IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

C-suite pushing for back-to-office as people struggle with overload of virtual meetings

By Shannon Williams
Mon 5 Jul 2021

New research has found C-level management is pushing for a return to in-person work places, as more people begin to struggle with an overload of virtual collaboration.

The Outlook For The Post-COVID-19 Workplace research, from Barco Clickshare, surveyed the engagement and needs of employees in meetings and identified five key trends that it says business decision makers simply cannot afford to ignore when preparing for a flexible, future-fit hybrid workplace.

The research found that office optimism is returning. 

According to Barco, back-to-office scenarios are not only pushed by C-level management, they are completely in line with what employees want. More than half of the workforce is ready to return and 92% is expected to be back in the office one or more days by the end of June 2021. They want to work less from home than six months ago (2 days in 2020, 1.5 days in 2021).

The Barco Meeting Barometer has also taken a plunge as people struggle with an overload of virtual meetings. An index of -25, compared to +17 in 2020 and +63 in 2019, shows that meetings deteriorate. Fifty four per cent feel remote collaboration does not come naturally.  

According to the research, the search for more engagement drives people away from virtual, with respondents looking for more in-person meetings and less virtual interactions. One in two employees goes back to the office to host a meeting. The preference for hybrid, in-person or virtual, meetings depends on the purpose and type of a meeting, as well as on the number of meeting participants. High engagement activities like decision-making, solution-solving or relationship-building require office-based meetings.

The research also revealed the laptop is the interface to the world. As the preference for people-centric tech becomes clearer, the laptop remains the number one tool for 69% of employees to host videocalls from. Traditional in-room systems are no longer preferred, in favour of BYOD and BYOM.  

An employee-centric workplace has arisen, the research found. Hybrid meeting investments should be in sync with employee expectations on how and where they want to work and collaborate. Thirty-nine per cent believe that the company has not prioritised the investments they needed for better hybrid collaboration while 88% think that all meeting rooms need to be equipped with videoconferencing technology. 

"Meetings will continue to play a crucial role in tomorrow's workplace, as they will be a key driver for business continuity, teamwork and innovation during the transition into a new hybrid reality," says Claudio Cardile, ANZ managing director, Barco.

"Connecting workers wherever they are and making hybrid collaboration truly flow will be the road to future success, higher engagement and productivity," he says.

"At the same time, hybrid meetings will create opportunities for business leaders to change work culture, redesign the workplace and invest in usability and technology fully in sync with employee needs," Cardile says.

"Business leaders will need to focus on making a real impact on business outcomes starting from an employee-centric mindset."

The Barco report on Outlook For The Post-COVID-19 Workplace includes three main take-aways that will enable decision-makers to anticipate and keep ahead of competition, as they shape the hybrid workplace moving forward.  These include:

  • Re-connecting with the organisation and with colleagues is crucial for employee engagement and retention. 60 per cent of employees think their employer should start preparing for hybrid work now.
  • One size does not fit all. Not all meetings are equal, not all employees have the same needs or requirements for collaboration. There are many differences across generations, gender, department and seniority level. Companies need to develop workplace strategies that allow for this kind of flexibility and empower employees to work the way they want.
  • Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) is the employees preferred choice for connecting to the world and to co-workers. The laptop is the heart of the meeting room eco-system and employees want to work with wireless & touchless meeting room tech that allows BYOM. 81 per cent believe that easy-to-use technology can make for a better meeting. 

"The emerging hybrid workplace isn't just about simply going back to our old-ways or about drastically changing present-day, virtual habits," Cardile adds.

"It will be a careful balance between employee needs and business goals. For businesses to daily bridge the gap between in-office and remote workers and allow them to be truly productive in meetings, both a change in work culture and technology investments like usability, BYOM and video solutions, will be crucial."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Microsoft
TO THE NEW unveils A/NZ Managed Services for Microsoft Azure
TO THE NEW has released Managed Services for Microsoft Azure to meet the growing demand in the A/NZ market and globally.
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Story image
Internet of Things
Global 5G subscriptions to top one billion by the end of 2022
Global 5G subscriptions are predicted to pass the one billion milestone by the end of 2022, according to a new report.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
B2B
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
CRM
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Phishing
Online identity theft is rising in NZ - here’s what to do about it
It may start with a few stolen details online, but it could end with thousands of dollars missing or worse, a reputation down the drain.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Healthcare
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Infrastructure
Lenovo announces launch of Retail Solutions portfolio in A/NZ
Lenovo has announced the launch of its Lenovo Retail Solutions portfolio across the A/NZ region, which they say will help retailers transform their business and face future retail demands.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Shouta
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
DNS
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Talend
Forrester names Talend Leader in enterprise data fabric
Forrester has named Talend a leader among enterprise data fabric providers in the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Data Fabric, Q2 2022 report.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Microsoft
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
SaaS
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.