Skip to main content

SDU is strengthening its facilitation of digital meetings – the aim is to reduce transport to and from Campus


By: Frederikke Malling Hansen

The meeting rooms consist of digital meeting equipment, and simply by clicking ‘join’ on the equipment’s control panel the meeting is underway. The new equipment will provide reasonable sound and image quality without the users having to be AV experts. 

This is according to Bue Raun Andersen, head of SDU Digital and responsible for the transport package in the Climate Plan, and also Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen, who is a specialist consultant in SDU Digital Transformation and leads the digital meeting initiative. 

SDU Digital’s partner in purchasing and setting up digital meeting equipment, SDU IT, is currently setting up the new equipment in meeting rooms around SDU’s campuses. In some of the new meeting rooms, you will see a two-part screen that gives more space to the online meeting participants, while the meeting facilitator can still show documents, PowerPoint slideshows or other items on the screen next to it. 

More info: Our Green Universe

How more creative meetings, e.g. workshops, can take place at SDU in a digitally robust way is still being assessed. Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen explains:
‘In this area, we want to test some special equipment that can increase the quality of precisely this kind of meeting.’

Digital meetings come with challenges

Although Teams, Zoom and Skype were the emergency solution during the Corona pandemic lockdowns, today the digital meeting formats have become an integral part of our everyday working life. The digital meeting rooms at SDU attest to this.

‘During Corona, it became natural to hold online meetings. Before that, it was actually a bit of a curiosity to have a video meeting,’ says Bue Raun Andersen and explains that it is not only the users who have become better at digital meetings: the equipment and the technology have also evolved. 

‘Part of the danger with hybrid meetings, though, is that there can be an asymmetry in the dynamics if a meeting leader forgets the people who are on the screen. And if the online participants find it difficult to hear what’s happening in the meeting due to poor sound conditions in the meeting room, then you get really bad meetings. So it’s important that the technology works,’ says Bue Raun Andersen. 

Precisely to meet the challenges of digital meetings, SDU has also introduced ‘the owl’, which is a movable solution consisting of speakers, microphone and cameras. The equipment helps by focusing on the person speaking, thus making the digital meeting better. But good equipment is not all that is needed to improve the quality of the digital meeting.

‘It is also important that we plan and facilitate the digital meetings with care so that they serve their purpose,’ emphasises Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen, who is working with SDU HR Development on an online guidance universe for digital meetings.

‘For instance, you can prevent the meeting leader from forgetting the online participants by appointing one meeting participant to specifically keep an eye on the activities on the screen and keep the meeting leader informed,’ she further explains.

A benefit for the flexible working life

One of the reasons why digital meetings still have a firm grip on our everyday lives is also that more people today want a flexible working life.

‘We have a flexible workplace policy at SDU, which enables employees to work from home one or two days a week. In this way, we accommodate different working patterns. It can also help to provide a better work-life balance,’ says Bue Raun Andersen. 

More info: SDU's Climate Plan

But at SDU Digital, they have also gone one step further towards the flexible workplace. A large proportion of employees at SDU Digital do not have a designated work desk. Bue Raun Andersen explains that in the department they use workstations that the employees can book as needed. This means that approximately 70% of the employees in SDU Digital do not have a fixed place.

‘We have to have rooms that can do different things, because the way we work means that we need different types of rooms – meeting rooms, but actually working rooms as well,’ he says.

It is therefore not only the climate that we are helping when we make less use of the car to transport ourselves to and from campus.

‘There are several obvious benefits from the Climate Plan’s focus on less transport by car,’ concludes Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen, referring to both our reduction of CO2 emissions and a more flexible everyday life.


Fact Box

  • A hybrid meeting means that it is a mix between a physical meeting and a digital meeting 
  • The new digital meeting equipment can already be found in selected rooms in Esbjerg, Kolding, Sønderborg and Odense.
  • The meeting rooms consist of either a standard or an extended package. The standard package requires that you connect your own computer, whereas the extended package can run without connecting a computer. 
  • Some faculties and common areas have also invested in handy mobile equipment, for example, in the form of an ‘owl’, which is best suited for smaller meetings. 
  • Guides will be regularly posted at about planning and facilitating digital meetings as well as an introduction to the Teams and Zoom technologies. 
  • Self-help guides to using the digital meeting equipment will be posted in the meeting rooms

Last Updated 01.05.2023