With the rise of flexible working styles, be it remote working, agile working or any number of ways to work that promote flexibility, the modern workforce has had to adapt and alter their approach to workplace communication. Most significantly, traditional meetings have evolved alongside these changes.
The Modern Workplace 2018: People, Places & Technology Report found that notably,
"61% of businesses find that workplace communication have changed for the better since taking on more flexible working styles."
The video age
Perhaps this is an obvious change, considering that with workers out of the office or working from different locations, employees must put a little more effort into communicating clearly with each other, whether by email, online chat or, most importantly, by video integrated meetings.
Despite this positivity, some business leaders expressed concern over the inability of video meetings to ‘close the gap’ for remote workers –
“[remote working] reduces our ability to build personal relationships”.
However, two-fifths of business leaders surveyed, report an increase in the number of video conferences, so clearly, video integrated meetings do have their place in an increasingly flexible workplace.
Of course, it isn’t just the video meeting that has become more important in the modern, flexible workplace. Employees are demanding more quality from the face-to-face meetings they do have, particularly as the time spent conversing in-person with colleagues is decreasing due to remote working. The Modern Workplace Report found that one in 10 employees feel they are ‘poorly served’ by the meeting facilities their organisation provides, with a common complaint being that there are “never enough meeting rooms”. With the rise of flexibility in the workplace, workspace design has favoured a wider range of areas for different usage, and many businesses are finding that more informal spaces are successful in filling the void left by not enough meeting rooms.
Overall, it seems that even with our ever-changing approaches to working life, we still want quality from our meetings, and we still need to foster a connection between colleagues. Collaboration has become more crucial to the workplace in modern times, as we see the benefit of working with each other, rather than just next to each other.
With flexibility thrown into the mix, meetings are the strongest route we have to maintaining that connection.