Many organisations rely on long-distance communication for their success, with remote working and virtual teams becoming more commonplace, but meeting in person still offers massive benefits for businesses – talking over the telephone isn’t always the answer.
Physical meetings tend to be rewarded with greater progress. Although telephone calls are more convenient, in some cases they can be less effective. The major problem is that although you can hear your colleague on the end of the phone, in some cases they are “not there”, in that they may be doing something else at the same time as talking and not giving the call their full attention.
This often isn’t even deliberate. Although they’re listening to what’s being said on the call, background office noise may be distracting them. Management surveys have suggested that some conference call participants appear to be doing something else entirely during the call. In one case, someone was actually chatting to a mechanic who was repairing their car!
Some co-workers may protest that a conference call is easier due to the distance involved in travelling to a meeting at another office but distance shouldn’t deter companies from hosting meetings – and if all the staff are based at different sites, book a meeting room in a central location to make it more convenient for everyone to attend. If you’re looking for the best venues to host your meetings, contact &Meetings. Our meeting rooms in London are in great locations that offer public transport links and useful amenities.
Body language speaks volumes
Meeting face-to-face allows you to read body language, which is a good indicator of how the agenda is going down and how people really feel. Your posture, mannerisms and facial expressions are lost in a phone call. Sometimes you really need to see someone’s face to be able to gauge the real emotion behind a conversation.
Meeting in person means you have the undivided attention of all the attendees and this ensures engagement. How many times have you been on a conference call and heard one of the participants obviously having a separate conversation with someone else who has come into their office during the call?
Questions can be asked and points clarified if the meeting is in person. The telephone isn’t conducive to individuals stopping the meeting and asking for clarification on any given point but in a physical meeting, it’s simple to raise your hand and ask for further information and this helps to avoid future misunderstandings.
Everyone gets involved
When everyone is there in the room, active participation is encouraged. Conference calls can quite easily miss the mark, as it’s too easy for people to say nothing and subsequently feel disconnected.
The personal touch
The value of interpersonal skills should never be underestimated, as face-to-face meetings with clients will more likely yield pleasing outcomes. Personal relationships with clients through meeting in person are vital to build trust. Of course, it may not be possible to meet every customer face-to-face due to the geographical locations involved but where possible, establishing a personal relationship is an important part of business growth.
Although technology is here to stay and the advancement of the digital age has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate in the workplace, there will always be room for the personal touch.