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Keeping Online Meetings ‘Real’

Jan 19, 2022 Posted by: Dwills Uncategorised

Video meetings have now become a permanent communication tool for many employees. Organisations have enjoyed the cost saving and flexibility involved, however individuals remain wary.

According to research conducted in 2021 by recruitment company Zippia, only 17% of people prefer virtual meetings to other types of meetings. What do workers most dislike about virtual meetings? Being on camera.

The stark reality is that one in five employees rarely or never use their camera during virtual meetings. After being on camera, the biggest concerns for employees are disruptions from family/pets/roommates and technical difficulties.

With these problems in mind, how can technology help? As well as helpful technology tips for smooth remote meetings, there are additional ways to help the meeting feel more ‘real’.

Four Developments To Help Online Meetings Feel More Natural

1. VOIP Technology

Voice Over IP (VOIP) calls enable employees to use their regular business numbers from any location, along with the handy functions that increase efficiency. These include call diversion, recording and messaging. A video call option exists for up to 20 people, removing the need for additional software and costs. It has certainly transformed homeworking for many people and businesses.

2. Noise Suppression

A spokeswoman for Zoom says the platform uses various innovations to help meetings flow well, including noise suppression technology that removes background sounds, such as typing and paper rustling, or even dogs barking, to improve the audio.

3. Monitoring Participant Engagement

Another company – Headroom – is addressing the potential of reading participants’ body language better. The BBC reports that: “Artificial intelligence (AI) tools in the software monitor people’s faces and body language while they are on the call. The aim is to automatically alert the current speaker to gestures such as a raised hand (which suggests that someone would like to comment).”

Headroom intends to analyse the facial expressions of listeners on the call. This will help the software to quantify the airtime used by each participant. Data will be used to understand the engagement of meeting participants and speakers’ audiences. This facility will help plug the body language gap of online meetings, where it’s harder to spot head nods, leaning in and other signs of engagement.

Video Call or Online Meeting

4. Emotion-Detecting Technology

It is widely acknowledged that building emotion-detecting AI is challenging. However, two platforms – Headroom and Docket – plan to use multiple data sources such as body language (see above) together with what people type during meetings to improve accuracy.

“Now online video meetings are so popular, it’s important we use technology to make them as productive as possible” says Eric Hughes of EMH Technology. “Many employees are reluctant to use their camera during calls, yet this offers a better opportunity for engagement during meetings. Understanding the issues involved and utilising technology to address them will help both employees and organisations.”

Would you like to explore technology to help your company’s online meetings?

From cloud services to VOIP telephony and user support, the EMH Technology team can help. Contact us without obligation. Let’s find out what would work best for you.

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