The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

52 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om I NT E R V I EW S ince the start of 2020, a proportion of the global workforce has transitioned from an office-based working model to a work- from-home strategy due to the coronavirus pan- demic. While the need for more flexible working hours and environments has been a steadily growing trend in recent years, many businesses have had to quickly adapt to this new way of working by implementing digital solutions that enable virtual and hybrid meetings. Jorgen Solberg, founder and CEO of meeting technology company Decisions, believes that, although work-from-home strategies have historically been mistrusted by management, there is a new-found acceptance based on their many benefits. “Many organisations are seeing higher pro- ductivity from their employees through these more flexible working methods,” he says. “Employees have more time to focus on their tasks since they are no longer commuting to the office or spending time at the coffee machine with their colleagues.” Microsoft Teams has been key to making this transition easier for many individuals and organisations, but Solberg believes there are still challenges around virtual meetings. “It is extremely easy to set up a conversation via Teams, but as a result, many people now attend a lot more meetings than they may have when working in the office,” he explains. “This can cause ‘meeting fatigue’ which makes communi- cation and collaboration less effective.” Solberg also points out that virtual meetings can often be less structured than physical meet- ings, causing matters to drift off and participants to lose track of time. “This causes attendees to become disengaged with the conversation and begin to multitask,” he says. Better collaboration tools could be the answer to these problems, so Decisions has developed a set of features that can be used within the Microsoft Teams application to add structure and simplify the meeting experience for all users. “It’s so important to have effective tools for planning meetings, running meetings and fol- lowing up afterwards, and I think this is where Decisions is really helping to make these virtual interactions better,” says Solberg. Decisions says its Microsoft Teams application offers a comprehensive solution for each stage in the meeting process, including an agenda builder, minutes template, time tracker, secure voting, task management, and more. Recently, Decisions released the in-meeting extension for Teams (part of the Microsoft Teams apps for meetings initiative) that offers a meeting management solution which helps users to plan meetings and agendas based on partici- pant comments and suggested topics. Within the Teams meeting window, users can then track the agenda and time to see what will be discussed Jørgen Solberg shares how Decisions is building on the Microsoft Teams experience to take virtual and hybrid meetings to the next level The rise of the hybrid meeting BY E L LY YAT E S - ROB E R T S “We are working to ensure that everyone can participate fully in meetings, even if they are not physically present” J ØRG EN SOL B E RG , DE C I S I ONS