New Data Reveal Meeting Changes Needed as Companies Evaluate Hybrid Work Plans

This week Microsoft announced it was inviting more employees back to campus and that their workforce was on “the brink of a disruption” with a move to hybrid work. The software giant shared that while they were evolving their own hybrid work strategy, they knew for sure that “flexible work is here to stay and the talent landscape has fundamentally shifted.”

What’s missing from Microsoft’s proclamation, however, is what specifically has shifted in the attitudes and thinking of workers who have been remote for more than a year now. That’s why teamed up with YouGov to survey more than 2,000 employees who have been working at least partially from home since the onset of the pandemic. Our results reinforce many of the same assumptions Microsoft cited, but go far deeper to provide insight into their attitudes about returning to the office, the effect virtual meetings have had on work-life balance, and how the corporate world can improve productivity and morale by improving the rules of engagement and tools around meetings. Remote work has created new job opportunities for some, offered more family time, and provided many new work experiences. It also isolated some colleagues, disrupted teamwork, and Zoom fatigue emerged as a very real threat to business productivity and mental health. In fact, our research revealed:

  • 42% of remote workers say they’ve experienced Zoom fatigue since the pandemic began
  • 45% of remote workers want to work in the office between one and three days per week
  • 52% of remote workers say that working from home has improved their work-life balance

Zoom fatigue is real and alive in today’s workforce

Business meetings need to fundamentally change

  • 52% — All meetings should have agendas
  • 35% — People should only attend relevant sections of meetings
  • 33% — Meetings should be shorter
  • 26% — Meeting notes should always be shared with attendees
  • 22% — No use of cell / mobile phones during calls
  • 20% — No one should be doing emails during the meetings
  • 13% — Meetings should have five people or fewer

Meeting behaviors and productivity tools

  • 39% are working from home full time and believe they will be indefinitely
  • 36% are fully remote but think they’ll be returning to the office, at least partially, at some point
  • 24% are working in the office with colleagues some of the time
  • 14% of remote workers say they want to return to the office full time when it’s safe to do so
  • 20% say they never want to return to the office

Hybrid work is here to stay

Work-Life Balance in the Hybrid Workforce

Mari Mineta Clapp is VP of Corporate Relations at and has worked with highly disruptive companies changing business paradigms and creating new categories.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,027 employed adults in the United States (N=1,015) and the United Kingdom (N=1,012) who are currently working at least partially remotely. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th — 19th January 2021.

To learn more about how you can enhance meeting productivity and employee collaboration for remote, hybrid or in office employees please download the free Otter Voice Meeting Notes app at, iOS or Android or start a free Otter for Business trial for your team.

Originally published at on March 26, 2021.

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Otter is a note-taking and collaboration app that empowers you to remember, search, and share your voice conversations. Visit to sign up free.