Online meetings played an important role in everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic, but a return to normalcy will include a mix of meeting virtually and together in person. The convenience of meeting virtually came at a cost, with attendees losing some of the chance to build bonds, the engagement that comes from eye contact, and interruption-free meetings. Now that we have protocols to meet in person safely, there are various benefits to meeting in the same physical space.
As we have come to understand that non-verbal communication can be just as important if not more important than the actual words we say, Psychology Today clarifies the point: if there is any inconsistency between an attitude communicated verbally versus an attitude communicated via body language, listen to the body language. Even with the largest screen size on the market for your online meetings, it would still be impossible to replicate the non-verbal cues one can read when meeting and working in person with others.
Let’s face it: you won’t get the chance to run into your colleague in the community kitchen or in the hallway, or outside the front door if you only meet them through a screen in your living room. Sometimes, the best conversations occur in the most unexpected spots during downtime in the office, be they conversations about work or about life. This is how we make friends at work and how we brainstorm ideas without the pressure of a deliverable.
Forbes surveyed more than 750 business executives about their meeting and travel preferences, and 84% preferred in-person, face-to-face meetings over technology-enabled meetings. The executives attributed building stronger, more meaningful business relationships as the number one reason for in-person meetings and conferences.
Despite attempts to keep people engaged during a virtual meeting, it’s too easy for a meeting to slide into the control of extroverts who have no problem dominating the course of the agenda. Although the host may attempt to mitigate the pitfalls of a virtual meeting by calling on each participant to speak, it is still strange and challenging to make conversation and to continually remind everyone to mute or unmute their mic.
Meeting in person can keep your team feeling unified and motivated. Enabling your team to effectively collaborate face-to-face eliminates the risks of attendees multitasking or being distracted by surroundings. Everyone can focus on the task at hand while participating equally.
No matter how fast your Internet speed is and no matter how many times your colleagues remind their families that they’re on a work call, virtual meetings are ripe for disruption. Tech solutions like the raised hand and the chat seem to only add to the confusion and distraction. Hosts not only need to move the meeting along, but they also need to monitor these technical extras to ensure everyone is included, only to miss the discussion at hand.
Meeting in person allows your meetings to run fluidly, free of technical and personal interruptions. With body language serving as a social cue indicating the point when someone will begin speaking and when they have finished speaking, there are fewer chances that participants will accidentally talk over one another.
Returning to In-Person Meetings
By implementing COVID protocols, we can return to in-person meetings. Those additional efforts will be worth the benefits of meeting in person after more than a year of screen time in lieu of human contact. Leverage body language and social cues to make the most of meeting colleagues and clients in person. And when it’s not possible to meet in person, there’s still the convenient virtual meeting backup plan.
Sunrise Solars Coworking Offers Safe Meeting Spaces
Sunrise Solars Coworking offers a great place to work and meet safely face-to-face with your team. Serving the New York Capital Region, Sunrise Solars offers coworking or private office memberships with bookable conference room time included. Enjoy safe meetings in a conference room or the privacy of your own office with the peace of mind that our high-quality air filtration system brings to you and your colleagues.
Whether you need a private office, coworking all-access pass, or a ten-day pass, Sunrise Solars features several options, including renting a conference room by the hour for non-members.
- Bookable meeting rooms with conference tech
- Centrally located in Latham
- New passive solar building
- Ultra-fast, secure Internet
- Free coffee
- Free printing credits
- Kitchen and break room
- Free Parking
- Walking Trail
- Fitness room access
- High-quality air filtration
- Oversized windows