The Importance of Face-to-Face Communication
It comes as no surprise that the pandemic had a significantly abrupt and influential impact on the nature of the workplace, whether it be meetings, interviews or just general day-to-day interactions between colleagues.
With over 55% of remote workers feeling that most meetings "could have been an email" and 42% of Zoom users confessing to attending a virtual meeting while in bed , it prompts the question: How has the trend of virtual interactions impacted productivity?
If you're feeling stuck in the remote work routine, consider the advantages of in-person meetings. Hearing these benefits might just encourage you to transform your weekly schedule and book in those face-to-face meetings!
Face-to-face meetings often lead to stronger, more meaningful relationships. They enable you to read body language, make proper eye contact, and pick up on subtle social cues that can be difficult to perceive through virtual channels, and can greatly affect trust and rapport. Furthermore, putting in the effort to come and meet someone in-person helps emphasise your commitment to building a strong relationship with them and/or their business.
Improved communication is a given, where in-person meetings allow for more fluid and nuanced conversations. Eliminating the possibility of technical difficulties that are often present within virtual meetings can also boost efficiency - no one likes Wi-Fi issues, microphone or camera faults which waste a lot of precious time!
Meeting with others in-person mean there will naturally be more opportunities to network! You’re more likely to have the chance to connect with individuals from diverse industries, professions and backgrounds, which can enhance your knowledge and open up new career opportunities.
Being able to attend interviews in person can be extremely beneficial for both the hiring manager and the candidate. As a candidate, you’re able to express your professionalism, and speaking/presentation skills in ways that you cannot through virtual interviews. This also provides hiring managers with a better sense of how you may perform in realistic situations, as well as how you would interact with colleagues or fit within the company culture. So, whenever it’s feasible, do your best to attend your interview in person!
Whether it be with a co-worker or a client, try and organise meetings over a coffee or a meal. Not all work relationships should be strictly ‘transactional’. Instead, focus on building trust and comfortability by getting out of the office into a more natural setting. Being more comfortable will also allow both parties to maximise the productivity and engagement of the meeting.
While the pandemic presented a new normal of hybrid working, it also brought to light the undeniable effectiveness of in-person interactions when it comes to overall productivity and relationship-building. So, the next time you want to arrange a meeting make sure to suggest meeting over some food or drinks, rather than hopping on another boring Zoom call!
 Zippia. "28+ Incredible Meeting Statistics : Virtual, Zoom, In-Person Meetings And Productivity" Zippia.com. Jul. 6, 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/meeting-statistics/
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