Communication platforms – fast, now, or visible? [TUPdate]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, March 12, 2021

The frustrated plea “can you hear me now?” has evolved to include “can you see me now?” During pandemic and suddenly-working-at-home times, video calls have driven home the importance of having a robust, fast, and synchronous connection. Asynchronous activities such as text messaging and email don’t have the same need for speed and an instantaneous persistent connection.

It got me wondering – are people choosing one device over another for communication that demands higher-bandwidth or low-latency connections? Is there an age difference preference for right-now synchronous versus later-on asynchronous communication activities? Furthermore, are there other aspects beyond bandwidth and immediacy that encourage people to choose one device over another for certain types of communications? Are video work meetings, for example, more PC-based than smartphone-based?

So, I investigated our results from TUP/Technology User Profile 2020 to compare how widely communication activities are in regular use. I netted together asynchronous activities separately from synchronous ones. Then, I looked at differences by device type – smartphone, home PC, and tablet. I also looked at differences by age group, knowing that younger adults often have different sensibilities and experiences around communication than older or the oldest adults.

Continue reading “Communication platforms – fast, now, or visible? [TUPdate]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Meetings are dead. Long live meetings! Are we digitally transformed yet? [TUPdate]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts – December 17, 2020

During the pandemic and with many employees working from home, much of communicating with coworkers and managers has shifted online. Employees have many options and are using most of them.

Video and online chats by employer size

Employees working for all company sizes are actively using a range of video calling, video conferencing, and group chats. Employees working for larger employers have a higher share who regularly communicate online than among employees with smaller employers.

These communication methods are more entrenched in the US, with most online employees regularly doing at least one of these activities.

Online employees in the UK are almost as actively communicating as Americans are. In Japan, however, the shares among both larger and smaller employers are lower than in the US, UK, or Germany.

Continue reading “Meetings are dead. Long live meetings! Are we digitally transformed yet? [TUPdate]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Synchronous or asynchronous communication – checking age preference [MetaFAQs]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 11, 2020

Communication is a vital and regular activity for connected devices. There are many choices – email, phone calls, video calls, video meetings, group chats – and the experience is different for each type. This MetaFAQs looks at asynchronous communication activities – those where the communicators don’t need to be engaged at the same time – to see how widespread their use is by age. It also looks at synchronous activities – where communications are in touch at the same time – to see how their usage levels vary.

Continue reading “Synchronous or asynchronous communication – checking age preference [MetaFAQs]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Employee’s video calls/meetings by device type [MetaFAQs]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 3, 2020

Employees are busy having video calls, meetings, and group chats and are using a wide range of devices. While smartphones are a top platform, home PCs, work PCs, and even tablets are regularly used. There are some differences by employer size and country. This MetaFAQs reports on the devices used for video calls/conferences by employer organization size and device type.

Continue reading “Employee’s video calls/meetings by device type [MetaFAQs]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Employees in video calls/conferences by employer size [MetaFAQs]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 30, 2020

Meetings! They don’t stop because of video conferencing, video calls, or group chats. This MetaFAQs details the share of employees who regularly connect online using smartphones, PCs, tablets, or even game consoles. The results are split out by employer size to show whether there is a difference between smaller or larger employers.

Continue reading “Employees in video calls/conferences by employer size [MetaFAQs]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Work meeting types by employer size [MetaFAQs]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 28, 2020

How do employees communicate for work-related matters? Do they make video calls or group video conferences, such as those over Zoom or Webex? Is there a difference for employees of smaller as compared to larger organizations? This MetaFAQs reports on how many online employees communicate for work by type, country, and employer organization size.

Continue reading “Work meeting types by employer size [MetaFAQs]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

Rapid growth in work group chat app use [MetaFAQs]

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 21, 2020

In response to the pandemic, many online employees began to work at home either occasionally or all the time. One way to collaborate and stay in touch with coworkers and managers is through group chat/discussion apps and platforms. This MetaFAQs details the rapid change between 2019 and 2020 using these communication activities by online employees, including results from the US and Germany.

Continue reading “Rapid growth in work group chat app use [MetaFAQs]”
Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts work from home study – [Highlights, MetaFacts Pulse Survey]

This TUPdate investigates and profiles working Americans who are working from home. With the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shifts taking place now, many are not technologically ready for a work-at-home or stay-at-home experience.

MetaFacts conducted a series of surveys during the periods March 26-30, 2020, and April 8, 2020.

The demographics of working from home

Working from home is in full swing for now. Although not all workers can or are working from home, those mostly use (not employer-provided) personal computing devices. They also favor consumer-oriented video communications platforms. Their purchase intentions are weak and mostly focused on backfilling the basics needed for working from home.

