2023. 3. 8.

The Meeting Barometer explained. Are meetings getting better, or not?

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Meetings are in constant evolution. From quick huddles to formal board meetings. From audio calls in the past to connecting in hybrid meetings. From days filled with meetings to meeting-free Fridays. The Barco Meeting Barometer helps us measure the quality of today’s meetings. Are meetings getting better? Or not at all?

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Meetings are constantly changing

Every worker has his or her own meeting preferences: short, long, formal, informal, one-on-one or in large teams. In addition, a pandemic drove us from old-skool audio conferences over fully remote and video-only to hybrid meetings . Thanks to workplace technology the possibilities are endless, and meetings are productive and engaging, no matter where workers are located.

How meetings are perceived changes over time. What influences our meeting experience? Which workplace trends can we find? Does having more (or less) meetings change our perception on the quality of our meetings? Are we experiencing remote and hybrid meetings differently?


What is the Barco Meeting Barometer?

With the Barco Meeting Barometer we want to keep track of the quality of meetings over time. Keeping a pulse on how meetings are evolving and measuring the role of meeting technology (like video conferencing apps, large screen monitors, interactive whiteboards, AV setups, wireless presentation and conferencing systems, virtual reality systems...).

The Barco Meeting Barometer is measured in the same way as Net Promotor Score, by detracting the negatives (respondents of our meeting survey who think meetings have worsened) from the positives (respondents who feel meetings have improved). So, we end up with a score that we can compare to that of previous years.


So, are our meetings getting better? Or worse? And why?

Since 2019 we see quite an evolution in our meeting perception.

2019 – score of +63

Technology evolutions like wireless collaboration technology and high-quality AV setups give workers a positive feeling in meetings pre-pandemic. Meeting in the office is productive, smooth, fast.

2020 – score of +17

Workers are still carefully positive about meetings, even as the pandemic hits. Since not everyone has equal access to video conferencing platforms and the right home office tools, the sentiments tend to worsen.

2021 – score of -25

The effect of virtual meeting starts to show. Workers are fed up with the fully remote way of working and the concentration and engagements drops. 49% of workers say that remote collaboration does not come naturally.

2022 – score of -38

The Barco Meeting Barometer drops to al all time low, after 2 years of COVID, showing a growing frustration with virtual meetings in general. Frustrations on a technical, emotional and functional level in particular are huge. Hybrid meeting stress is real as 71% of workers experience stress in hybrid meetings.

2023 – score of -32

Meeting sentiments are slightly picking up again, as different parts of the world have returned to the office and settled into a new, hybrid way of work. Since organizations have started to make the much-needed investments to make hybrid work more efficiently, tech-induced meeting stress seems to have dropped slightly. 60% experience technical challenges when joining hybrid meetings.

However, as 1 in 3 remote meeting participants finds it difficult to speak up, meeting equity is the highest challenge on the radar. People are looking for equal opportunity to communicate, contribute and share ideas. Having access to both people and content, in the meeting room and remote, is the crucial for meeting success.

70% of communication is related to body language and facial expressions. Especially those non-verbal expressions are difficult to capture in hybrid meetings. That’s why 60% of workers believe that hybrid meetings are less effective, which keeps the overall sentiment on meeting negative.

 
What’s next?

With meeting engagement and equity high on companies' radars, we might expect the Barco Meeting Barometer to start recovering even more. To drive a positive change and make sure everyone is seen and heard, no matter where they are, organizations can rely even more on technology innovations.

Not having equal access to tech, content and conversation ultimately impacts the workforce’s well-being, engagement and churn. Not all issues can be brought back to a simple a lack of tech savviness of workers. The quality of the connection, integration of different solutions and the complexity and user-friendliness of technology all play a role. Putting the worker at the heart of the collaboration technology, will surely help organizations to further improve efficiency and engagement.

Stay tuned for the Barco Meeting Barometer updates!