Remote workers struggle to make themselves heard in hybrid meetings

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remote workers in meetings

A new report claims that remote workers are growing more concerned about perceptions of an inequal and less productive meeting experience while apart from their colleagues, and many are going as far as to consider new opportunities at organisations where they believe they will be more included. The Barco ClickShare Hybrid Meeting Survey (includes promotion) claims that more than one-third (35 percent) of workers still have trouble fully engaging during hybrid meetings.

A significant source of this disconnect emanates from a perception of oversight, as 28 percent find it difficult to have their voices heard when joining hybrid meetings from an offsite location. Twice as many remote hybrid participants (56 percent) feel that meeting leaders cater too heavily to those in a physical meeting space when conducting the conversation.

“While the survey clearly indicates that the majority of workers (80 percent) prefer the hybrid model, 71 percent still struggle with the frictions and technical challenges that come with hybrid engagement,” said Lieven Bertier, Segment Marketing Director, Workplace at Barco. “Hybrid meetings have become the mainstay of professional collaboration, and this data spotlights an ideal opportunity for businesses to remove access barriers for remote participants and ensure that all employees feel they can perform their best from any location.”

Compiled in late 2021 based on responses from 4,000 people worldwide, the report argues that businesses need to refine their hybrid work and meeting equity strategies. Nearly three in four remote workers (71 percent) say they still struggle with joining and navigating hybrid meetings. However, these technical frustrations now appear to have a greater impact on their professional satisfaction, and are potentially motivating them to explore new opportunities. Nearly one in three (30 percent) workers say they will consider a job offer from another company with a well-defined hybrid policy, which includes clear guidelines and tools for successful and efficient hybrid meeting participation.

“Our Survey reiterates that as employees’ appetites for functional hybrid work continue to grow, working conditions now are just as important as salaries in attracting and retaining the best workers,” added Bertier. “For business leaders, successful hybrid work begins with establishing a formal policy – which we were surprised to learn that 60 percent of organizations still do not have – but also includes making investments that drive engagement and give employees the leverage and tools to work wherever and however they like. These conversations and strategies will only grow in importance as businesses develop and execute their return-to-office plans.”

Image: Kinnarps