Recalling spring 2020, when COVID-19 first impacted commerce, business leaders predicted a few short weeks of remote work to halt the spread of the virus. As we know, those few weeks turned into several years.
Because of this short-sightedness, companies mostly sent employees home with the essentials: their laptop and the built-in camera, microphone and speaker. As the pandemic enters a third year and business leaders continue to embrace remote working, it’s now clear that employees need far better tools to work from home effectively, according to new research from Logitech.
The hardware peripherals giant surveyed more than 1,000 IT hardware decision makers at large enterprises to understand if their standards have changed over the course of the pandemic, and also surveyed and polled 3,000 end users to learn more about their issues.
Despite a massive reliance on video conferencing, the Logitech survey found that many companies are not empowering their employees with video and audio enhancement tools. According to the data, less than 40% of end users reported that their organizations provided external webcams, headsets, or other conferencing accessories. Only 37% say their company has provided a headset or webcam.
As IT leaders’ strategy to equip home offices with the equipment they need has changed little, end users are taking it upon themselves to procure the technology they need in a video-first hybrid environment, the research finds. As a result, users face inefficiencies.
According to Logitech, 89% of end users say they are struggling with video issues and 85% with audio issues. When it comes to lighting, 64% of end users say they struggle with poor or inadequate lighting in their home when making video calls, and 63% say changing daylight and seasonal lighting changes affect their video calls.
The webcam maker also found that built-in cameras in laptops don’t get the job done, with 65% of end-users saying the angle of their built-in camera is unflattering, 64% feeling like they’re always looking away from the camera, and 63% % feel they don’t look their best on camera.
Audio issues also plague remote end users, with 60% saying they struggle with poor sound quality through their laptop speakers. Another 66% say background noise from other meeting participants interferes with their videoconferencing meetings, and 58% struggle with disruptive noise in their own home, Logitech reports.
Common complaints include the angle of laptop speakers, poor microphones from meeting participants, and consumer-grade headsets and earbuds that don’t get the job done.
However, it’s not just technology issues that are impacting videoconferencing meetings and the work lives of remote end users, as Logitech realizes that end users are also struggling with ergonomics in their home offices. Almost 60% say they have to sit in an uncomfortable position to be in front of the camera, and 70% report physical discomfort after long sessions.
All of these issues force users to make customizations that can disrupt meetings and workflow, such as: B. checking that audio equipment is working, removing noise distractions, repairing their hair or clothing, adjusting lighting, rearranging backgrounds, and finding the right camera angle.
These challenges were reported by employees across all levels, including management or senior management (57%), senior executives (19%) and junior staff (22%).
As video conferencing is leveraged for critical meetings, Logitech recommends organizations and their IT leaders take several steps to equip remote end users with the tools they need.
IT leaders should:
- Make leaders aware of the challenges end users face when attending virtual meetings.
- Survey enterprise end users about their collaboration and productivity challenges
- Deploy the collaboration tools you need, like webcams, noise-cancelling earbuds, or headsets and docks. Ensure select devices are certified for cloud collaboration platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and others.
- Define organizational requirements and keep hybrid work schedules open to change.