Avoiding “meeting fatigue” by embracing hybrid work
- Written by Joe McStravick, Managing Director, EMEA and APAC, BlueJeans by Verizon
Meeting fatigue, characterised by exhaustion and burnout, is a phenomenon most of us are familiar with following our pandemic work practices. There is an upside, though, as it has forced businesses to reassess how they facilitate engaging employee interactions in hybrid and remote workforces.
Two-thirds of respondents to a recent global survey conducted by BlueJeans by Verizon said they don’t believe their meetings engage all participants, but new virtual office technologies and reimagined video-conferencing software are fighting meeting fatigue by stimulating in-person interactions and sparking conversation and collaboration.
To increase media engagement and embrace the future of remote and hybrid work, a people-first approach is highly beneficial to creating immersive and interactive hybrid workplaces with virtual collaboration tools.
Taking a people-first approach to the future of hybrid work
An employee-first approach is the best pathway to a successful hybrid remote working arrangement, and businesses that provide staff with tools to better ways to communicate and collaborate are more likely to succeed in the post-COVID world. To achieve this outcome, businesses need to re-examine the intersection between people, place, and technology, as well as the tools and spaces they interact with and in.
Meeting fatigue has increased stress and anxiety for many workers who do remote or hybrid work as virtual interactions lack the non-verbal cues found in physical face-to-face communication, such as body language, making it harder to understand the nuances of conversation.
The day-to-day demands of remote work mean business professionals may be required to give presentations to hundreds of employees across multiple time zones. Presenters organise their content with the hope that when the event starts, they will be able to get their ideas across – this is no small feat given the psychological malaise of meeting fatigue.
Thirty-one percent of those surveyed for Uniphore’s recent global study, including respondents from Australia, stated that it is hard to feel motivated and energised in virtual meetings. Businesses are under pressure to strike a delicate balance between keeping everyone connected and overwhelming employees with too many meetings, which run the risk of leaving them with less time to deliver quality work.
Audience engagement is key to maximising the value of meetings and capturing the attention of attendees, ensuring it stays at peak levels. This is especially crucial when it comes to large-scale presentation meetings or virtual events, which requires better production to create more entertaining experiences.
But many organisations aren’t equipped to create high-impact production-grade meetings or events that require the expertise of production studios - this is where BlueJeans by Verizon comes in, the first cloud service to connect desktops, mobile devices, and room systems in one video meeting with features like immersive video, Q&A, polling, and moderator controls.
Employees seek better interactivity
Sitting on video calls for the most of the day can be mentally taxing. Businesses are currently looking at ways to create captivating virtual and hybrid experiences by employing highly interactive, production grade virtual events platforms. One example is BlueJeans Events which allows presenters and producers to host up to 150,000 registered attendees from any device.
New virtual platforms like BlueJeans can offer businesses and individuals powerful set of creative features that helps hosts level-up their virtual stage presence, giving attendees fun new ways to participate in and making production more intelligent.
We have also seen an emerging demand for stronger tools to provide engaging virtual and hybrid events and entertainment. To answer this demand, Verizon launched new interactive upgrades to the BlueJeans Studio to provider better controls and dashboards for presenters using these tools allowing them to gauge audience reactions.
This enhanced set of tools offers a more cohesive experience. For example, the new Presentation Upload feature uses Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive so all members of a team can access presentations and drive the content in a seamless and secure way, without having to share potentially sensitive files.
Presenters get more tangible feedback over when certain topics and content that are resonating with the audience thanks to a broader range of attendee reactions. Improved colour contrast, clearer iconography, and heightened usability offer better accessibility in the attendee view, while the event join screen is more customisable to better articulate attendee expectations and deliver clearer guidance on the event they are joining.
Designed to ease the administrative burden of producing virtual events, Smart Producer automatically recognises the active speaker and shifts layout options to accommodate the best possible view for attendees. This enables producers to stay focused on driving attendee engagement.
Virtual collaboration tools like BlueJeans by Verizon are key in meeting the needs of and engaging remote and hybrid workers, making it easier for presenters, attendees, and producers to derive the most participation and value from online meetings.