It's official, video meetings really do suck

Angry business man screaming on laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock / ra2 studio)

New data from Read suggests video meetings continue to under-deliver as a result of low levels of engagement and various other problems.

The company, which offers an engagement monitoring service for video calls, analyzed more than three million conferencing minutes - and the findings aren't pretty.

According to Read, more than half (51%) of meetings go over schedule by at least a minute, while a third (31%) start late, resulting in a delay of roughly 3 minutes on average. 

A fifth of meetings (21%) suffer from poor audio and video, while a quarter of participants (24%) aren’t really engaged in the conversation (they are either unfocused, or doing something else entirely).

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In 15% of meetings, meanwhile, participants were  “annoyed, frustrated, or confused”, the report states. And overall, Read classified more than 50% of meetings as either bad or average.

Room for improvement

To say there’s room for improvement would be an understatement. Although Read took the opportunity to highlight the benefits of its own services from an engagement perspective, the firm also shared a few additional insights.

For example, 50% of participants usually arrive late to a meeting that has at least seven people participating, and a quarter (22%) of participants never utter a single word in meetings of this size, which suggests smaller meetings are beneficial.

What’s more, people are quick to lose interest in meetings that drag on for too long. In meetings lasting for an hour, the number of disengaged participants rises by 37%, in the last quarter of the meeting, compared to the first. 

Even for shorter meetings, 15% of participants will disengage in the final quarter, while a tenth (11%) will always be in “ghost mode” (with no webcam or microphone active) in meetings with at least seven people.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.