Smartphones are Reshaping our VC World

The increased use of technology in the workplace continues to change the professional meeting process, with a third of all meetings now including a participant on a mobile device and the continued rise of video conferencing, according to cloud-based video collaboration provider Blue Jean Network’s bi-annual State of the Modern Meeting Report, released today. Cloud-based video conferencing has grown explosively, with usage of the Blue Jeans service up nearly 400 percent in the last year.

Compiled using data from more than 1 million Blue Jeans customers in 177 countries and a survey of 391 business decision makers, the report benchmarks trends in collaboration and demonstrates how technology is reshaping meetings throughout the world.

There is intriguing insight into the ways different regions and groups of people collaborate and attend meetings. The UK for example meets for longer hours than the rest of the EU, starting meetings as early as 7am each day and only winding up at 9pm. Our European counterparts rarely meet before 8am or after 6pm. Despite their hardworking nature, it appears meetings aren’t always the first priority for Brits. Major sporting events generally cause a significant drop in UK meeting productivity. During Wimbledon for example, there was a 15% drop in weekday meetings across the country – a trend likely to be replicated during the Football World Cup later this year.

Within the UK, Scots hold longer meetings, averaging 46 minutes compared with 38 minutes in the South and 36 minutes in the North of England. The report also shows that certain cities are more connected than others. While London unsurprisingly tops the leader board, Cambridge, Glasgow and Northampton make up the rest of the big four – ousting other heavy weights such as Manchester and Liverpool. London also takes the top ranking in Europe according to the report, followed by Munich, Paris, Dublin, Madrid, and Berlin.

The report shows the majority (59%) of all meetings start late, with CEOs, CTOs and founders perhaps surprisingly the most likely to join a meeting after everyone else. Despite their habitual lateness, high level executives along with product managers and salespeople average the most meetings per week. Executive and administrative assistants and those in the legal department participate in the longest meetings. Women are the Queens of the modern meeting, attending 14% more meetings than men (up from 11% six months ago) and are 12% more likely to attend meetings on weekends than their male counterparts.

Commenting on the findings, Blue Jeans Network chief commercial officer Stu Aaron said: “There has been a monumental shift in the way meetings are being conducted. If an in-person meeting is not an option, more than half of business professionals prefer a video meeting over an audio-only meeting. This new way to collaborate means that bad weather, budget cuts, holidays and a geographically scattered team are no longer threats to business productivity as you can easily conduct face-to-face meetings with nearly any device – from any location.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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