New Studies Indicate Virtual Meetings can be Costly

F.J. Thomas

Sarasota, FL ( – While some studies on the virtual world have shown an increase in productivity with the use of telehealth, and more employees desiring to work from home, a new collaborative study conducted by Vyopta and Wakefield Research suggests that the new hybrid work arrangements could be costly and more work needs to be done.

Between July 30th and August 10th of this year, Wakefield researchers polled 200 executives that led companies with more than 500 employees about their company’s experience with virtual meetings. Participants were asked about what percentage of their staff do they fully trust to navigate the virtual process, as well as technical questions such as have they ever had to reschedule a virtual meeting, missed a deadline, or lost business. Executives were also asked about any disciplinary actions that occurred due to events during virtual meetings, as well as what their strategy for remote workers.

When asked about what percentage of their staff they felt confident were competent to navigate the virtual meetings, the average percentage was 66 percent. While 58 percent believed it was the company’s responsibility to ensure that the remote meetings went smoothly, 42 percent felt that burden was on the employee’s shoulders.

When asked about their virtual meeting experiences, 75 percent stated they had to reschedule meetings. Additionally, 41 percent stated they had missed deadlines and 32 percent had lost clients due to technological issues with virtual meetings. Only 15 percent of those polled stated they had not had any issues.

When asked about disciplinary actions, 53 percent stated they had moved responsibilities to another staff member. Forty percent stated that an informal reprimand had been given, and 38 percent had given a formal reprimand. Thirty-three percent stated they had removed a staff member from a project, and 24 percent had went so far as to fire a staff member. Only 18 percent of those polled stated they had not experienced any of these actions due to issues during virtual calls.

While the large majority of executives believe that they will continue to offer hybrid work solutions, 13 percent stated they would eliminate hybrid schedules in the coming year, and 13 percent stated the hybrid workforce would be reduced. Forty-four percent stated their hybrid workforce would remain the same, and 29 percent stated they would expand their employee base. Only 3 percent stated they did not offer a hybrid work option.

A third of the executives polled were extremely concerned that their company did not fully understand what employees desired in a hybrid work solution. Only 10 percent were not concerned at all.

While virtual arrangements have pretty much been a necessity during the pandemic, are potentially a way to retain talent, and are a way to lower expenses in several areas, the convenience of hybrid work arrangements and virtual meetings can potentially come at a high cost if not well prepared.

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