Virtual communication tools that became indispensable during the pandemic have played an important role as the world moves from a state of crisis to an upturn, according to a report by global audio brand Epos.
Investing in the Age of Listening: The Importance of Audio in a Reinvented World finds organizations recognize the crucial role these tools play in hybrid work models, with global companies reporting a 7% increase in personal audio equipment investment over the past year and a 6% increase in audio equipment shared.
The importance of audio is growing, decision makers are listening to the demand
Epos says the return to power is a gradual process and full-time attendance is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels. Individuals want to keep the changes to workflows that they perceive to be positive from last year – and for many, hybrid work falls into that category.
But the potential for digital exhaustion caused by strained virtual communication remains a possible pitfall.
Organizations are aware of both of these factors, as evidenced by the increased emphasis on audio quality. Audio contact has now been considered essential or very important for the past three quarters.
The report finds that this is the case in all markets, with the Asia-Pacific region expressing a particular conviction: 96% of respondents in China and 90% in Australia acknowledged the increase in importance.
Plus, the results don’t just consider the value of audio in isolation. Interviewees in the Epos report rated audio equipment as more important than a laptop or PC in a range of scenarios, including conference calls, virtual meetings, communicating with clients / colleagues and remote work.
“As workers prioritize their well-being and work-life balance to avoid digital burnout, employers need to come up with solid solutions or risk losing key talent. The majority of Australian employees place great importance on audio quality, and leaders need to determine what technology works, what business practices are right, and how to refine existing processes, ”says Epos Sales Director ANZ Geoff Crane.
“The hybrid model offers huge benefits for businesses and their employees, but only if the challenges of communication and collaboration are met. Technology provides an answer if companies invest wisely, ”he continues.
Quality matters, but advice is needed
Audio recognition in organizations has led to an increase in the willingness of companies to invest in audio solutions.
High-quality audio equipment is essential for 54% of decision-makers, and almost three-quarters (72%) say they spend more to get a better product.
But alongside investing in quality, consulting on audio equipment with employees is seen as essential or very important to help inform decisions by the majority (70%) of those surveyed.
88% of businesses also believe there is a need to improve policies and regulations for work-from-home facilities.
These findings indicate that over the coming year, we may see consultations with employees on the technology they need to support effective hybrid work (especially around audio) influencing business decisions. purchase.
Finance sees potential in audio investing
Breaking down Epos’s report findings by sector, financial organizations are the most positive about future audio investments, with 71% of respondents expecting them to increase.
Manufacturing, IT and digital are the closest behind, with 67% and 64% respectively.
Financial companies are also the most likely to invest regularly. 46% of finance decision-makers said they plan to invest each year, while 40% of those in the media and insurance industries also plan to spend on audio annually.
This prioritization of audio spending by finance in particular and other sectors where secure communications are essential (IT and digital) is quite logical.
But the adaptation to hybrid work is visible across all industries: 50% of decision makers plan to provide (or have provided) each with a set of audio equipment each (for use both at home and in the office).
“The transition from crisis to recovery will force business leaders to take a step back and listen carefully to their audience to get closer to what they really want: comfort and reassurance”, concludes the president of Epos, Jeppe Dalberg-Larsen.
“If they succeed, the path to productivity will be easily unlocked. As different industries have varying needs, consumer needs will continue to evolve to push for better quality products and a better overall work experience. Industries that are less advanced in delivering this experience to their staff and customers will have to catch up at some point in the future, ”concludes Dalberg-Larsen.
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