Many of us who work from home count ourselves lucky to be able to skip a long commute or enjoy a flexible schedule. One downside, however, is that we end up spending more time in virtual meetings or conference calls compared to our in-office counterparts.
In June, a Logitech survey of over 1,000 white-collar workers in Singapore found that 52 percent of hybrid and remote employees spent more than six hours a week in meetings, as compared to only 35 percent of fully in-office workers.
The survey sought to uncover the meeting habits of workers and identify the challenges they faced while navigating a hybrid work environment. It revealed that 63 percent of respondents still worked remotely, either fully or partially – a sign that businesses are embracing the shift towards hybrid work, even as the world slowly returns to pre-COVID normalcy.
To promote a healthy workplace culture, business leaders need to ensure positive meeting experiences for all participants, whether remote or in-person. This is where meeting equity comes in.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION
Meeting equity refers to an organization’s ability to ensure that all employees – whether they are hybrid, remote or in-office – feel empowered to contribute during meetings. “When people feel that they have an equal voice, they feel safe and encouraged to communicate, contribute and share ideas,” explained Mr Bryan Lee, head of B2B (Southeast Asia), at Logitech. “This results in more productive meetings where all participants are engaged.”
When meeting equity is properly exercised, virtual attendees should feel like they have equal opportunities to speak up during discussions, and not be interrupted or overlooked by their in-office peers. But if Logitech’s survey results are anything to go by, organizations still have some catching up to do when it comes to establishing meeting equity.