900M Macy’s parades in travel savings with virtual meetings says new report

Virtual face-to-face collaboration is changing the way we work according to a new report.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Blue Jeans Network, a video-centric collaboration service in the cloud has introduced its second semi-annual State of the Modern Meeting Report.

The report benchmarks trends in collaboration and demonstrates how technology is reshaping meetings throughout the world.

Image: Blue Jeans

The Mountain View company released its report, based on more than one million participants who used Blue Jeans Network for meetings from 177 countries across the world.

It has some interesting statistics about how we view relationships with our colleagues. According to the report the vast majority of people (94 percent) feel face-to-face communications improve business relationships.

The way we work has changed as technology makes it easier to connect and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers on a global scale.

From sales pitches and interviews to customer support, board meetings and training sessions, video-centric and converged collaboration is powering our most critical business communications.

Highlights of the report include:

An average business meeting lasts 45 minutes and has almost 5 participants.

Nearly one-half of meetings take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and most workdays conclude by 10 p.m.

Forty-one percent of meetings take place on Tuesday and Wednesdays, which are the most popular meeting days of the week.

Weekend meetings have declined by more than a third in the past six months, from one in 10 to one in 15 meetings occurring during the weekend.

There is a 20 percent decline in meetings from noon to 1 p.m.

Almost three quarters (71 percent) of people believe they have lost a deal due to the lack of face-to-face interaction.

Six percent of respondents have admitted to falling asleep during an audio-only meeting.

Thirty nine percent of video-centric meetings also have at least one audio-only participant, up from 35 percent in June.

Thirty percent of video-centric meetings include screen/content sharing for presentations, documents, or video-clips, up from 26 percent in June.

There is a 60 percent reduction in meetings the day before a holiday, however there is a 118 percent increase in meetings the day after a holiday.

There are twenty five percent more meetings taking place in February than any other time of the year.

Women attend 14 percent more meetings than men (up from 11 percent) and are 12 percent more likely than men to attend meetings on weekends.

Most of us (55 percent) join meetings late, however meetings in the Midwest are more likely to start on time than meetings on the East or West coasts.

Forty-one percent of meetings begin on time, but CEOs, CTOs and founders continue to arrive late to meetings most often.

CTOs, founders, product managers and salespeople average the most meetings per week, but executive assistants, administrative assistants and those in the legal department have the longest meetings on average.

Desktop and laptop business users are increasingly skipping proprietary solutions like Skype for the web browser thanks to technology advancements like WebRTC. Blue Jeans reports that, 90 percent of its desktop/laptop participants use a browser.

In 2013, winter storms resulted in 20 percent more remote meetings than on a typical day.

The total distance of travel saved in 2013 by using virtual meetings reports Blue Jeans is the equivalent to 558 million laps past every storefront in the Mall of America or 900 million Macy’s parades.

The five most common business uses cases for video-centric collaboration include:

  1. Team meetings, especially for geographically distributed organizations.
  2. Sales and Marketing – for customer presentations and internal reviews.
  3. HR for both recruiting and training.
  4. Executive meetings and board meetings.
  5. International meetings with partners, vendors and employees to reduce travel time and expense.

One-third of all meetings include one or more attendees participating from a mobile device.

The most popular city for mobile users is New York, followed closely by San Francisco, then Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

Mobile traffic spikes in the evening and morning, with three times more participants joining at 6 p.m. versus 5 p.m. on their mobile devices and twice as many at 7 a.m. versus 8 a.m.

We do seem to like our work in the UK according to this report.

The UK meets longer hours that than the rest of the European Union (EU), kicking off around 7 a.m. and slowing down at 9 p.m., with the rest of the EU meeting from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However, excitement for events in the UK can cause a significant drop in meeting productivity. During Wimbledon fortnight, the report found a 15 percent drop in weekday UK meetings.

The US and UK connection is particularly strong with meetings taking place even on major US holidays. Workers in the US seem to love their work with 77 percent of normal meeting volume maintained with UK during US holidays.

“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 audio-only meeting,” said Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans Network.

“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 browser-based device – from any location.”

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