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In Person Vs Virtual Meetings

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Following the pandemic and the several lockdowns which grounded many of us and forced us to work from home, we have now returned to the office. Well, mostly. There may still be an element of hybrid working and there certainly is more flexibility from most employers compared to the pre-covid times. But how did this affect meetings?

In the first covid lockdown we were all hit with the realisation that so many of our meetings in the past had been a bit of a waste of time and resources. Suddenly, forced by the unprecedented situation, we were able to get the outcome by simply setting a virtual meeting on Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams. In some more extreme cases, the same outcome was achieved on the phone or even by sending a few e-mails. So, no need to travel, no worries with parking, no additional charges for a meeting room and- yes- in some cases not even the need to put on pants in the morning! With the latest technology, everyone has an internet connection these days, everyone has a laptop with a camera. So, the meeting is actually ‘face-to-face’, only this time the faces are on a screen.

However, the novelty of virtual meetings in pyjama bottoms (you know who you are, admit it) quickly wore off. Maybe the real life, in person meetings weren’t that bad after all? A few advantages come to mind:

  • the human contact to start off- we need that social interaction, the in-person element, where we can give the other person our undivided attention.
  • This in turn builds a sense of camaraderie– yes, a lot of the work can be done solo, but so many businesses rely on teamwork and so many team members thrive by sharing ideas and brainstorming. Usually, this involves being in the same room. And not necessarily in a meeting room. Some of the best ideas are born by the water cooler, in the staff kitchen or in the break room.
  • Meeting rooms and offices are good for removing unnecessary distractions. Our homes are full of them- Oh, did the postman just knock? Have I fed the dog yet? Why is he barking again? Let me mute this meeting. Is that my neighbour sunbathing on a Tuesday afternoon? What does she do for a living? And just like that I’m not sure what they’re talking about… oops. I’m sure nobody noticed- they only see my face on a small screen. Sounds familiar? I think we can all agree that this wouldn’t happen so easily in a meeting room.
  • Let’s not forget technical difficulties. Yes, we all have internet connections, but they cannot be 100% reliable all the time. Things go wrong and sometimes this could have a huge effect on the communication.

It seems like meetings in person have a better chance of being productive. They definitely require the participants to be more present- in person and in spirit. No wonder our meeting facilities are getting busier. Even our virtual office clients book their meetings in person more. And with parking just outside, great location away from the city centre and complimentary teas and coffees, we have a lot to offer. If you have an upcoming meeting and would like to try New World Business Centre as your venue, click on Our Offer to find out more.