Audio quality ‘critical gap’ in hybrid working success, study finds
While most UK businesses have adopted some form of hybrid working model, 60% of IT professionals say audio quality is one crucial area that needs to be improved, according to a recent study by market research firm IDC.
The study – which investigated problems businesses face in a hybrid working environment – comprised over 600 interviews across the US, China, Japan, the UK, France and Germany.
Respondents include CEOs, managing directors and executives from industry sectors, both private and public.
According to the study, which was commissoned by audio solutions firm Shure, nearly half of business leaders take issue with their employees’ tendencies to easily tune out of a discussion if they become distracted in a hybrid meeting.
The report also suggested 60% of remotely meeting participants can’t interact as well as colleagues in the office, and the same number said it’s hard to find a natural flow in discussions.
The issue, according to the report, lies in price being the most important factor (61%) when choosing audio meeting equipment.
Interviewees said wrong decisions had been made in the past when procuring audio, often using price as a starting point and “good enough” as a quality measure.
The urge to enable hybrid meeting technology also leads to hurried purchases of equipment, offering low audio quality and poor meeting experiences.
According to the study, organisations that invest in audio achieve more productive and meaningful work, higher agility levels, better team motivation and staff retention.
On the contrary, those that don’t, the study reports, see a loss of motivation (47%), reduced decision-making ability (49%), fatigue (48%), poor communication (44%) and employee frustration (44%).
In terms of regions, 93% of US businesses are highly focused on audio quality when selecting meeting room audio technology and the same number say it is important, compared to only 58% and 44% among European and Asian counterparts, respectively.
The US also more frequently involve IT staff when selecting this technology – 82%, compared with 48% in Europe and 33% in Asia).
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