Ding. Filled with dread and fatigue, you receive the reminder for yet another online meeting. Virtual meetings have turned into an essential part of our workdays. While they help us navigate a socially distanced world, it’s hard to replace the benefits of a good old in-person meeting in the office space. Here’re five reasons why.
1. Better communication
Online communication can be convenient, but it lacks one key benefit. It’s much more difficult to read the body language of the participants (as opposed to when you're gathered at the office space). And words are just a small part of the way we communicate.
In fact, research found that about 60-80% of what is communicated is through body language. Thus, the correct use and understanding of it serve as an effective communication tool to help in the workplace and drive the organization’s success.
2. More meaningful relationships
A Forbes survey found that 84% of executives say they prefer face-to-face meetings at the office because they help them build stronger and more meaningful relationships. After all, this is vital for the engagement and loyalty of both teams and customers.
Moreover, some activities require building trust, which is easier in person.
“The art of negotiation takes the kind of nuance that is only present in an in-person meeting,” comments Dan L’Ecuyer, vice president of sales and marketing at CSP Technologies, a developer of packaging solutions, who took part in the survey.
“I don’t think you can really get at strategies without face-to-face time at the workspace.”
3. Improved attention
“58% of respondents admitted that they ‘frequently’ surf the web, check their email, read unrelated materials and handle other ancillary work during digital meetings,” according to the Forbes survey.
As the results point out, many participants in virtual calls divert their attention from the topic at hand. In a face-to-face environment, this is much less likely to happen.
Also, conversations in a virtual environment are less fluid and conducive to brainstorming innovative ideas.
4. Positive business outcomes
Meeting business surveys have shown that face-to-face meetings are more effective in meeting expectations related to morale, recognition, and trust, and ultimately achieving business goals.
“Nine in ten say meetings improve their ability to close deals (93%), network (90%) and grow professionally (88%),” as the survey states.
Furthermore, it seems like technology fails to substitute for direct human interaction when it comes to reaching a consensus on important business decisions.
“Face time is key to maintaining relationships, absorbing the passion of your business, and allowing an easier flow of ideas,” shares Mark Briskin, general manager of the New York Helmsley Hotel, who participated in the Forbes survey.
5. Stronger company culture
Company culture is important for attracting and retaining the employees your business needs to succeed. While there’re various ways to keep the spirits high even if the team works remotely, it might be worthwhile to consider including safe in-person brainstorming and collaboration sessions into the mix.
There’re many benefits to in-person social interaction - from bonding with co-workers to using the time together to network and brainstorm new ideas. This can happen both within the company or in a wider community of like-minded professionals like the one we’re proud to have at Campus X.
“This is exactly what I've been missing the most during the months of social distancing - the random afternoon discussions over a cup of coffee with fellow members, the member breakfasts, the lunches at the Campus X restaurant, or just the opportunity to pick someone's brain for quick advice on a problem I'm working on,” shares Tina Kesova, a Campus X member and Head of Marketing at Codeable.
How to hold safe in-person meetings in 2021
With the ongoing pandemic, many businesses have switched to online communication. Yet, you can add face-to-face time to the work mix to reap the benefits of in-person communication. Here’re a few things to consider in terms of safety when it comes to safe meetings at the workspace:
Make sure there is impeccable hygiene and regular ventilation - the meeting rooms should undergo constant and rigorous cleaning and disinfection and should be well ventilated.
Avoid rush hours – schedule the meetings at more relaxed times, so that there’re fewer people using the public transportation system.
Use masks and mind the distance – make sure there’s the recommended space between participants and they wear personal protective gear.
We’ve got you covered
At Campus X, we’ve invested lots of efforts and resources to secure the safest possible work environment for our community. We’re humbled to be the first office space in Bulgaria, which holds a COVID Shield Certificate, which represents the highest level of safety by the independent Certification Body TÜV AUSTRIA.
At the Campus, we go far and beyond all health requirements to ensure safe in-person collaboration. There’s constant and rigorous cleaning of all our meeting rooms, offices, and common spaces. Also, the meeting rooms have reduced capacity to ensure there’s a safe distance between participants, and we’ve implemented the highest class of air purifiers and UVC lamps, which safely and effectively disinfect the air and eliminate viruses.