With the amount of meaningless online jargon that’s thrown around these days, regarding online meetings, it’s hard to know which ones to actually pay attention to. Is ‘Meeting Equity’ just another buzzword? It’s a phrase that seems to have been bandied about a lot in the last year or so. As companies continue to adapt and look into different aspects of employee care, along with the meeting landscape becoming increasingly virtual. Read on to find out what meeting equity really is, and how office technology can give you the platform to achieve this.
What is meeting equity?
In basic terms, meeting equity represents the effort to make sure every member at the table is part of the conversation and has an equal opportunity to contribute their opinion. Only a few years ago most meeting were held in the office, in person. Where it was easy to get a gauge on conference participation and allow more organic, in person dialogue. With companies moving to hybrid or even fully remote working, virtual meetings have become the new norm. Quite often, employees have only ever met new colleagues online. With virtual meetings, when only one person can hold the talking stick at a time, it can often be hard for colleagues to break into the conversation to get their point across. Hence, a new focus on meeting equity represents the effort to make sure every member is heard.
Why is it important for companies to focus on meeting equity?
Since the pandemic both the employee and employer’s strategies and mindsets have changed. As most meetings are online, in larger meetings it is easy for people fade into the background, when only one person can talk at a time. Unlike in a meeting room in person, where conversations can more naturally ebb and flow between groups and colleagues. If employees are feeling left out of the dialogue it can lead to frustration and ultimately a feeling that they aren’t being appreciated. It isn’t rocket science to know that employees who are happy and feel appreciated in the workplace, translate this into increased productivity and performance. A culture of inclusion helps build team spirit, trust and ultimately creates a more resilient institution.
Can technology make meetings more equitable?
Making sure everyone is on a level playing field across your work force has never been more important. Ensuring all employees have the same quality conferencing equipment allows everyone to have their say, without worrying about audio quality or clarity getting in the way. We all know working remotely can mean that unexpected noise of daily home life can get in the way of important meetings. High quality noise cancelling headsets, remove this factor so everyone gets crystal clear audio, and takes away that stress. In the same vein, the audio quality picked up by your headset is an important factor to consider. Whether you are meeting with an important client or colleague, the last thing you want to worry about is that you’re key pitch is cutting in and out!
The same applies to image quality. Simply having HD camera is a must, to present the best image of yourself with clients. However, working remotely means everyone is in a different space. Some in small home offices, while others in larger spaces. The Jabra PanaCast for example, cuts out excess space outside the window of people in the meeting. To minimize the effects of being in a larger room. This concentrates the focus on the most important part, you!
Lastly, simply by being virtual, this can naturally help some people who didn’t feel included previously, in face-to-face meetings. An in-person meeting room environment can be nerve wracking for a lot of people and detract confidence from getting your opinion across. Employees from a host of different industries have found that working from home can be much more relaxing, as you are more comfortable in your own home surroundings. And as a result of this, have found they are able to engage more in meetings.
What Do We Think?
We’re delighted to hear that more and more companies are focusing in on meeting equity. Making sure all everyone's opinion is valued can only be good for any business. And we believe that tech has a huge role to play! In facilitating the hybrid working model and allowing everyone to be seen and heard as if you were in the room! Check out how we can help with our business hybrid solutions.