Business Lifestyle

6 Reasons Why It’s A Must to Have Face-to-Face Meetings At Work

Telecommuting has gone from being a temporary solution to the pandemic-induced travel restrictions to actually becoming the norm in today’s digital age. Skype, Zoom, and other virtual conferencing platforms include essential features like chat, phone calls, whiteboards, presentations, virtual meetings, and more. Such apps continue to prove that it’s possible to work and communicate from anywhere and still get the work done. 

So the question is: Given the rise of these cloud-based video conferencing platforms, are face-to-face meetings still necessary? The answer is a big YES!

Though it’s possible to get messages across using the best conferencing apps (while wearing your pajamas), there are still a lot of things you can only achieve with face-to-face meetings. In this article, we’ll list down 6 reasons to host occasional in-person meetings with your team. 

1. Improve communication and interpret non-verbal cues

Sometimes, the most important message isn’t communicated through words. Even with speedy internet and top-notch video conferencing apps, communicating via screens can provide a couple of barriers to effective communication. Non-verbal cues and micro-behaviours such as body language, eye contact, and facial expressions don’t translate well virtually. 

Meeting people face-to-face allows you to analyze such gestures and judge how involved they are in the discussion. These non-verbal cues can give you insight into how they may be feeling and initiate a response based on them. 

2. Conference venues limit distractions that affect productivity

While it’s possible to host a meeting from anywhere, not anyone has the privilege of having a quiet, distraction-free home office to sit in. Most of us are working from a busy home, with household noises and cluttered spaces. On top of that, one’s personal responsibilities can make it challenging to draw a line between work and private life. 

On the other hand, in-person meetings are commonly held in spaces that foster creativity, productivity, and focus. You may choose a professional meeting space, like this conference venue in Dublin. You can also meet in a serviced office, a small meeting room, or even a private room in a coffee shop. 

Choosing any of these work-approved locations for your meeting makes sure you get your attendees’ 100% attention and participation. Even the act of travelling to and from a meeting place can be an advantage in allowing individuals to shift to work mode. 

3. Encourages spontaneity and collaboration

The need for structure in online meetings can kill the mood and energy. Usually, there’s just one person talking to the entire group, and everyone else just sits and listens. They have to wait for the person to finish their presentation or lecture before having their questions entertained. The lack of spontaneity may lead to missing out on some of the most innovative ideas. 

In-person meetings are better for collaboration, brainstorming, and creativity, especially if you plan to discuss complex strategies. They tend to be more open, spontaneous, and interactive. All attendees can take an active role in the meeting and talk over each other to some extent, creating a back-and-forth discussion. Should there be any disputes and problems, they can be resolved easier when you meet face-to-face. 

4. The exchange of ideas is more organic

Digital platforms might have evolved but ideas are still better illustrated and expressed using real, tangible whiteboards and papers. Depending on your industry, your presentations may also involve products and physical items, which are best experienced when viewed in person or when touched. 

Collaboration occurs more naturally when individuals discuss their thoughts face-to-face in meeting rooms, Attendees won’t just be passive listeners — they’ll be more likely to understand your vision genuinely and contribute their thoughts comfortably. 

5. No technology issues to worry about 

Another common barrier to virtual meetings is connectivity issues. Slow and unstable internet connection, which leads to delays, choppy audio, and poor, pixelated visuals, can mess up an otherwise great presentation. 

Face-to-face meetings not only save time and energy but can also improve the outcome of your presentation. When there are no technical issues to worry about, you can freely communicate, focusing more on the actual content of the meeting than whether or not you can be heard or seen clearly. 

6. Builds stronger relationships with colleagues and clients

While virtual communication has come a long way in recent years, face-to-face interactions are still crucial for fostering a strong culture and relationship. When you only have virtual meetings, it’d be difficult for participants to get to know each other. This, in return, gives you the pressure to lighten the atmosphere and encourage everyone to interact. 

In-person meetings help develop rapport within the team and with clients, and engage with individuals on a deeper level. Even small yet purposeful talks can help people find shared interests, building a solid foundation for a better relationship at work. 

In a nutshell…

If your business has embraced the advantages of a remote work setup, it’s nice to still schedule in-person meetings from time to time. You can also consider going hybrid. This way, you can get the best of both worlds — the flexibility and cost-efficiency of telecommuting and the opportunity to communicate ideas effectively through face-to-face meetings. 

Author Bio:

Carmina Natividad is a passionate writer for Meet in DCU, a unique conference venue in Dublin which is perfect for corporate meetings, conferences, seminars and events. Writing articles about travel and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to playing the piano.