Remote employees interacting more since 2020: Study

Research reveals the evolution of remote meetings and how they have become more spontaneous and efficient.


The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of the work practices we were used to before 2020. One of the major changes we’ve seen is the shift to a remote work culture. A study by the University of Texas suggests it may have been for the better.

Data collected from remote meetings on Zoom, MS Teams, and WebEx from 10 different global companies suggested that employees are more interactive now than they were in 2020.

The data collected ranged from companies in the healthcare industry all the way to energy. Seven out of the 10 were members of the Fortune 500.

They looked at data from April to May for the years 2020, 2021, 2022. Around 48 million meetings and an excess of 5,00,000 employees were included in the dataset.

The study found that remote meetings were 25 per cent shorter in 2022 than they were in 2020 – from an average of 43 minutes to 33 minutes. These meetings were found to be more frequent and spontaneous than a few years ago.

This frequency is reflected in the data that shows 59 per cent more meetings per employee in 2022. Employees went from having five meetings a week in 2020 to eight two years later.

It was found that two thirds of one on one meetings were unscheduled in contrast to the 17 per cent found in 2020. The number of participants also dropped in 2020 from 20 per meeting to just 10 in the most recent study.

The study concluded that workers were seen to be more engaged with each other with respect to meetings than what many companies believed.

Companies held the belief that employees began to lack creativity due to no in-person engagement.

Data from the study suggested that remote interactions had begun mirroring in-person interactions. As remote workers miss out on the casual, spontaneous interactions that happen in person, they compensate for those losses by having more impromptu meetings.

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