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Survey result about remote meetings in English was publicized. Beginners and Intermediate speakers feel challenged in “communication”, on the other hand, advanced ones do so in “building trust in a relationship”.

RareJob, Inc. (hereafter, “RareJob”), which utilizes data related to human resource to develop global talents, conducted the survey of remote meetings in English for 578 business people who need English skill at work.

Background of the survey

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the way of business communication has changed and online communication using digital technology is getting common. Global businesses that require English skill are no exception. Rather, the need for business travel and office attendance has been eliminated, making it easier to carry out international communications without time lags than in the past. On the other hand, business people who have not had many opportunities for remote meetings in English may be looking for the best way to communicate smoothly online. Based on the current situation, we conducted this survey by PROGOS Inc., the subsidiary of RareJob which does B2B service, to find specific problems with how they facilitate online communication, particularly in remote meetings that require mutual interaction.

Survey outline

・Target: Business people who are “RareJob Eikaiwa” subscribers and use English at work (as of April 2021)
・Number of responses: 578
・Period: March 31, 2021 to April 5, 2021
・Method: Internet survey
*When you would like to cite this survey, please mention it as the “RareJob survey.”

*: Comparison of English speaking level and CEFR-J in this survey
Beginner: A1.1 – A2.2
Intermediate :B1.1 – B1.2
Advanced: B2.1 – C1

Survey result

・60% of respondents think that remote meetings are more difficult than face-to-face meetings
Q. Is it more difficult to meet in English either in person or remotely? (Single answer)

The rapid shift to online communications has made it more difficult for business people to interact with others than in the time before the COVID-19 pandemic.

・Issues in remote meetings are “communication” for beginners and intermediate speakers, however, “building trust in a relationship” for advanced speakers.
Q. What do you think would be difficult to proceed with a remote meeting in English? (Multiple answers allowed)

61% of respondents answered that one of the difficulties in remote meetings in English is that they are not sure whether what they are saying makes sense really. Most common answer by beginners and intermediate speakers was that it is difficult to know whether or not they can tell their points as they intend. On the other hand, the most common answer by advanced speakers was that it is difficult to build trust in a relationship. These findings indicate that beginners and intermediate speakers may feel the need to improve their speaking ability to let others understand their exact intentions. On the other hand, advanced speakers may find it challenging to build trust with their counterparts even if what they are trying to say can fully make sense in English. They used to build trust in a relationship by utilizing opportunities such as dinners, meetings, and small talks before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now it is difficult to do so online after the pandemic, so they are looking for alternative ways to overcome this challenge.

・Required skills for remote meetings are different depending on each English level of a person
Q. What strengths do you think are important for responding to remote meetings in English? (Multiple answers allowed)

87% of the respondents answered that “speaking” is the most necessary skill in remote meetings in English. The most common answer by beginners and intermediate speakers was that “speaking” is the most important, while 83% of advanced speakers responded that “listening skill” is the most critical. Beginners and Intermediate speakers are aware of the need to improve their “speaking ability” to communicate, while advanced ones think it’s necessary to enhance their “listening skill” further as they can already speak English fluently enough. The survey points out that advanced speakers are more interested in the situation of their counterparts than beginners and intermediate speakers, taking their recognized problem of building trust in a relationship into consideration.

Comments by President, COO of PROGOS Inc., Masuyo Ando

The survey result represents a part of the change in a way of English communication not only by the COVID-19 pandemic but also by promoting digital transformation (DX) in the world. We expect that the penetration of online communication for global business will become a standard to a certain extent. More sophisticated speaking and communication skills are required to communicate online and build trust in a relationship between people with different languages, cultures and values more than ever. This survey proves that different problems come out in interaction in a remote meeting depending on one’s level of English speaking skill. Therefore, the first step for solving these problems is to measure individual English speaking skill and provide training according to one’s score to let them facilitate remote meetings effectively.

[Profile] Masuyo Ando, President and COO of PROGOS Inc.
After working for Nomura Research Institute and a German pharmaceutical company, she moved to the United States. She got master degrees and worked for a US-based company while she was there for seven and a half years, then she returned to Japan. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of English education and global human resources development. She has focused on the promotion of TOEIC® in companies and universities and global talent development for nearly seven years as the manager in the Institute for International Business Communication. She joined RareJob in 2020 after she worked as an executive officer of an EdTech company. She has been in her current position since April 2021.

About PROGOS Inc.

Address: 6th Floor, CRANES Park Building, 18-1, Jingumae 6-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Masuyo Ando, President and COO
Business: Services related to assessment, training, and recruitment of global leaders

Press Contacts

PR Department, RareJob, Inc.
Email: press@rarejob.co.jp