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Home office: Employees at loggerheads with hybrid meetings

February 1, 2022

A new study by Sharp shows that not all employees can handle video conferences and the technology used for them.

At the beginning of 2022, there is a differentiated picture in the workplace in European countries: While employees in many companies are increasingly working from the office again, most of them still spend at least part of the working week in the home office.

As a result, they still rely on video conferencing technology to share with colleagues and stay connected to their team.

However, not all employees can handle video conferences and the technology used for them, as a current study by Sharp among more than 6,000 office workers in small and medium-sized European companies shows.

According to this new study, around half (49%) of the European office workers surveyed find the technology frustrating and prefer face-to-face meetings even in times of a pandemic. Again, almost half (47%) find it confusing to have to use different video conferencing platforms. Another 53% of respondents said they find it harder to stay focused during remote meetings.

Although video conferencing technology is now part of everyday life in most companies, only 47% of those surveyed said they had received training in the use of the software. Because of the technological hurdles, many employees have reservations about hybrid meetings:

  • 28%of study participants agree that employees may feel left out and not part of the team.
  • 22% believe that communication is made more difficult when some colleagues work in the office and others work from home.
  • 17% find that this hinders the development of ideas and makes spontaneous brainstorming more difficult.
  • 16% think that this makes it more difficult to hold meaningful meetings.

“Many employees have now come to terms with hybrid working models, but there is still a lot of catching up to do, especially with hybrid meetings,” said Dr. Nigel Oseland, a leading British Industrial Psychologist. “The results of the Sharp study show how important it is to support people in the optimal use of video conferencing technology through training. Tools and methods for good meetings help solve the problems faced by remote workers and ensure the future success of hybrid meetings. On the other hand, meetings will have to be made even more interactive in the future in order to involve the participants connected virtually even more and to support creative thought processes. This also increases engagement over distance.

Despite the concerns raised by the survey, many workers under 30 find remote meetings offer many benefits and new opportunities. Half (50%) of them said they were more confident speaking up in virtual meetings, and 59% found that more participants were able to actively participate in remote meetings.

Torsten Bechler, Manager Product Marketing DACH at Sharp Business Systems, explained: “At Sharp, we aim to put an end to unproductive meetings. The study results show that companies need solutions that meet the requirements of a hybrid future. Especially in meetings, technology must not create a barrier, but must offer effective opportunities to get in touch with all participants. A mix of interactive tools is required to work together on ideas and exchange information. This is the only way to ensure that everyone involved is involved and can work effectively.”

Based on the study results, Sharp, together with Dr. Nigel Oseland created a white paper on Hybrid Meetings for SMEs. It explains how employees assess the changed meeting structures. It also includes expert tips on how meetings can be successfully organized and what companies should look out for when choosing the right solutions for new work models.

You can download the free report entitled “Executing Hybrid Meetings Successfully” here.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Hybrid Working Online Meetings Remote Working Sharp Study

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