the office workers surveyed (47%) said they find it confusing having to use various video conferencing platforms, and over half (53%) said it’s harder to stay focused during remote meetings.
Given the high reliance on technology to support meetings, it’s surprising to see that only 47 per cent of office workers said they have received training on how to use the technology.
Dr Nigel Oseland, a workplace psychologist working with Sharp said, “many people are now used to hybrid working, but hybrid meetings can be challenging from several perspectives. Sharp’s findings highlight the importance of keeping meetings interactive to encourage creativity, especially for those joining remotely because it is that much harder to come up with new ideas virtually. It is interactivity between the remote audience and the in-person experience that helps create engagement, and technology can be key to driving this.”
Despite the concerns raised in the research, remote meetings provided more opportunities for many workers under the age of 30, with half (50%) stating they are more confident at speaking up in virtual meetings than face to face, and almost three in five (59%) stating that more people can contribute during remote meetings.
Ian Barnard, Senior Vice President Marketing and Product Management, at Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe added, “at Sharp our mission is to end bad meetings. These insights show that businesses need solutions to suit the needs of a hybrid future, ensuring that technology does not create barriers in meetings but provides effective ways to engage with all participants. A mix of interactive tools is needed to enable collaboration around ideas and the sharing of information, to ensure everyone is involved and effective.”
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