Meetings are in constantly evolution. We huddle for spontaneous, quick brainstorms or we tend to prefer formal meetings with notes and fixed roles. We had audio calls some time ago, nowadays we connect with colleagues in hybrid meeting with a video first mentality. We have short and long meetings. There are days completely filled with meetings and meeting-free Fridays. With our Meeting Barometer we want to measure if the quality of today’s meetings is improving (or deteriorating) compared to the previous quarter.
Meetings are changing constantly
In our 2019 research on the Future of Meetings, we dove into the expectations that employees had for their future meetings. Meetings would be shorter, more informal. They would be mostly remote and full of technology. The outlook was clear: we were moving into a video conferencing first meeting culture. Little did we know, that with the pandemic, this outlook would be a reality sooner than we expected. Almost instantly did we move away from face-to-face, long & formal meetings and we said goodbye to bad quality audio conferences overnight. 2020 became the year of remote and hybrid meetings, where we all learned to turn on our video and mastered meeting tech like pro’s. Read on to find out more on the benefits of hybrid working
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Let’s measure that change!
Does having more (or less) meetings change our perception on the quality of our meetings? Are we experiencing remote and hybrid meetings differently? We felt it was to high time to keep track of the quality of meetings over time. With the introduction of a hybrid meeting culture, we actually wanted to measure the effect of the use of meeting technology (like UC apps, large screen monitors, interactive whiteboards, AV setups, wireless presentation and conferencing systems, virtual reality systems,...).
Together with a new research on “Finding a new balance. Research on hybrid meetings”, Barco ClickShare is also introducing the Meeting Quality Index to keep the pulse on how meetings are changing and what the role of technology over time. To keep the finger on the pulse, we will give quarterly updates on the Meeting Quality Index from now on.
So, are our meetings getting better? Or worse? And why?
It comes as little surprise to see that employees feel there are more meetings now than there were last year, with 48% saying meeting frequency has increased. Employees in lockdown often complained about the multitude of Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Webex meetings at home. The number of users of these respective UC &C platforms rocketed sky-high and some form of WFH fatigue actually kicked in.
What is more surprising is that employees overall still feel cautiously optimistic about meetings in general. To show the evolution in meeting expectation and the improvement of collaboration every quarter, we’ve created a Meeting Barometer. The barometer is measured in the same way the Net Promotor Score is measured, by detracting the negatives (respondents that think meetings have worsened) from the positives (respondents that feel meetings have improved). In 2019, we come to a score of 63 in favour of improved meetings. This number dropped to 17 in 2020 which means the number of people who believe meetings have improved still outstrips those who believe they have got worse by a factor of nearly two to one. In conclusion, the Meeting Quality Index suggests a cautious positivity about the quality of meetings compared to last year.
We expect a better class of meeting and technology
When we check what employees want to see from future meetings, it’s clear that there are high expectations for technology-driven improvements for meeting rooms. Tech is expected to improve meeting quality even further. Read on to discover 3 simple steps to equip your current meeting deck for better hybrid meetings.
The biggest priorities are technologies that improve efficiency and usability, and which streamline workflows like apps for joining a video confer¬ence in one click, or voice recogni¬tion technology, software for remote co-creation and Instagram-style filters for video conferencing.
There is also a clear focus from em¬ployees on engagement and enabling better collaboration with colleagues. We expect to see virtual reality tools to enable remote participants to appear ‘in person’ in a room or AI that provides feedback on participants and their engagement in meetings.
It’s clear, we need meeting technologies to facilitate more human con¬nectivity between physical and virtual participants in future. Indeed, 49% say that collaborating remotely with colleagues, clients and others does not come naturally.
“There will always be a need for face-to-face interaction, we just need to find the right balance between physical contact and virtual collaboration. If enterprises can achieve this blend, supported by the right technologies, and help staff adapt to the raft of changes that are happening to every facet of their lives, they will be fit for the future and ready to deal with the challenges we all face over the coming months, and to seize the opportunities that will surely follow.” (Lieven Bertier, Segment Marketing Director Workplace at Barco)
If technology can help to tackle this and enable hybrid and virtual meetings that foster better connections between participants, we will see meeting quality and employee engagement continue to rise. Keep on following ClickShare for regular updates of the Meeting Barometer in future.