In our virtual world, we tend to lose sight of the power of personal interactions. Yet there is still nothing that can come close to human interactions, not in our personal lives or our business dealings. Over the last few years, since there’s been a shift to a virtual workplace, we have lost sight of the benefits that meeting with colleagues and cohorts provides. While many different platforms allow you to hold face-to-face meetings or conferences, such as Zoom and Google meets, as a collective, employees are experiencing Zoom fatigue. As impressive as technology is, nothing can replace the nuances that come along with human contact and the ideas and innovations born out of face-to-face interactions.
The benefits of face-to-face meetings are multitudinous. For starters, they boost morale and productivity, allowing the creative juices to flow freely. More importantly, they allow for creating and establishing critical relationships within organizations and for strengthening client relationships. Both of these are difficult to cultivate in a Zoom world and remote culture. The question then becomes, how do you create this ideal hybrid work model? The best way would be to use a virtual office. This gives you access to meeting rooms on demand when and where you need them for client meetings, team brainstorming sessions, and more. Let’s deep dive into why your business can benefit from face-to-face interactions through virtual office meeting rooms and how a virtual office is a sweet spot for most companies in this hybrid world of remote and in-office work environments.
Benefits of Face-to-Face Communications:
- Build Strong Customer Relationships:
There’s no denying the value that virtual meetings have brought to the workplace over the last few years. In fact, without Zoom and other such platforms, the economy would have collapsed during the Pandemic. However, there’s no arguing that a face-to-face business meeting still builds stronger connections with teams and clients. Face-to-face interactions allow for more meaningful conversations where you can better read the other person’s body language and facial expressions. It also takes us out of our blurred digital world and virtual backgrounds and places us within a physical space, forcing us to deal with emotions and engage directly with others.
- Increased Team Engagement:
When you stare at a computer screen, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of faces staring back at you. Add that to some people being camera shy and keeping their video off; just adds to the awkwardness. Many people are uncomfortable on camera, and their personality doesn’t translate well on camera either. In addition, many Zoom participants panic to unmute themselves on time, combined with connection delays that make it sound like we’re speaking on top of each other, all leading to poor team engagement. Another hardship of virtual meetings is getting everyone to participate; it’s difficult for conversations to flow and have ideas bounce fluidly from participant to participant, whereas in person, conversations are more natural.
- Decreased Virtual Fatigue:
Most of us feel it; Zoom meetings take a mental toll, more so than physical meetings. The reason? According to the BBC, video chatting requires more mental focus than a face-to-face meeting simply because our brains need to work harder to process nonverbal cues like facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. The requirement of paying more attention to these subtleties consumes a lot more energy than required for in-person meetings. This cognitive dissonance is exhausting and part of the reason conversation doesn’t always flow naturally on video.
- Better Decision-Making:
When our energy levels are up, we are mentally sharp and alert making way for better decisions. Face-to-face meetings allow others the opportunity to know, like, and trust you. This sense of trust amongst clients and colleagues, particularly when pitching new ideas or reaching business decisions, goes a long way. The deeper the connections you can build through real encounters help to create higher-quality decision-making since participation and engagement are much more thorough.
- Fewer Distractions & Increased Productivity:
When we work, regardless of where from, there are always distractions. When we work from home, there tend to be housemates, family members, or pets that may demand our attention. Allocating time for meetings in a secluded area is necessary but not always possible for the length of time needed to cover the topics required. If you want the most out of your team, it’s best to hold meetings when you can have them in the office and leave the virtual work for other times.
How to Hold Successful Face-to-Face Meetings with No Physical Office:
When the world delved into work-from-home or anywhere mode, many businesses took the cost-saving decision to eliminate the albatross of office space altogether. Understandably, as things have returned to a new standard, many businesses are returning to a new normal. Many companies, new and old, have realized that they don’t need a full-time office space anymore and can heavily cut costs with a hybrid model work environment. A virtual office is one way to achieve this and keep employees happy and productive. This allows for a more professional environment than the coffee shop down the block for meetings when necessary, so you don’t have to sacrifice professionalism and comfort to host an in-person meeting.
Many virtual office companies offer a slew of services in addition to meeting rooms across the country. At Opus Virtual Offices, we have 650 locations nationwide with state-of-the-art meeting rooms available upon request. Our monthly plan offers inbound/outbound call transfer, live call answers, digital mail sorting, and more.
There are many reasons to choose face-to-face meetings over virtual ones for your business model. Get a virtual office so your company can experience the flexibility of a hybrid work model yet still come together when necessary to boost morale. When you’re ready to make that move, think of Opus VO.
Posted on November 23, 2022 by Melanie Rauch