Business Briefs: Virtual Meetings; Single Childless Employees & Humor in Advertising

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Welcome to Business Briefs! The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Who Likes Virtual Meetings?

Current research indicates that there’s a toll to pay in frequent virtual meetings. The default viewing option on most meeting software presents meeting participants with prominent views of themselves during meetings, and this mirrored self-view (and the fact that it’s being broadcast) is identified as a source of distraction and nagging, background stress. 

For some people. 

Not everyone, though. Not every finds virtual meetings exhausting, and it turns out that those people are the ones who…don’t really care about how they look. 

Researchers ran a few studies on virtual meetings with over 2,300 participants. The studies involved surveys where they included questions using something called the Self-Consciousness Scale, which prompts participants to judge the truth of statements like “I care about how I present myself to others.”

As it turns out, people who scored low on the scale, that is, those who are not-conscious-of-self, have more favorable views of (or “less aversion to”) virtual meetings.  

Read more here

The Constant Mirror: Self-View and Attitudes to Virtual Meetings – Kristine Kuhn, Computers in Human Behavior

Who Cares About Single, Childless Employees?

There’s a funny sort of dance for parents in the workplace. Some leverage their children as excuses for low-level performance. Others hide their children, to avoid being perceived as a potential child-leverager. Regardless, parenting has some perks. Parental leave, for example. And some businesses install features like in-house childcare centers to provide parental perks. And nice health insurance packages. “Time for family” is often the focus when a business launches a work-life balance initiative. 

So what about the single, childless people? 

A recent study suggests that businesses should make a conscious effort to recognize and include their needs as well. Researchers surveyed 639 single, childless workers with prompts to assess the truth of statements such as:”My supervisor encourages single and married employees equally to attend company-sponsored social events.” and “Responsibilities at work often prevent me from participating in personal activities.”

The study found that workers who worked in an inclusive environment that recognized the potential personal interests of single, childless employees delivered better job performance and they had higher job satisfaction. 

Read more here

Who Cares About Single Childless Employees in the Hotel Business? – Crystal Shi & Jade Shi, Tourism Management

Funny Business

Funny is good. Funny advertisements are typically popular, effective advertisements. But researchers explore “funny” in very particular ways. There are types of “funny,” and some funnies are better in advertising than others.

Consider two-sided advertisements. That’s where the advertisement looks at downsides and upsides of a product. Heinz Ketchup is a good example: It’s marketed as super-slow, but the pay-off is evidently transcendent. 

In three studies recruiting 498 participants, researchers looked at how we respond to two-sided advertising that incorporated humor specifically. They presented participants with various advertisements, and then asked them how the advertisements made them feel about the product. 

Humor, generally, yielded positive responses to the product. 

Use of humor in two-sided advertising, though, created an unexpected response in participants who were already loyal user of a product. When the advertisement acknowledged the downside of the product, it created a distraction, and the advertisement was less successful (unless the funny part was super relevant).

That is, the success of an advertisement depends on both the content, and the audience. 

Read more here

The Influence of Humor in Advertising: Explaining the Effects of Two-Sided Messages – Martin Eisand, Psychology & Marketing