The way we meet with coworkers has evolved in a lot of ways throughout the past few years. When companies went remote during the pandemic, many people were excited about all of the benefits of virtual meetings. However, we actually lost a lot of the incredible benefits of meeting in person when we went remote.Today, with 82% of companies using a hybrid model and more employees and visitors spending time in the office, companies are holding in-person meetings again. And while meetings may not be everyone’s favorite part of their workday, they do offer tremendous benefits to employees and the company when they’re held in-person. In this blog post, we’ll explore the 6 benefits of meeting in-person and why it can cause big waves for your company.
Higher engagement and productivity
Even the best host of a virtual meeting can find it impossible to keep every member of their team completely engaged in the meeting. Some members of the team are more confident than others in a virtual setting and are able to speak up more. While others are perpetually on mute. In-person meetings remove that barrier to engagement and level the playing field for extraverts and introverts. In-person meetings are typically more productive, too. Remote meetings account for at least 10 ideas on average, while in-person meetings see 13+ productive ideas per meeting.
Distractions and interruptions can be difficult for remote employees. Online shopping is only a few clicks away, after all. Additionally, if there is any sort of lag in a Zoom connection or unstable WiFi, it’s difficult for the team to hear each other and equally frustrating for the speaker who can’t get their idea across. In-person meetings eliminate these types of distractions because it’s clear who is about to talk, removing communication hiccups.In-person meetings also allow people to be more fully present in their meeting without worrying about their roommate or pet walking in the background. Being able to be fully plugged into the conversation without interruptions can help teams ideate quicker and solve problems faster.
Stronger team building
Relationships are integral to a great workplace experience. While virtual meetings can help teams stay connected, in-person meetings allow for deeper, more meaningful relationships to grow. In fact, according to a survey by Harvard Business Review, 95% of people say face-to-face meetings are key to successful long-term relationships in the workplace. In-person meetings are also a great way to onboard new team members. Starting a brand new job, meeting new coworkers, and learning about company policies while isolated behind a screen isn’t the best way to feel connected to a new company. By spending more time in-person, teams are able to build deeper trust and enjoy a shared sense of purpose. Awkward moments in meetings, watching a coworker crush a presentation, or laughing over an icebreaker can help bring people together in the workplace.
Clearer team goals
A team’s success relies on how clear and attainable their goals are. Setting goals is much more straightforward and even meaningful when it’s done in person. An in-person atmosphere can instill a sense of vision and enthusiasm for all team members. Plus, you can even post physical reminders of the team goals around the office or meeting rooms so you’re reminded by them often.Think about a productive brainstorming session. Employees naturally build off of each other in person when they can read facial expressions and body language. Everyone will be able to accurately understand the ideas and their tasks.
In-person meetings can lead to better collaboration as team members can ask questions, provide feedback, and challenge assumptions in real-time. In-person meetings facilitate more open and honest communication. When people are face-to-face, they are more likely to pick up on nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and body language. This helps colleagues better understand each other’s perspectives, opinions, and emotions. Plus, being in a room together can help build rapport and trust among team members.In-person meetings can also lead to more effective problem-solving. When team members are in the same room, they can use tools such as whiteboards and flip charts to brainstorm ideas and visually map out solutions. This type of collaboration is often more effective than trying to do the same thing remotely using virtual tools.
Better employee experience
In-person meetings can improve the workplace experience for employees by helping them feel less isolated and more connected to their teammates. Increased social connections lead to employees creating friends instead of just coworkers. According to a study by the business consulting firm Bain & Company, teams that regularly meet in person are more likely to be engaged, perform better, and have higher levels of job satisfaction than teams that don't.In addition, employees who can lead presentations and present their work in-person walk away feeling a higher sense of reward and accomplishment. All of these elements add up to creating a more meaningful sense of satisfaction at work and a better workplace experience. —Virtual meetings shouldn't be dismissed entirely, but there are clear advantages to meeting in-person. In-person meetings allow teams to be more productive, remove distractions, and strengthen the overall camaraderie and relationship between people. In order to facilitate productive meeting time, you’ll need to equip your people with the right tools. Room scheduling software can help employees reserve rooms for the amount of people attending, free rooms if they don’t need them, and help employees spontaneously grab a space to chat.