Monday, 28 June 2021 10:07

Barco Research Finds Meeting Rooms Take Centre Stage in Australian Hybrid Workplaces

Meeting Barometer drops as people struggle with virtual collaboration, on the impending return to the office

COMPANY NEWS by Barco: In its newest, international survey, Barco Clickshare, a global leader in visualisation and collaboration solutions, has surveyed the engagement and needs of Australian employees in meetings and identified five key trends that business decision makers simply cannot afford to ignore when preparing for a flexible, future fit hybrid workplace.

The trends, which are highlighted in Outlook For The Post-Covid Workplace, include:

  • 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 92 per cent is expected to be back in the office one or more days by the end of June 2021. They want to work less from home than six months ago (2 days in 2020 – 1.5 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. 54 per cent 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 goes 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 69% of employees to host videocalls from. Traditional in-room systems are no longer preferred, in favour 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. Thirty-nine per cent believe that the company has not prioritised the investments they needed for better hybrid collaboration while 88 percent think that all meeting rooms need to be equipped with videoconferencing technology. 

At the same time, Barco Clickshare has revealed the latest data from its Meeting Barometer, which shows the evolution in meeting expectation and the improvement of collaboration on a quarterly basis. 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).

Barco's meeting quality index takes a plunge from +17 in 2020 to -25 now. The Meeting Quality Index suggests a cautious positivity about the quality of meetings compared to last year.

Claudio Cardile, ANZ Managing Director, Barco, said, “Meetings will continue to play a crucial role in tomorrow’s workplace, as they will be a key driver for business continuity, teamwork and innovation during the transition into a new hybrid reality. Connecting workers wherever they are in Australia and making hybrid collaboration truly flow will be the road to future success, higher engagement and productivity.

“At the same time, hybrid meetings will create opportunities for business leaders to change work culture, redesign the workplace and invest in usability and technology fully in sync with employee needs. Business leaders will need to focus on making a real impact on business outcomes starting from an employee-centric mindset.”

The Barco report on Outlook For The Post-Covid Workplace includes three main take-aways that will enable decision-makers to anticipate and keep ahead of competition, as they shape the hybrid workplace moving forward. These include:

  • Re-connecting with the organisation and with colleagues is crucial for employee engagement and retention. 60 per cent 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. 81 per cent believe that easy-to-use technology can make for a better meeting. 

Cardile added, “The emerging hybrid workplace isn’t just about simply going back to our old-ways or about drastically changing present-day, virtual habits. It will be a careful balance between employee needs and business goals. For Australian businesses to daily bridge the gap between in-office and remote workers and allow them to be truly productive in meetings, both a change in work culture and technology investments like usability, BYOM and video solutions, will be crucial.  

“As the return to the office gathers momentum, there’s no better time to start investing in an employee-centric work model. This includes enabling Bring Your Own Meeting in meeting rooms, implementing flexible work and installing easy-to-use, worker-centric collaboration technology. Only with the focus on usability and engagement in hybrid meeting solutions will businesses be able to move forward at the pace they have set out to achieve.”

The full findings can be viewed here: https://www.barco.com/en/clickshare/hybrid-meetings

About Barco 

Barco designs technology to enable bright outcomes around the world. Seeing beyond the image, we develop visualisation and collaboration solutions to help you work together, share insights, and wow audiences. Our focus is on three core markets: Enterprise (from meeting, classroom and control rooms to corporate spaces), Healthcare (from the radiology department to the operating room), and Entertainment (from movie theatres to live events and attractions). In 2020, we realised sales of 770 million euro. We have a global team of 3,300 employees, whose passion for technology is captured in 430 granted patents. 

About the study

The online survey by market research and advisory company Savanta, was based on an international study of 750+ white collar workers from different industries, seniority levels and company sizes. The sample consists of employees from seven countries: the UK, US, Australia, India, France, Germany and as to give a global overview of workplace trends.

For more information, visit us on www.barco.com/clickshare, follow us on Twitter (@BarcoClickShare), LinkedIn (BarcoClickShare), YouTube (BarcoTV), or like us on Facebook (ClickShareBarco).

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