10 Reasons Why In-Person Meetings Still Matter
The world is embracing remote work on a large scale, which has improved employee satisfaction. When employees are happy with their working arrangements, they stay in positions longer, gain more experience, and companies save money on hiring.
Companies will continue to strengthen their remote capabilities in communication, training, and overall processes, but there’s an argument to be made for in-person interaction. If most companies go fully remote in the future, will we give up on meeting face-to-face? Will employees work virtually and never meet one another?
Although teams can successfully complete work online, there are many reasons why occasional in-person meetings make sense. We’ve outlined ten of the top reasons why in-person meetings still—and arguably always will—matter.
1. Fewer Distractions
In-person meetings inherently have fewer distractions than virtual meetings. When everyone is in their own work environment, there could be a handful of distractions ranging from animals, to kids, to outside noises, and beyond. It’s difficult to mitigate these distractions when you can’t control others from afar. There’s also no way to know how distracted someone truly is through a virtual meeting.
2. Higher Engagement
Going hand-in-hand with fewer distractions, in-person meetings likely have higher engagement than virtual meetings. When employees don’t have a screen to hide behind, employees must stay on their toes. There’s always a chance that managers will notice a lack of engagement and put an employee on the spot.
3. Attendees Feel Valued
Employees may choose not to prepare ideas for virtual meetings because they don’t see the value. Speaking in an in-person meeting can feel more valuable because other team members are more likely to digest those talking points and take them to heart. Feeling valued is important in work environments and the meeting time you schedule should feel like time well spent.
4. Breakout Groups and Activities Occur Faster
If you’ve tried putting teams in breakout rooms on a virtual call, you may notice how time-consuming this process can be. It requires the host of the meeting to make lists, click buttons, set timers, jump between rooms, send chats, and more. When in person, you can easily hold activities and put team members in to breakout groups in no time.
5. Social Interaction is Possible
While virtual meetings often divulge into irrelevant conversation, teams likely don’t feel fulfilled from this and may need more social interaction. When meeting in-person, teams can take time to chat with one another about their lives and connect on a personal level. This time spent together is an important part of daily work life and company culture.
6. Physical Cues are Easier to Interpret
Physical cues are difficult to interpret over the computer. For example, you may assume your employee is angry when speaking about the daily project they’ve completed when they’re actually upset or nervous. Body language requires an in-person evaluation, and even then, it’s sometimes difficult to interpret. When you’re looking at someone on a computer screen, the message can get lost.
7. Technology Won’t Cause Delays
Technology causes delays far too often when scheduling virtual meetings. With so many people tuning in from different locations, it’s hard to get everyone on the same page. Someone may have failing internet, forget the meeting time, have internet that freezes or won’t allow their video to work, or have some other technical issue. When the stars align and everyone makes a virtual meeting without issues, it’s a good day.
8. Strengthens Relationships
Whether you’re trying to better connect with your employees or want your employees to better connect with one another, there’s no question that being in person will strengthen relationships. While you can work hard to create relationships virtually, there’s only so much you can do to get to know someone through the internet. Meeting someone in person is the best way to make small talk, get to know their quirks, and work with them through complex tasks.
9. Off-the-Record Opportunities
When you meet virtually, everything you say or do is on-the-record. Even if you don’t record your meeting, everyone else who’s on the call hears what you say and there’s no way to know whether the computer saves your conversation. When you speak in person, you know who you’re speaking to and whether or not it’s private. If you’re in a meeting room with one other person, you can trust that they’re the only one receiving the information.
10. Hard Conversations are Easier
Hard conversations are hard no matter where they take place, but if you have to fire someone or discuss a serious matter, having that conversation in person versus on a computer becomes easier. When you speak to someone face-to-face, you can gage their body language and have a more genuine interaction. Talking to someone virtually makes it difficult to connect to them in those hard moments.
You Can Have a Remote Team and Still Meet In-Person
If you run a fully remote company and don’t have a long-term office space, you can still host occasional in-person meetings. With a coworking membership, your employees can look forward to those moments together and discuss important business matters or just use the time to connect. If you’re in the New York City area, reach out to Bevmax Office Centers for more information.