Wainhouse Research, a well respected specialist consulting and research firm in the video collaboration space has produced some fascinating data about how meetings are evolving. Their research suggests over 80% of meetings now have a virtual participant, and that your average corporate employee has nine meetings a week, whereas what I’ll call, “Power Meeters” having 18. There’s even a class of “Elite Power Meeters,” who average 27 meetings a week.
Even if you ignore for a moment the horror of 27 meetings a week, think about the productivity issues surrounding the old methodology of the spaceship phone in the middle of the meeting table. Productivity would be most certainly suffer without more engaging interactions that feature not only audio, but also video and document sharing.
All the evidence suggests that the future will have more meetings, with more remote participants. As a result organizations are looking to facilitate a better experience for all. It’s not just a nice to have, but an absolute necessity if we’re going to get any work done in the future, especially as millennials, who are used to collaborating and meeting by video, take over the workplace.
Our partner, BlueJeans Networks, has been thinking about this issue and just launched BlueJeans Huddle to help their customers cope. It integrates third-party hardware including Logitech’s with powerful software, enabling BlueJeans video communications as simple in the meeting room as it is at the desktop.
Video conferencing is increasingly being used for huddle rooms designed, aka spaces designed for small groups to work together. Gone are the days where the remote participants can be considered second-class citizens. They need the same quality of human connection, audio quality and data sharing capability as the in person participants.
Think for a moment about how many meetings you are involved in on a weekly basis. If you’re not a “Power Meeter” yet, you’re probably doing more and more meetings every year. So it’s time we considered the tools we use and how best to get the most out of our people. I for one would be happier to get involved remotely if I didn’t have to physically attend a meeting to be a fully involved.
Who knows perhaps we could adjust the background so it always looked like you were in a meeting room, even when you were on the couch / at the beach. Oh well, we can dream at least.