Press releases, 2022-06-27
Why Being Heard Matters To Deliver Meeting Equity
Meeting equality can be a major challenge in today’s hybrid workplace — with remote participants sometimes having a hard time getting a seat and being heard at the virtual table.
They are often unable to follow side discussions and have trouble picking up non-verbal cues and interacting easily. Then there’s the video and audio performance. Can they be seen and heard as easily as colleagues sat face-to-face?
Equally they also need to quickly and easily join meetings without lots of complicated cabling and confusing set-ups that erode confidence.
The latest research from Konftel industry partner Barco show there is a hybrid meeting paradox, where on one hand around 80% of staff want to work hybrid but on the other hand, 71% feel stressed / frustrated about hybrid meetings.
Effective meeting room technology can help readdress the balance and bring meeting equity and equality - reduce the stress and provide a rewarding experience for all - with clear audio providing a strong foundation.
We believe organisations need to provide more flexibility and an ‘equal voice’ wherever people are working. It’s vital to solve the meeting equity challenge by finding the employee experience ‘sweet-spot’ to enable businesses to thrive.
Employees have adapted to more flexible ways of working and expect their employers to fully embrace this ethos by providing the latest technology, redesigned offices and new internal policies.
According to Barco, 35% find it difficult to engage with others during hybrid meetings with 1 in 4 having difficulty speaking up. This really should not be the case and underlines the criticality of providing all concerned with the right tools and education to maximise contribution and performance.
Why Good Audio Is Key
The user experience is king. That’s why Konftel has pioneered the Bring Your Own Meeting concept. Whatever the preferred collaboration app or cloud service users simply bring their laptop to an office or remote meeting, plug in a USB cable and they are good to go. Equally, dedicated in room systems are growing in popularity. It’s important to offer a choice for both.
Many companies are creating a new ecosystem, with a central office used to host clients, foster inspiration and facilitate collaborative sessions – where video conferencing and high quality end points are at the heart of a workplace revolution. More video meetings are taking place across more locations.
But for those working remotely, poor audio pick-up especially via standard laptop microphones, can lead to a battle to be heard and a feeling of inferiority. It’s important not to miss out on important pieces of the conversation, or become distracted by annoying clicks or sounds. Slow broadband, background noise and poor hardware are all factors that undermine clear audio, alongside general room acoustics.
Microphone and speaker placements can make a big difference too. Keeping a clear line of sight by not blocking audio devices with a laptop or drinks canister can help optimise sound performance.
All Konftel speaker and conference phones are equipped with OmniSound® audio technology with full duplex to guarantee powerful and crystal-clear sound in both directions. We have developed hypersensitive microphones with 360° sound pickup and powerful speakers to provide superb sound distribution to all participants. Hearing well and being heard can make or break any meeting. OmniSound® features automatic echo cancellation and noise suppression. Many of our latest models include beamforming microphones for an even more precise audio experience.
General Tips & Advice For Successful Standardisation
- Invest in high quality video cameras, webcams and audio devices for all room sizes and locations
- Reduce overall technical complexities to simplify the user interface
- Deploy auto framing technology so everyone can be clearly seen wherever they are sat
- Have a clear line of sight to microphones. Don’t block them off with objects such as a laptop or water canister.
- Provide powerful laptops
- Ensure familiarity with technology and meeting apps
- Maintain high speed internet
- Provide extra monitors
- Suggest ergonomic keyboards and mice
None of us wish to talk over people in a meeting but at times it is the way a conversation naturally flows, particularly the kind where significant or important business is being done. Those are the moments where audio quality is of most importance because those are the moments that really matter.
For us meeting equality is vital, to ensure equal interaction and collaboration for everyone.
Konftel is a leading company within collaboration endpoint solutions. Since 1988, our mission has been to help people in businesses around the world to have meetings regardless of distance. We know that remote collaboration is an effective way to save time, money and contribute to a more sustainable world. We are Climate Neutral Certified, offering customers an option to purchase video conferencing equipment while keeping a clear climate conscience. Crystal clear audio and a sharp video image are essential for efficient meetings; this is why we only focus on cutting-edge technology in our Collaboration Solutions. Our audio technology OmniSound® is built into all Konftel Conference phones and devices. The products are sold globally under the Konftel brand and our headquarters are based in Sweden. Read more about the company and our products at konftel.com