After the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic sent shockwaves through the world economy, countless organizations that would never have considered work-from-home teams found themselves managing employees remotely. One of the key tools that made all of this possible was virtual conferencing software, allowing people to connect using audio and video in real-time. During this time, countless studies and surveys have been performed to gather data on all aspects of remote conference calls. So, what do the stats say? Let's take a look at twenty stats that can help you shape your strategy when it comes to holding virtual meetings.
After the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic sent shockwaves through the world economy, countless organizations that would never have considered work-from-home teams found themselves managing employees remotely. One of the key tools that made all of this possible was virtual conferencing software, allowing people to connect using audio and video in real-time.
Now that a couple of years have gone by, it appears that virtual meetings aren't going anywhere. During this time, countless studies and surveys have been performed to gather data on all aspects of remote conference calls.
So, what do the stats say?
Let's take a look at twenty stats that can help you shape your strategy when it comes to holding virtual meetings.
As virtual meetings have become more common in the last few years, a new term has arisen to describe the mental and physical exhaustion of remote video conferencing– virtual meeting fatigue.
There are a number of reasons why video chat platforms make us feel fatigued. According to researchers from Stanford University, four causes of this exhaustion are:
There are a lot of benefits to working from home, but one notable downside is that there seem to be a lot more meetings nowadays– not all of which seem to be completely necessary.
In fact, according to research from Otter.ai, 70% of employees experienced a 70% increase in the number of meetings they attended once they switched to remote work.
If you want to avoid wasting time during virtual meetings, testing out your tech ahead of time can make a big difference. Of course, you can't always avoid individual workers having connectivity problems on their end, but you can do what you can to reduce interruptions via tech problems.
If you're going beyond running virtual meetings and putting on large virtual conferences as a part of your marketing strategy, a lot of time is necessary to get everything set up. Not only do you have to get all your ducks in a row, but you must make sure that you spend adequate time spreading the word to make the whole she-bang worth the trouble.
One benefit of the increase in video conferencing utilization is that it reduces how much people have to hop on a plane just to have a face-to-face meeting. When you factor in this stat, the question of whether virtual meetings are a net win when it comes to efficiency becomes quite relevant.
Virtual meetings have become a normal part of life these days, and the stats back this up. Communicating with video conferencing tools can make many things possible that would otherwise require everyone to be in the same room, and businesses around the world are, of course, holding countless productive meetings online. However, there is increasing concern about time being wasted due to unnecessary meetings, which concerns employees and employers alike.
If you're trying to keep morale high for your remote team, it might be worth taking a hint from this stat. On Mondays, people like to get everything in order for the week, and Friday is a great time to tie up any loose ends. If you can be flexible, consider holding your meetings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays.
Employers often want their workers to have their cameras on during remote meetings to make sure that they are engaged, and apparently, that's for a good reason. According to a study of Microsoft employees (notably the largest study of its kind to date), employees engaged in all types of other activities while attending meetings– everything from responding to emails and engaging in other work-related tasks to playing video games and exercising.
Making sure your meetings are purposeful and necessary can ensure that your employees take them seriously. If you're holding meetings just for the heck of it, you might find that people start to disengage.
There are a lot of challenges that crop up during virtual conference calls that take time away from the task at hand.
If your team has difficulty staying on track because they're socializing, that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, you might find that organizing social activities for your team outside of work hours can help give everyone the time they need to connect outside of work and allow you to focus more during meetings.
When it comes to coming up with a strategy for holding meetings with your team, it's clear what employees think about the matter: focus on quality over quantity. Lots of information can be communicated through other channels– email, text, chat, etc. Before you call everyone in for another meeting, make sure you have a clear sense of the meeting objectives and a strategy for staying on track and productive.
In September of 2021, the Zoom mobile app was downloaded more than 23 million times across both Google Play and the App Store. With a long list of integrations, extensive support for all major platforms, and an easy-to-use interface, many companies choose to go with Zoom rather than the other options on the market.
A study from April of 2021 found that there was a significant correlation between spending too much time in video meetings and anxiety, self-consciousness, and peer pressure among younger professionals.
Workers between 18 and 24 felt a number of negative emotions associated with virtual conference calls, including:
If your team is on the younger side, you might want to consider whether frequent video meetings are affecting their overall well-being.
It's increasingly common for organizations to adopt "no-meeting" days, including heavy hitters like Atlassian and Facebook. According to an assessment from MIT's Sloan Review, the benefits of this strategy included employees feeling less stressed and less micromanaged while also showing improvements in cooperation and autonomy. They looked at companies that implemented anywhere from one to five no-meeting days per week and ultimately found that the organizations with three meeting-free days faired the best.
Even though a lot of these stats make it seem like employees hate virtual meetings, nearly three-quarters of them find them to be quite a bit less stressful than in-person meetings. The problem with virtual meetings, it seems, isn't that they are problematically different from typically in-office meetings. Instead, it's easy to hold them a bit too frequently.
If you're working to ensure that morale is high on your team, you don't need to abolish virtual meetings by any means. From these telling stats, the more appropriate option is to be thoughtful of what types of communication require a meeting and what could really just be an email.
As you might imagine, introverts are more impacted by video call fatigue than extroverts. However, extroverts aren't left unaffected– about 40% of extroverts experience Zoom fatigue to 69% of introverts. If your team is made up of boisterous, larger-than-life characters, you still might want to consider whether too much on-camera time is leading to negative consequences both for your business and for the well-being of your workers.
It appears that employees have an overwhelming preference when it comes to the time of day that they attend virtual meetings. Hosting meetings in the morning is preferable because it lets your team work uninterrupted for the rest of the day. A meeting right before lunch, on the other hand, can offer a much-needed change of pace before taking a break.
Once again, we're confronted with the fact that American workers simply feel like they're attending way too many meetings. According to a survey of 757 workers, 78% of employees responded that their meeting schedule is "either always or sometimes out of control." Most of these workers believe that upper management is to blame for this issue, while a smaller percentage point the finger at their direct manager.
More than half of workers believe their meetings are a major distraction from the work they are trying to do.
One survey found that the most common reasons employees felt this way included:
It seems a little absurd that work-related meetings would actually keep people from doing the work they are responsible for. On the other hand, your employees were hand-picked to be the best people for the job, and you might find that your meeting schedule is actually taking them away from being productive and maintaining a good flow.
Perhaps part of the problem with virtual meetings is that people tend to schedule them in sixty-minute chunks when the topic of conversation only needs 30, 20, or even 15 minutes of attention. If you're wondering whether your meetings are too long, too short, or just right, check out our post on the ideal length of time for remote meetings.
Remote meetings are a huge reason that work-from-home is even possible, but there's a lot we can learn about how to host effective meetings that leave everyone involved better off after the fact. At PizzaTime, we happen to know the secret key to increasing engagement and morale during virtual conference calls: pizza.
It's possible that all of the negative stats about remote meetings resulted from hangry employees. What would they think about a meeting if it was served alongside a piping hot pizza pie?
Whether you want to bring a little extra joy to a regular weekly meeting or you're throwing a big bash for your employee's birthday, we'd love to help make sure that the whole team is well-fed. Coordinating pizza delivery across oceans and time zones can be a real chore, but delivering fresh, delicious food right to your employees' door can be a great way to bring everyone together. If you're ready to set up a remote pizza party without doing any of the heavy lifting, give us a little info, and we'll plan a pizza party for you.