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The Money.com.au study on video conferencing behaviours

August 2020

About the study

Money.com.au commissioned an independent survey of 1000 Australian employees who have been working from home – full-time or part-time – during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey sought to understand whether Aussie workers experienced embarrassing or unprofessional behaviours during work video meetings, the types of situations they experienced, or saw, during video calls, and whether this brought them closer to their colleagues. ‍ Money.com.au surveyed employees from businesses across a range of sizes: SMEs (1-50 employees), medium (51-200 employees) and large (more than 200 employees).

Did embarrassing or unprofessional incidents occur during work video meetings?

The results reveal that a quarter (23 per cent) of Aussies made, or observed, embarrassing or unprofessional behaviours in work video meetings. Younger employees were more likely to do this than older employees: 38 per cent of workers aged between 18-30 made or witnessed mishaps, compared with 22 per cent of 31-50-year-olds and 13 per cent of those over-50.

The survey also revealed that more men (26 per cent) made, or observed, embarrassing mishaps in video meetings, compared with 21 per cent of women.

What are the most common video conferencing mishaps?

Respondents were presented with 10 embarrassing scenarios, mishaps or unprofessional behaviours they may have encountered during remote video meetings, and were asked to select any which they experienced. These included, whether they could hear kids in the background, participants eating or drinking, being situated in an unprofessional environment or participants doing other tasks during meetings. ‍ The survey found 42 per cent said they had heard kids in the background, 31 per cent saw a participant eating or drinking, and 27 per cent saw participants doing non-work-related tasks during a meeting. Younger workers noticed this more than older workers, with 36 per cent of respondents aged 18-30 noticing a participant doing another task during a video meeting, compared with 28 per cent of 31-50s and 20 per cent of over-50s. ‍ An equal 26 per cent experienced the meeting disrupted by a participant’s family member, or a participant not able to use the technology properly, and 21 per cent saw others in the meeting use their PC or phone. ‍ A higher proportion of younger workers witnessed or experienced video calls disrupted by a participant’s family member: 34 per cent of under-30s, compared with 26 per cent of those age 31-50, and 20 per cent of over-50s employees. Meanwhile, older employees were more likely to experience issues with conferencing technology. More than a quarter (28 per cent) of over-50s said they, or at least one participant, could not use the technology properly, compared with 23 per cent of under-30s.

Do Aussies feel more connected to colleagues after working from home?

The results also reveal insights into relationships at work, with more than half (56 per cent) of respondents stating they have learned more about their colleagues after seeing and speaking to them in their home environments. A higher proportion of younger respondents felt this, with 66 per cent of respondents aged 18-30 feeling more connected with colleagues, compared with 58 per cent of 31-50s and 46 per cent of over-50s. ‍ Interestingly, 63 per cent of respondents in large organisations say video meetings have helped them to get to know their colleagues better, compared with 59 per cent in medium-sized organisations and 55 per cent in SMEs.

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