Two-thirds (64%) of online Americans who are employed or self-employed were working at home on April 8, 2020.

There are many Americans who aren’t. One in eight (12%) who were employed in February 2020 are not currently working.

Of those working from home, most are in upper socioeconomic groups.

More than three-fourths (78%) of adults in households with an income of $85,000 or more in the prior year are working from home. This is in stark contrast to the near-half levels among those with incomes of less than $50,000 per year.

Full-time employees and those who were already self-employed in a home-based business in February 2020 also had the highest work-at-home rates.

Computing Devices for Work

Most workers working from home are using their own personally-purchased products as their primary computing device. 58.2% of workers working from home as of April 8th, 2020 were using a personal device versus 41.8% who were using an employer-provided device.

Among Information Workers – defined for this study as those workers who were already using an employer-provided PC in February 2020 – 39.7% are using a personal device as their primary computing device for work.

Working from home means a mobile device, even though due to stay-at-home restrictions mobile tech workers can’t bring them to coffee cafés. Working from home is a new experience for many, and most homes don’t have a dedicated workspace, much less a dedicated desk for the new work-at-home worker. So, portability even with a home is helpful. Mobile devices – notebook PCs – are the primary computing device for Americans working as of April 8, 2020.

Video calling and conferencing by those working at home

Zoom has earned a lot of attention and users during the pandemic as a popular option for anyone online working at home seeking to connect by video with friends and family, as well as with coworkers and customers. Among workers working at home, Zoom is used most widely for work video calls and video conferences. Apple’s FaceTime is most widely used for personal video calls. For personal video conferences, Skype is slightly ahead of Zoom. For personal video calls, Apple’s FaceTime leads.

More broadly, Microsoft’s, Google’s, and Facebook’s combined video communications platforms reach the greatest share of at-home workers. Microsoft’s offerings – Skype, Meet Now, or Teams – taken together are used by the most at-home workers, slightly ahead of Google’s set of offerings – Hangouts, Duo or Meet. Facebook’s set is mostly used for personal video conferences or calls.

Planned Purchases

When we asked workers about their purchase plans for the next three months, no single technology was mentioned among one of ten workers.

Nearly as many workers have plans for tech products or services they will purchase with their own funds as expect to have bought by their employers.

Workers expect their employers to acquire collaboration software, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, or even cloud-based collaboration tools. Workers also anticipate their employers to set up VPNs-Virtual Private Networks to help maintain the security of their communication with their workplace networks or computers. Third on most worker’s lists are an extra monitor/display and a desk, both items widely found in many workplaces.

From their own personal funds, workers plan to purchase a notebook PC, webcam, and extra monitor/display. (Presumably if their employer doesn’t come through). Other basics for replicating a work-at-home office include a headset or headphones, tablet (perhaps for working from the couch?), speakers, a chair, and a desk.

Employment and non-employment by demographics

Between February 2020 and April 8, 2020 (the date of this survey), the number of employed Americans dropped precipitously. Nationally, 88% of online adult Americans that were employed in February were still working by April 8, 2020, meaning that 12% were not. This share is generally in line with unemployment claims reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both time periods include those working full-time, part-time, or self-employed.

The demographics about who was and was not still working shows a wide variation. Generally, fewer lower-income, part-time, and lesser-skilled workers are still working than were working in February.

The pandemic has currently affected some regions more than others. There are also regional differences in stay-at-home orders, those deemed essential, and those affected by business closures or layoffs. Among the major states, New York has the highest national percentage of non-workers, followed by New Jersey and California.

Occupation and working from home

Change in Employment from February to March 2020, by Occupation

Educational attainment and working from home

Primary Work Computing Device – February and March 2020

We asked two questions:

In February 2020, which computing device did you use as your primary work device?

While working at home, what is your primary computing device?

Benefits of working from home

Age of workers working from home

Household size for Americans working from home

Home Delivery Services for workers working at home

Definitions of terms used in this analysis

April 8 Workers – working full-time, part-time, or self-employed on April 8, 2020

March Workers – working full-time, part-time, or self-employed during March 2020

February Workers – working full-time, part-time, or self-employed during February 2020

Work from home – working from home as of the fielding date of the survey wave

Information workers – having had an employer-provided desktop PC in February 2020

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from MetaFacts Pulse surveys conducted March 26-30, 2020 with 772 online adults, and conducted April 8, 2020, with 530 online adults, drawn to be representative of American online adults who were working full-time, part-time, or self-employed in February 2020.

Resources

Current TUP/Technology User Profile subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Usage guidelines: This document may be freely shared within and outside your organization in its entirety and unaltered. To share or quote excerpts, please contact MetaFacts.