While much of the world has fully embraced the remote work environment, many have been craving that face-to-face meeting option we used to have.
A large part of employee satisfaction is creating a business relationship and collaborative environment with fellow employees, much of which is cultivated in fact to face meetings. While both virtual and in-person meetings have their individual benefits, meeting in person allows for a host of different perks for both employees and management. But what are these face-to-face communication advantages? From reducing technical delays to creating higher engagement, we are sharing all the reasons in-person meetings are here to stay after years of remote work.
For those considering returning to meeting in person, here are the 14 benefits of this face-to-face interaction.
1. Fewer Distractions
One of the first benefits of in-person meeting options is that they reduce distractions. With virtual meetings, each employee is calling in from a different environment with a host of distractions. From doorbells and barking dogs to laundry going and WiFi issues, our virtual meeting environments have a range of things that can cause a wandering eye or lack of focus. This is something face-to-face meetings easily address, creating a controlled environment where colleagues physically meet, face to face, to discuss work, leaving distractions at the door.
2. Higher Engagement
Another of the benefits of in-person meetings is increased engagement. Working hand in hand with reducing distractions, in-person meetings result in higher engagement than virtual meetings. Without a screen in the way, employees have to stay focused and aware, with managers quickly being able to tell if they are not engaged.
3. No Technical Delays
In today's work-from-home environment, meeting software and WiFi issues can lead to a number of technical delays that hinder the success and timeliness of virtual meetings. However, by meeting face to face, staff can continue to work even if WiFi drops, continuing an in-person meeting despite what's going on beyond those four walls. This is great for keeping employees on track and minimizing wasted time during the workday due to technical difficulties.
4. Off-the-Record Possibilities
Another of the perks of face to face person meetings when it comes to online vs in-person meetings is the option to say something off the record. When meeting virtually, there's always an opportunity for a meeting to be recorded or saved. This can make some virtual team meetings uncomfortable when someone has something they would like to speak about off the record, whether it's a private matter or an HR concern. However, when you speak in face-to-face meetings, you can ensure the conversation is confidential and private in a meeting room you know is just the two of you or a secure group.
5. Ability to Focus
With team meetings over Zoom or Slack, you never know what else people are working on. From rapidly completing other tasks to scrolling their phone, digital meetings don't guarantee a high degree of focus, even when cameras are on.
While multi-tasking in our virtual meetings feels efficient, it can hamper our effectiveness. For this reason, a face-to-face meeting can solve these focus issues, ensuring everyone is focused, off their phones, and not working on other work during a meeting. This way, everyone is engaged and alert, giving their full attention to the task at hand to ultimately come to a quicker resolution.
6. Boosted Creativity
The advantages of face-to-face meetings also include a boost to creativity. Staring at a screen on your own all day can be tiresome, even if you have a Zoom call to drum up a few ideas. However, meeting face-to-face in a meeting room can bring out a whole different creativity, allowing everyone to work face-to-face to create new energy and thus, new ideas. These in-person meetings can actually boost business success, allowing people to work together to brainstorm and discuss in person, sharing new ideas more comfortably with a more focused direction.
7. Ability to Combine Both Virtual and In-Person Meetings
Another of the advantages of in-person meetings is that you can utilize both face meetings and virtual meetings to accommodate different employees and situations.
Combining both face-to-face and virtual meetings is especially beneficial to national or global companies. For companies in this situation, having full company face-to-face meetings may be impractical, but leveraging technology to allow those far away to call into meetings is a great solution, combining the energy of face-to-face meetings with virtual solutions.
To hose these combined meeting alternatives, a large conference room will be perfect for allowing everyone in the region to gather, while putting the rest of the team up on the screen virtually.
8. Authentic Human Connection
Face-to-face meetings, above all else, foster a degree of real, authentic human connection that virtual meetings just can't compete with.
While remote work has been convenient for many, it does hamper the ability to read body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues that are essential to creating the strongest business relations. With video alternatives, you may not as quickly be able to detect when someone is having a bad day or taking offense to something said. For this reason, a face-to-face meeting is typically superior, with employees reading one another body language and interacting more smoothly to cultivate a business relationship that's strong and successful.
9. Stronger Relationships
Throughout all of our explanations of the benefits of in-person meetings, creating a good business relationship is at the root of each.
Ultimately, a face-to-face meeting can create a much stronger relationship without people than virtual options. In fact, a survey by Forbes found that 84% of executives prefer in-person meetings for this very reason.
These face-to-face meetings can allow for more genuine connections, coming from informal small talk and body language, that can't translate over video. In-person connections have long been important to humans, and it's no different in the workplace.
10. Clear Communication
Another reason in-person meetings strengthen relationships is that they allow for more clear communication.
With in-person meetings, we can interpret an employee's tone, body language, and other nonverbal cues in ways that phone calls and video calls can't.
Think about it - how many times have potentially awkward requests or small talk moments led to a long awkward silence when on a video call? Probably quite often. Simply put, our virtual communication isn't as natural as our face-to-face interactions, which inhibits the natural flow of a conversation for more awkward, disconnected moments.
11. Increased Trust
Face-to-face meetings are often seen as more trustworthy than email. While emails can be misinterpreted and viewed in different tones, as well as sometimes mistaken as spam, an in-person conversation can minimize these untrustworthy communication interpretations.
When it comes to pitching new ideas, sharing creative thinking, and proposing a bold business move, in-person conversations are the best way to convey this information. They not only ensure your intention is clear but increase your chance of success.
12. More Attention
From the moment attendees arrive at an in-person meeting, you can guarantee heightened attention compared to when they are attending virtually. In these in-person environments, the face-to-face interaction not only helps encourage participation but no longer allows those that tend to quietly communicate to fall off as they do in a formal videoconferencing situation. In a meeting in person, the host or leader can help better engage the whole staff, while navigating body language and reactions to create a positive, comfortable environment.
13. Body Language
It's all about body language! From eye contact during a causal chat to physical movements and reactions, these are all good communication signals that cannot be gathered virtually.
Body language plays a huge role in communication, helping to collaborate effectively and build new and existing social bonds. Movements in the face, hand gestures, and posture all signal different feelings, and while we can read some of a person's face virtually, this is all much clearer when meeting colleagues in person.
14. Fewer Interruptions
With fewer outside distractions and internet issues common to the virtual meetings we take at home, meeting in person allows for uninterrupted, effective communication moments for teams, as well as new client meetings.
This face-to-face meeting form also allows for less talking over one another, allowing participants to better read a discussion and jump in through this more fluid, in-person conversation. This way, conversations don't stop and start for a more productive meeting.
Whether you're tired of the at-home work environment or struggling to connect with your team, face-to-face meetings have a whole host of benefits to revitalize your communication and create a more effective work day. From limiting distractions to reading body language, face-to-face communication is what all humans rely on, both in their personal and business environments.
Whether you need a conference room to hose a one-off meeting, or you're looking for your forever office, 620 N LaSalle has a number of different offices and meeting rooms for your team meetings. To explore our space, contact us today to learn more.
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