More participants joining meetings remotely: Barco Clickshare survey

Seventy-eight per cent of the current workforce prefer attending meetings using technology

Business meetings have evolved from roundtable conferences to virtual meeting rooms, said Itani.
Business meetings have evolved from roundtable conferences to virtual meeting rooms, said Itani.

New research commissioned by Barco ClickShare reveals that the majority of today’s workforce prefer attending tech-enabled remote meetings. As virtual meeting rooms gain favour around the world with the integration of the latest technologies, a growing number of employees are choosing to save time and effort and join meetings remotely.

The study indicates that 78% of the current workforce is happy to attend tech-enabled meetings, while 53% of all meetings today already involve attendees who join remotely. The findings suggested the emergence of digital offices have led to changing workplace attitudes about where and how people should work.

Employees surveyed admit to no longer preferring to attend traditional long-winded, formal and crowded meetings. Instead, they favour short, relatively informal and smaller meetings that they can join remotely as these enhance productivity. The study found that 74% of employees believe meetings with fewer participants are more efficient and would limit meetings to 30 – 35 minutes if only two to four people are attending.

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Speaking on the study, Ramzi Itani, vice president Middle East & Africa at Barco, said: “Over the last few decades, more and more companies – both multinational as well as regional - are modernising their meeting rooms to optimise efficiency. In a bid to become more agile, productive and efficient in the long run, business meetings have evolved from roundtable conferences to virtual meeting rooms that involve employees across the organisation spanning different time zones.”

He added: “Through leveraging technology and adapting the BYOD approach, businesses in the region are increasingly opting for solutions that improve flexibility, reduce costs and enhance connectivity for employees - making the transition into remote working a relatively easy one.”

While most employees enjoy the incentives that virtual and short meetings have to offer, some feel that it limits the potential to collaborate, thereby altering the overall meeting experience. 55% of remote participants find it difficult to contribute in and follow virtual meetings, while 45% claim they feel disengaged and struggle to remain attentive when joining a meeting remotely.

Video conferencing, which was once a luxury restricted to bigger enterprises, has now become a necessity for businesses across the board. Unsurprisingly, 79% of millennials surveyed use audio-visual aids in meetings and over three-quarters agree that all meetings will involve video as standard practice in only three years’ time. Features such as screen sharing, large displays, whiteboards and touch screen panels have led 72% of employees to believe that meetings today are more effective and seamless than they were five years ago.

Barco Clickshare’s study also identified that within the next three years, 75% of typical meetings will use voice recognition technology. Meanwhile, 72% of meetings will leverage augmented reality or virtual reality to enhance collaboration among participants and 68% of all meetings are set to be coordinated by bots or avatars.

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