Logitech today released the results of its hybrid meeting survey, which revealed that hybrid meetings may be creating uneven playing fields for meeting participants. Polling more than 1,000 white-collar workers in Singapore, the survey examines the state of current working arrangements, impact of hybrid work on meetings, and the challenges that business leaders and employees face in this new way of working.
Despite organizations welcoming employees back into physical office spaces, the report revealed that more than six in 10 respondents (63%) continue to work remotely to some extent, either in a hybrid or fully remote work arrangement.
“Hybrid work will continue to be the norm as both employers and employees alike see the benefits of flexible working arrangements. The increased frequency of hybrid meetings will come with a host of new challenges for organizations, creating a strong impetus for business leaders to get hybrid meetings right,” said Bryan Lee, Head of Video Collaboration, Southeast Asia.
Hybrid meetings create an uneven playing field for participants
Organizations have adapted to new ways of collaborating to accommodate the varying working arrangements of their workers. Hybrid meetings, which have a mix of virtual and in-office participants in different locations, are becoming more common.
The hybrid meeting survey revealed that 54% of respondents who have joined a hybrid meeting virtually felt that they had fewer opportunities to build rapport amongst meeting participants. Additionally, 39% agreed that their input would be valued more if they were attending the meeting physically instead of virtually, and 38% felt less included as compared to in-person meeting participants.
While 60% of respondents agree that hybrid meetings would be more productive if all participants had an equal chance to speak and contribute, 65% of those who participate in hybrid meetings in-person shared that they tend to engage more with participants that are in the same room.
“The opportunity to participate is the most important factor in establishing a sense of equity in hybrid meetings. Facilitating equitable meetings – ensuring that all meeting participants have equal opportunities to contribute to discussions no matter where they are – needs to be a key consideration for business leaders. By bridging the gaps between in-person and virtual meeting participants, businesses will be able to foster a productive, collaborative, and connected work environment,” added Bryan.
Access to technology a key driver for successful hybrid meetings
Respondents highlighted that technical issues are the most significant challenges with hybrid meetings, with connectivity issues (56%) and poor audio quality (53%) ranking amongst the top concerns. 34% of respondents also shared that poor video quality was an issue they experienced during hybrid meetings. Interpersonal issues such as getting talked over by other participants during meetings (29%) and difficulty contributing to discussions (26%) were also cited as challenges in hybrid meetings.
To address these pain points, organizations will have to ensure that employees have access to critical technology, including string network connectivity and video conferencing devices.
In fact, the survey revealed the critical role of video conferencing technology in solving the meeting equity problem. Over 6 in 10 respondents (61%) agreed that hybrid meetings are more engaging when video conferencing systems with high- quality audio and video output are used.
Closing the gap in hybrid meetings with enterprise-grade tools and solutions
Logitech sees meeting room devices, personal headsets and webcams as critical elements for the overall quality and experience of video meetings. In today’s increasingly hybrid work environment, there are several key aspects companies must consider to enable seamless collaboration, foster engagement, and place virtual meeting participants on equal footing with their counterparts in the conference room:
The mix of remote and in-person participants, especially in hybrid work arrangements, create unique challenges for companies wanting to run inclusive and participative meetings. Nevertheless, modern video conference technologies such as those from Logitech allow meeting organizers to make the world of work more equitable and productive.
Learn more about hybrid meetings and meeting equity from Logitech’s 'Are You Maintaining Fair, Equitable Hybrid Meetings’ ebook here.