Work Life

New Jabra research finds professional audio devices increase inclusion in virtual meetings

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Posted
May 4, 2022
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4 minutes

The way professionals work is rapidly changing: 63% of employees globally now say that hybrid work – where they split their time between the home, office, or any other location – is their ideal way of working. More mobile and more flexible than ever, the vast majority of employees are relying more and more on video meetings to connect to one another and get their work done. In fact, 80% of all meetings worldwide are now either fully virtual or hybrid, with only 20% happening fully in person.

In our recent Hybrid Ways of Working 2022 Global Report, we found that employees using professional devices experienced the least amount of issues in virtual meetings when compared to built-in or consumer device users.

More inclusive meetings

Our earlier research has shown that the sense of connection amongst teams decreased by 28% during remote work. Over time, this lack of connection can weaken company culture and lead to employee burnout. Since connection now takes place in virtual environments, we need tools that make everyone feel like they’re in the room.

In our study, professional device users were 11% less likely to report feeling left out of the conversation than built-in audio users and 10% less likely than consumer device users. Similarly, they were 14% less likely to report having trouble hearing what’s being said than built-in audio users and 12% less likely than consumer users. With professional devices, employees are better able to maintain that sense of team connection in hybrid and remote work.

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More productive meetings

Professional device users also report less distractions and less collaboration issues than built-in audio users. With barking dogs and noisy neighbors, distractions have always been a difficult part of remote and hybrid work. However, with Active Noise Cancellation and noise-cancelling microphones, professional audio devices eliminate unwanted background noise both for you, and on your outgoing audio. Additionally, it’s no surprise that employees with professional devices find it easier to collaborate: that’s exactly what their devices were engineered to do. As leaders and IT decision-makers continue to search for ways to improve the hybrid and virtual meeting experience, professional audio devices should be at the top of their list.

How to tell if a device is “professional”

So, here’s what you need to look for in a professional device. We’ve covered some of the basics above, but let’s take a deeper dive into the specifics.

  1. Certifications

Certifications are the key to identifying a professional device. Certified devices have gone through extensive testing in order to meet the standards of performance and functionality for professional environments. This can be either Open Office certifications for clear audio in noisy environments, or UC certifications for video meeting platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet. Open Office certifications ensure that a device is capable of eliminating a certain degree of background noise from a call so that whoever you’re speaking with can hear you clearly. Similarly, UC certifications enable you to get the absolute best experience from whichever meeting platform you’re using, with the right hardware unlocking new levels of functionality in the meeting software we use every day.

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2. Clear audio for speech isolation

While you can certainly make calls with consumer headsets, this is one area where professional headsets definitely come out on top. With more microphones (up to 10 in some headsets, such as the Jabra Evolve2 85) and a boom arm, total speech isolation is far easier to achieve than with consumer headsets, where frequently pick up high levels of background noise. And with more seamless control over the call experience (boom arm answering, multiple mute functions, easily accessible volume control), you can focus on the task at hand and let the technology fade into the background.

3. Enhanced support and feature updates

With certifications, you also get added product support and feature updates from both the meeting platform partner and the peripheral or end-point provider. Jabra and Microsoft, for example, offer a rich support function to organizations using their products and services. This elevated after-market support also enables organizations to minimize the number of IT tickets raised, freeing up their IT teams to solve more pressing tech and security issues. And with firmware updates, you know that the feature set of your device will always grow with the latest tech capabilities and will work with your platform, no matter what updates they deliver.

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