The world of work has changed, with the hybrid setup now a reality in so many organizations. But transitioning into a mix of home and office work is no small thing. The process can be complex and the impact significant. 

So, how do workers and executives feel about their new setup? What are their biggest struggles? BlueJeans surveyed 5,200 workers, frontline managers, and senior executives from diverse industries to find out.

The results revealed mixed sentiments. Many are concerned about having too many meetings and little time to deliver quality work — and they miss some of the fun aspects of being in an office. But they’re convinced their organizations have successfully embraced hybrid work, helping them to stay productive.

Beating Meeting Fatigue

Virtual meetings have become the norm for many. But as meetings eat up their time, around 79% of our respondent workers feel their quality of work would be better if they had fewer meetings. More than 68% of frontline managers even admit to feeling anxious about their jam-packed calendars. 

While it’s important to keep everyone connected and collaborating, companies must be careful not to overwhelm employees. As our survey shows, meeting fatigue can be detrimental to quality of work and satisfaction — with a notable 64% of respondents saying they feel burned out. And 64% of executives feel that they have less time during the day to get work done.

To combat meeting fatigue, especially for larger audiences, BlueJeans sought a new approach, recently introducing BlueJeans Studio as part of its Events platform. Studio allows for live streaming, professional HD video, brand customization, and unmatched audience engagement through Q&A, chat, and polling feature functionality; elevating conversations for better brand insights.

Keeping Everyone Engaged

It’s a constant challenge to engage everyone during a virtual call. In fact, 66% of survey respondents believe their meetings fail to engage all participants. 

Many are also not happy with the usual topics of their calls, with more than 78% saying their meetings typically default to whatever project is due next instead of focusing on longer-term and more strategic subject matters. It’s not surprising then that around 67% of senior managers are frustrated with having so few strategic conversations. Many of them also feel that their creativity has been stifled since going remote.

There’s room then to infuse some variety into discussions. One approach is as simple as giving time and permission to talk about anything. This can make everyone feel included while letting them express themselves. In addition, BlueJeans is seeking to bridge the gap between individuals interacting in meetings, utilizing its new “Weather Person” mode. This unique feature allows users to overlay the presenter on the content being shared, driving a more inclusive experience for interactivity.

Arresting that Feeling of Disconnection

With the disappearance of water cooler talks and other opportunities for chit-chats, about 82% of respondents admit to having less frequent casual conversations with colleagues. 

The fallout can be severe. More than 43% of respondents say their teams have failed in team- or culture-building. And roughly the same proportion of participants believe they can no longer build personal relationships with colleagues. On the other hand, more than three-quarters say they’re very successful in carrying out individual projects.

It doesn’t come as a surprise then that when asked what they most missed about being in the office, the majority of respondents said ‘having spontaneous conversations with colleagues.’ About 36% of workers also acknowledge that they have less fun now with their co-workers, with 37% of all respondents wanting to work more effectively while being able to have informal conversations with colleagues.

Providing ways to create human connections is not always easy. But there’s a whole new field of virtual office technologies that can help to simulate in-person experiences and spark conversations and collaboration. BlueJeans Collab Board, for example, allows teams to bring their ideas and content together and co-create on a blank canvas, enabling seamless collaboration for up to 25 individuals. 

Making It Work

The hybrid world of work is new to most companies and employees — and possibly no organization has it all figured out. But one thing that leaders must get right early is communication. It’s important to have clarity around expectations and goals while maintaining healthy volumes of meetings and trying to have more meaningful discussions.

Finding the right balance in hybrid work no doubt takes behavioral change. But technology can be part of the solution too. This is a good time to consider a technology that brings fun and creativity back to work while helping ensure a hybrid model is the right fit. 

To read the white paper and find out how BlueJeans can help, click here.