When Should Face-to-Face Meetings be Used Instead of Virtual?

Should Face-to-Face Meetings be Used Instead of Virtual

The world has become accustomed to dealing with business matters virtually over the last 2 or so years. The pandemic brought physical business travel and non-essential office working to a complete standstill. This paved the way for a boom in digital communication platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Now things have been getting back to some form of normal for a while. Therefore, the option of face-to-face meetings is once again a reality across the globe. However, some businesses may prefer to not return to proceedings pre-pandemic. Instead, they continue with this new approach. In this article, we’ll explore where and when businesses should opt for face-to-face meetings and why.

Disciplinary Proceedings

When it comes to internal disciplinary issues, meetings with employees should be in person. This is important to ensure that you and the employee take the issue seriously. It also ensures that full attention is on the employee in question. Furthermore, virtual meetings can often lead to unclear or misinterpreting communication. This is obviously the last thing you want when trying to resolve an issue.

Establishing New Relationships

If you’re trying to establish new relationships, whether it be with a new client, partner, or supplier - face-to-face meetings are key. They are a good way to ensure that the relationship starts on good terms. In-person meetings can also help to build trust between the two parties. Thus, leading to a more productive and resilient relationship down the line.

Expanding to New Regions

Expansion into new regions is a challenging process. It is also one that requires much planning and communication. Local knowledge and experience are a critical part of understanding the market you are entering. Thus it can help to travel to that region and meet face-to-face with local experts. You can also get a better sense of the environment and culture if you spend time in the region yourself. For example, if you’re looking to do business in the USA, consider staying in serviced apartments in New York to boost your knowledge.

Conflict Management

Conflict management relies on clear and effective communication to resolve situations. Conflicts can occur between anyone in a business environment, both internal and external. But, issues should be dealt with in person wherever possible. As before, miscommunication over a virtual platform is a risk you may not want to take – particularly with very important clients or stakeholders.

Team Building

Over the last 2 years, team building has largely been online with social events and work parties being put on hold. But you can not overstate the benefits of physical interaction and socializing with co-workers. Chatting in person helps to build trust and stronger professional relationships because people get to see a different side of their colleagues.

These events or processes are some areas where you should consider returning to face-to-face meetings. Communication can be misinterpreted over a screen. Therefore, when business or relationships really matter – always best to do it in person.

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