Since COVID-19 swept the globe, Zoom and Webex meetings have become the norm; that’s nothing new to us. While these meetings proved to be crucial for many companies to operate during stay-at-home mandates, the reality still stands that in-person meetings offer several benefits that online meetings simply cannot provide. Even though we’ve been in the thick of a pandemic for a while now, businesses are still working toward a sense of normalcy, testing out safe solutions that allow their employees to once again meet together face to face. This type of collaboration has proven to be more important than ever in 2021, and here’s why:
Benefits of meeting in person
The benefits of meeting in person have been analyzed, and unsurprisingly, studies show how vital it is. While online meetings were a way to stay on top of workflow demands, the truth is that face-to-face interactions cannot be entirely replaced.
More engagement and production
Even the best host of an online meeting can find it virtually impossible to keep every member of their team completely engaged in an online meeting. Some members of the team are more confident than others in a virtual setting, ultimately creating an imbalance that negatively impacts overall communication. The more shy, introverted team members may not be nearly as active in an online setting, while the more extroverted individuals tend to dominate the discussions.
In-person meetings are typically more productive, too. Statistically speaking, remote meetings account for 10.43 ideas on average, while in-person meetings see about 13.36 productive ideas per meeting.
Distractions and interruptions have proven to be extremely difficult for remote-working employees – Netflix is only a few clicks away, after all. Additionally, if there is any sort of lag in a Zoom connection, it’s difficult for the team to hear an individual, and it is equally frustrating for the individual who is unable to get their idea or point across. We’ve all been there. In-person meetings simply eliminate these types of distractions because it’s clear who is about to talk, removing communication hiccups.
Additionally, with people having to work from home, not everyone has a secluded place where they can go to conduct their business. Pets, roommates, children, or even a spouse could walk in at any moment and stop the flow of the meeting for that employee. In-person meetings eliminate those scenarios.
Emotional relationships are vital to building loyalty. It’s human nature to want to see and speak directly with the people we are doing our business with. This is especially true for newly onboarded clients and teams that work together regularly. According to Forbes, 84% of executives prefer in-person meetings strictly because it allows people to build stronger and more meaningful business relationships. This comes as no surprise, but it’s critical to emphasize after a year and a half of getting comfortable at home.
Goals are clear
A team’s success requires establishing clear and attainable goals. Setting goals is much more straightforward and even meaningful when meeting in person. An in-person atmosphere can instill a sense of vision and enthusiasm for all team members. Think about a productive brainstorming session; employees naturally build off of each other in person when they can read facial expressions and body language. There is little room for anyone to misinterpret tasks and load management, while these nuances can get lost in translation when a meeting is held virtually.
How to safely meet in person in 2021
Businesses are anxious to get their teams back to work together, but with a lingering pandemic, employees are at different stages of comfort – and not all employees are eager to head back to the office. That’s why the hybrid office model is here to stay. We recognize the benefits of meeting in person; that’s why employees can now meet safely in person when needed and work remotely on other days.