3 Reasons Why Face-to-Face Meetings Still Matter
There are good reasons why running a virtual office is trending. However, the benefits of face to face meetings are one thing remote businesses should consider carrying over from traditional business practices.
Showing up in person demonstrates your dedication to a team or project. While meeting virtually or speaking on the phone doesn't mean a lack of importance, there's something about face to face interactions that increases connection in an exponential way.
3 benefits of face to face meetings
Whether you're leading internal team meetings or planning customer or client meetings, there are many benefits face to face communication affords that virtual meetings cannot replicate.
Here are three reasons why face to face meetings still matter.
Better interpret nonverbal cues and body language
We all know there's a lot that gets lost in translation when reading an email or text. And although we can see one another through video conferencing, many of the nonverbal cues you'd pick up in person disappear over video. We tend to interpret words and actions through our own lens of experience, and yet much of the time we guess wrong.
Meeting in person allows us to observe body language and facial expressions to give us stronger cues as to how a person is actually feeling. And don't underestimate the power of making eye contact! Nonverbal cues and body language help us navigate conversations effectively and build loyalty with one another.
Technology issues are less of a barrier
One of the most frustrating parts of virtual meetings is the ever-changing technical requirements. Whether it's keeping your apps updated, ensuring your speakers work with your conferencing software or making sure your mic is unmuted before speaking (and muted when you're not!) there's a lot to think about.
Network, connection and technical issues can prevent effective communication. Of course there could also be technical issues when holding in-person meetings, but since you're together, it's easier to pivot.
If it's an important conversation, meeting face to face may be the right decision. It can eliminate stress due to technology and ensures you are heard clearly and, hopefully, understood.
Increase focus and participation
There are many benefits to virtual meetings, but holding people's focus isn't one of them. When we're not directly involved in a conversation, our thoughts naturally begin to wander. And when you're not in person, it's a lot easier to be checking your phone or multi-tasking during a meeting.
In any gathering, whether in person or virtual, there are people who tend to dominate conversations and those who hold back. As much as you try to find balance and facilitate effective communication, equal participation is a bit trickier to maintain when holding a virtual conference.
How to run an effective in person meeting as a virtual office
One of the best ways to hold face to face meetings when you are a remote company is by renting meeting spaces that offer exactly what you need. This could be a fully-equipped meeting room, conference room, coworking space or even an entire office.
While there are some businesses that are anxious to get back to full-time in-person working, many companies are finding a hybrid or completely remote approach suits their day-to-day needs better. For those times when it's important to meet face to face with customers or your team, knowing there are affordable and convenient solutions without having to invest in a permanent physical location can make all the difference. You get the benefits of building trust while still operating in a flexible way.
Like anything, there are pros and cons of face to face communication. And yet occasionally including in-person meetings will facilitate effective communication and strengthen relationships.