Audio quality impacts hybrid work models

28 September 2023

Shure commissioned IDC to conduct a comprehensive study that investigates the hurdles organisations are facing as they implement hybrid working.

The paper emphasises the IT community's concerns about the audio quality impacting effective communication and collaboration.

"From an IT perspective, implementing a successful hybrid work strategy isn’t just about software; it's about making sure your hardware — especially audio equipment — meets the standards your employees need to excel," said Rob Smith, senior director, system sales, Shure. "Our research finds that UK organisations are at the forefront of hybrid work adoption in Europe, yet there's a clear gap when it comes to providing high-quality audio solutions, which affects everything from meeting engagement to overall productivity."

Although businesses are adopting hybrid work models more readily than their European counterparts, they are grappling with issues like poor communication and low attention levels during virtual meetings. IT professionals point to insufficient audio equipment as a core challenge.

"For IT leaders, the task is straightforward but crucial: invest in professional-grade audio equipment. This is the foundational element that enables effective communication and equitable meetings, ensuring that everyone — whether at home or in the office — can contribute meaningfully,” said Smith.

When compared to global metrics, the UK leads in embracing effective hybrid work systems but falls short in recognising the vital role of high-quality audio. While globally, 72% of financially successful organisations invest in professional audio gear, the UK lags in this area, indicating a pressing need for IT to step in. The report asserts that high-quality audio isn't merely a tech issue; it's a human-centric concern that IT professionals must address. Investments in quality audio solutions can help dismantle the recurring cycle of workplace frustration, thereby enabling UK organisations to not just adapt but thrive in this new era of hybrid work.

The IDC research also highlights that organisations that invest in audio will see a significant impact in team motivation; productivity; employee retention; organisational image; employee well-being; heightened agility and decision making.