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66% of French people prefer video conferencing to physical meetings

66% of French people prefer video conferencing to physical meetings

Eléonore Obala
5 min21 Oct 2020

"We are all aware of this: the organisation of work is undergoing radical change. Past practices are over and we need to rethink all of our ways of working together in companies. This awareness is vital and we are actively working on it within Deskeo. We are adapting to these changes in order to offer companies new perspectives and respond in a sustainable way to the new challenges of Human Resources management. Our latest clients include model students in terms of respecting health protocol in the office, such as the French start-up OpenClassrooms, which we have just installed in an independent 2,500 sqm building (Paris 19th)." Frank Zorn, co-founder of Deskeo.

Key findings :

  • 89% of French people are keen on video conferencing at work
  • 77% hide the back of their home when video conferencing at home
  • 39% are embarrassed to see the private lives of their colleagues
  • Over 66% of French people are pessimistic about the future
  • 68% are prepared to spend most of their working time in the office (if health protocol is respected)
  • 2 out of 3 French people find it difficult to use video conferencing tools properly

Life in... grey!

At the moment, the vast majority of French people are not really in good spirits. Indeed, pessimism is rife for two thirds of those questioned: 42% say they are rather pessimistic and 24% very pessimistic.

A very divided approach to face-to-face management

There is clearly no unanimity about the proportion of working time to be spent in the company. Indeed, the French are very divided when it comes to their presence in the office. Nevertheless, if the health protocol is respected, 68% of the French are ready to spend the majority of their working time on site. "This is a good signal for companies seeking to re-motivate their troops at this crucial time" comments Frank Zorn, "As we saw during the lockdown, teleworking has its advantages and is well on the way to becoming a permanent fixture in the organisation of the French. However, it is still possible to meet in person and work together as a team while respecting the health protocol. Almost all of our clients have gone back to the office, sometimes alternating between face-to-face and teleworking."

Videoconferencing everywhere

Once marginal, videoconferencing at work is now widely used by more than 89% of French people: 51% use it occasionally and 38% very often.

Incomplete mastery

On the other hand, this new tool is not yet fully mastered by everyone. Thus, 62% of French people admit that they have difficulty using videoconferencing software correctly: 29% even have difficulty using it often and 33% sometimes.

Teleworking also brings new issues to the fore. Indeed, the French do not appreciate the privacy of their home. During a video conference at home, more than 77% hide the background to avoid revealing their home.

Video conferencing: not pleasant but effective

Not only do the French not like to be seen at home in a videoconference, but more than 39% are embarrassed by the fact that they can see their interlocutors' homes. Although this remote communication tool is effective for 57% of the French, 56% do not consider it a pleasant experience.

The French are fairly well equipped

Whether they are at home or in the office, the French seem fairly well equipped to use videoconferencing. However, a third (32%) of the French consider their equipment insufficient for videoconferencing at home, compared with 24% at the office.

The end of physical meetings?

When asked "in general, what type of meetings do you prefer?", the French seem to have made their choice. More than 66% say that they appreciate remote meetings by videoconference more than physical meetings: "Videoconferencing simplifies meetings, particularly by eliminating travel time. For group meetings, on the other hand, technical problems are more frequent, which makes exchanges less fluid and limits spontaneity. With videoconferencing, we see each other more, but in person we see each other better" adds Frank Zorn, who, with Deskeo, offers meeting room rental formulas for organising hybrid face-to-face and remote events using state-of-the-art audio/video equipment.

A whole virtual company

Of all the actions organised within companies since the beginning of the school year in September, three top the list. More than 84% have had remote meetings organised in their company, 76% have had a speech from their founders and 35% have launched new projects. Anything that requires a physical presence is only marginally represented (meetings: 16%, team lunch: 5%, outings, activities or other: 1% or less).

To federate and consolidate a team, the French think that certain actions are more effective than others. Thus, the launch of new projects is on the top of the podium with 79% of representativeness, well ahead of video conferences with 57% or speeches by founders with 56%. Physical meetings are almost average with 44%. On the other hand, team lunches, activities or other actions are only marginally effective in strengthening or motivating teams.

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