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Research Reveals Gen Z and Millennials Feel Most Ostracized in Hybrid Meetings

  • Gen Z and Millennials are two to three times as likely as Gen X and Boomers to feel left out in virtual meetings
  • 41% of colleagues said they feel video helps them feel as involved as when they’re in the office
  • 46% agree that colleagues with video on seem more engaged/involved in meetings than those with video off

LOWELL, Mass., July 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Jabra has released its 2023 Hybrid Ways of Working Global Report, with this third annual edition uncovering the state of meetings in hybrid work and the largest barriers and opportunities for employees and organizations. Carried out among 1,845 people in six key markets worldwide, the report finds that the rise of hybrid work has resulted in new challenges for inclusivity and the understanding of meeting room technology. As hybrid work continues to impact employees’ habits and behaviors, leaders need to rethink their overall working models to ensure effective collaboration.

Jabra’s 2023 Hybrid Ways of Working Global Report analyzes the state of meetings in hybrid work

Bridging the generational gap in hybrid meetings

We are living in an era of a multi-generational workforce with very different life experiences and perspectives. According to Jabra’s research, when asked how often they feel left out of the conversation in online meetings, Gen Z and Millennials were two to three times as likely as Gen X and Boomers to say they feel this way. Similarly, Gen X and Boomers were roughly two times as likely to say they never feel left out of a conversation.

Although Gen Z and Millennials are “digital natives,” they are also the youngest and least experienced employees, meaning they may lack the confidence to speak up in meetings. Leaders must be mindful of these intergenerational dynamics and effectively use meeting technology to create a more inclusive hybrid meeting culture.

Using video in meetings can have a positive impact on your career

Jabra’s research found 46% of employees believe that using video impacts how they perceive their colleagues in meetings. They agreed that colleagues using video seem more competent, engaged, and trustworthy in meetings than those who do not. However, similar to the way Gen Z and Millennials feel left out in online meetings, the research also found that they feel pressured to have their cameras on.

When employees can’t join a meeting in a way that works for them, remotely or in-person, employers run the risk of exacerbating existing issues within their teams, such as inequalities or negative social dynamics. Before leaders create mandatory video use policies, they must first be aware of the challenges that those policies can create.

Accessibility and training can drive meeting room technology adoption

At the beginning of the pandemic, employees around the world were forced to adapt overnight to fully remote meetings. Even though employees are increasingly returning to the office, there is often at least one person joining remotely.

According to the research, not enough has been done to support those returning to the office in getting familiar with meeting room technology. In fact, 31% of employees say they’re hesitant to take meetings in a meeting room because they’re less comfortable with the technology compared to just using their own laptop.

Specifically in the US, additional key insights into the state of hybrid work and meetings include:

  • There is a massive generational divide in how many days people spend in the office, with 56% of boomers reporting they are in the office five days a week versus 0% of Gen Z and 20% of millennials
  • Worker engagement is increasing, with 62% of US respondents reporting their level of engagement has increased in the last three months
  • Over two-thirds of workers are feeling the pressure to turn on their cameras during meetings
  • People have adapted to virtual meetings, with nearly 53% of respondents reporting they are more comfortable joining meetings on video versus in-person
  • Being on video increases trust, with nearly 80% of respondents reporting they find their colleagues to be more trustworthy when they have their camera turned on during meetings

Holger Reisinger, SVP at Jabra said, “As we all know, hybrid work is now the norm for millions of knowledge workers worldwide, bringing with it new challenges to the way we collaborate with one another. While employees speak to the well-being benefits of flexible work, many employers have struggled to lead widely distributed teams. Moving forward, it’s essential that leaders give employees the tools they need and allow them to join meetings from where it best suits them. This will instill trust, empower decision-making, and allow the best ideas to rise to the top.”

Download a copy of the full report here:

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