Barco ClickShare revealed the results from its annual research on meeting trends and engagement. The report marked trends in work and meetings that are on the verge of returning to the office post-COVID. Hybrid meetings will create opportunities for business leaders to change work culture, redesign the workplace and invest in usability and technology fully in synch with employee needs.
“Meetings will play a crucial role in tomorrow’s workplace, as they will be key for business continuity during the transition into a new hybrid reality,” said Lieven Bertier, segment marketing director workplace, Barco. “Connecting workers wherever they are and making hybrid collaboration truly flow will be the road to future success, higher engagement and productivity. Business leaders can make a real impact on business outcomes starting from an employee-centric mindset.”
In the newest international survey, the “engagement and needs of employees in meetings” were continuously monitored. Five trending topics were discovered that business leaders can simply not ignore when preparing for a flexible, hybrid future:
- Office optimism returns. Back-to-office scenarios are not only pushed by C-level management, they are completely in line with what employees want. More than half of the workforce is ready to return and 72% are expected to be back in the office one or more days by the end of June 2021. They want to work from home less than they did six months ago (two days in 2020 — 1 to 5 days in 2021).
- The Barco Meeting Barometer takes a plunge as people struggle with an overload of virtual meetings. An index of -25 (compared to +17 in 2020 and +63 in 2019) clearly shows that meetings deteriorate. 49% feel remote collaboration does not come naturally.
- The search for more engagement drives us away from virtual. We look for more in-person meetings and less virtual interactions. One in two employees go back to the office to host a meeting. The preference for hybrid (in-person or virtual) meetings depends on the purpose and type of a meeting, as well as on the number of meeting participants. High engagement activities like decision-making, solution-solving or relationship-building require office-based meetings.
- The laptop is our interface to the world. As the preference for people-centric tech becomes clearer, the laptop remains the number one tool for 70% of employees to host video calls from. Traditional in-room systems are no longer preferred, in favor of BYOD and BYOM.
- The employee-centric workplace arises. Hybrid meeting investments should be in sync with employee expectations on how and where they want to work and collaborate. 42% believe that the company has not prioritized the investments they needed for better hybrid collaboration, while 77% think all meeting rooms need to be equipped with videoconferencing technology.
The report found the emerging hybrid workplace isn’t about simply going back to old ways or drastically changing present-day, virtual habits. It will be a careful balance between employee needs and business goals. For companies to bridge the gap between in-office and remote workers (and allow them to be truly productive in meetings), a change in work culture, technology investments, BYOM and video solutions will be crucial.
In addition, Barco’s report includes three main takeaways that will enable decision-makers to anticipate and keep ahead of the competition:
- Re-connecting with the organization and with colleagues is crucial for employee engagement and retention. 71% of employees think their employer should start preparing for hybrid work now.
- One size does not fit all. Not all meetings are equal, not all employees have the same needs or requirements for collaboration. There are many differences across generations, gender, department and seniority level. Companies need to develop workplace strategies that allow for this kind of flexibility and empower employees to work the way they want.
- Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) is the employee’s preferred choice for connecting to the world and to co-workers. The laptop is the heart of the meeting room eco-system and employees want to work with wireless & touchless meeting room tech that allows BYOM. 88% believe that easy-to-use technology can make for a better meeting.