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Jabra and The LSE team up to create research on how technology impacts our behaviour in meetings

Building on their recent research, including the 2023 Hybrid Ways of Working study, Jabra aimed to address a fundamental question: Does the technology we use impact our behaviour in meetings?

Partnering with the esteemed London School of Economics (LSE), Jabra embarked on a groundbreaking study, spearheaded by leading researchers and psychologists and with the use of the LSE's Behavioural Lab. With a controlled environment, Jabra and the LSE recreated a typical hybrid working meeting with 4 participants in a conference room and 4 joining via Microsoft Teams. 

A variety of setups were engaged including a meeting room with a Jabra PanaCast 50, a similar setup with a competing product, a remote participant with Jabra technology such as a Jabra PanaCast 20 personal webcam and Evolve 2 85 headset, and a remote participant using solely their built-in laptop camera and microphone. This experiment was approved by the LSE ethics board and participants were not told what they were being tested for or that Jabra was involved.

Leading academic technologies were engaged to create a massive dataset that would track key metrics. This included areas such as facial emotion recognition, eye-tracking, heart rate, skin conductance response and share of voice. The last two of these commonly used to track cognitive load.

From the experiments conducted, Jabra and LSE had amassed 500 data points per second, per person in every meeting performed. So, from this acquired data, what did they learn?

Face to face collaboration is still the best option

Face to face collaboration produced the best behavioural traits with participants showing 11% greater expressiveness in meetings, 16% greater trust in their fellow participants along with a 30% higher quality of interaction. These are good reasons that many might consider a return to the office, where trust, team productivity and human connection is greater than an online environment.

But it is important to remember that hybrid working is the dominant future trend and if we are to re-create in-person meeting environments, the impact of technology needs to be explored.

The type of hybrid work solution you select makes a huge difference!

In the experiments, it was noted that the use of Jabra’s professional technology resulted in an average increase of 16% in trust, 27% improved clarify of experience, 35% higher perceived expressiveness, and a 47% increase of input.

With the remote participants using Jabra solutions, trust between remote participants increased by 22%, while those in room had a 32% increase in the perceived expressiveness, and 84% increase in engagement when rating remote participants. This increase in engagement is significant because it demonstrates how enhancing visibility and audibility can affect how individuals are perceived by those in the room.

Remote participants experiencing Jabra technology had increased visual engagement by 30% when interacting with other remote participants using the same equipment. It also increases by 47% for those experiencing meeting room participants using the Jabra PanaCast 50 when compared to the nearest competitor.

Tracking the Emotional Impact

Tracking 15 different moods in real-time showed Jabra and LSE more than the obvious. AI-based facial emotion recognition was used to track all participants to see if there were any trends across different technologies used. 

When remote participants experienced a non-Jabra video bar, negative emotions were 347% higher than those able to receive incoming video from a PanaCast 50. Experiments also noted that in these environments in particular there was a 265% increase in sadness, 282% increase in confusion and 523% increase in anger.

What the research also concluded was that when everyone was using the same professional standard of technology, stress and cognitive load reduced, compared to mixed usage or lower quality technology.

In Conclusion

Despite comparing their solutions to competing products, Jabra was not looking to compare meeting and collaboration spaces against other competitors. They were interested primarily in the impact of the technology they make in bringing people together.

With their previous survey in 2022 under consideration, the LSE research continues to highlight a larger issue that there is an uneven playing field in the relatively new world of online meetings. With their Worker Survey, only 30% of participants had access to a professional headset, and only 19% use an external webcam. When it came to the meeting room, only 18% of participants had used the video camera in meeting rooms and over 62% were not using any device in room or remotely.

Jabra wanted to uncover if an imbalance in technology usage impacts our ability to have productive meetings. They wanted to know how meeting online is shifting the way in which we interact. Thanks to their work with the LSE, Jabra can show scientifically that their solutions improve meeting quality and engagement and demonstrates that technology shouldn’t be the reason for a bad meeting or get in the way of an organisation’s productivity.

Learn more about Jabra on the proAV website and reach out to use today to discuss how their innovative hybrid working solutions can benefit your workplace using the read more button. Download a full copy of the Jabra LSE research study by filling the form below.

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