Rakhi Gera Bhandari
Do we still need in-person meetings post Covid-19?
The answer is a loud Yes!!
Last year a lot of people got attuned to the technological solutions offered by their companies with little or no trainings whatsoever. Kudos to the human grit.
This has led to a potential transformation in the way business will be conducted in the future. However, some business needs like trainings and business meetings have to ricochet back to the classic
old-fashioned ways in-person.
Here are the 6 reasons as to why.
Body Movement & Posture
The key to success in professional and personal relationships lies in the ability to communicate. However, communication is not only verbal but a very big part of our communication is nonverbal. These nonverbal cues are often expressed subconsciously and convey a perception to others about oneself.
In a home office, there could be various distractions like children, dogs, etc. that could influence an individuals verbal and nonverbal communications. Moreover, in a virtual environment vis-a-vis a formal meeting room the setting is not conducive in comprehending the body language, posture and facial expressions of people thus making it hard for teams to build trust and create healthy bonds essential for teamwork.
Gestures are mostly instinctive and are an intrinsic part of our communication style. But they also provide a lot of information about the speaker. Especially the hand movements while speaking, asserting or simply trying to animate a situation. These gestures can go unnoticed during a virtual meeting due to many limitations, perhaps leading to inadequate understanding of the speaker's message.
'Eyes are the windows to the soul' is truly an apt proverb. Good communication is not complete without proper eye contact. Eyes can convey support, scorn, appreciation and many other emotions that are usually not worded. During online meetings, this could be most challenging, as looking into the camera is not a natural phenomenon and then having to look at many people in various windows can be distracting too. That is, if the participants have their cameras on.
In communication, it is not necessarily what you say that matters as much as how you say it. Now, that makes all the difference. Slight intonations, stammers, speaking fast, the loudness of your voice they are all indicative of your inner thoughts and emotions that support your verbal communication. In virtual settings, these can be missed or misconstrued due to technical issues like wifi connectivity, background noise or poor quality of video and audio.
We as humans, naturally, have a need for our own physical space and we guard it well. However, it could be extremely intimidating if a person comes too close to you while speaking in order to convey a point thus displaying dominance. How much space a speaker occupies while talking conveys a lot about his personality and his demeanour.
These cues are important in order to understand the people you work with and how to deal with such situations. These go unnoticed in a virtual environment.
A great deal of information is conveyed through the touch. A firm handshake, a gentle pat on the back, a warm hug these define trust and builds confidence between people. Something that is just not possible during online meetings. Of course, after the covid-19 pandemic not many people will engage in this form nonverbal expression for a long time to come. Doesn't take away the fact that it is indeed an extremely important expression which we may well return to very soon.
“93/7 Rule: 93% of communication occurs through nonverbal behavior & tone; only 7% of communication takes place through the use of words.” - John R. Stoker, Author of Overcoming Fake Talk
There is no doubt that video conferences and virtual meetings will continue to be a mode of communication and business in the future like they were in the past. But the skewed ratio that developed due to the pandemic will be corrected. For effective communication and team spirit, face-to-face offline meetings are of utmost importance as no worded message is complete without the understanding of the nonverbal cues supporting them.
The irreplaceable expressions in nonverbal ways, the casual chat over coffee breaks, the light giggles over lunch. These are precious moments of work life that keep our otherwise stressed and busy days amusing.
At H2O Budapest, we offer contemporarily designed modular space to fulfil any business requirement. Our space is available for all those who work from home but would like to have a professional, hygienic environment for their teams to meet weekly or monthly.
Apart from this we also continue to offer the space for training, meeting and coaching events. For more information on customizable packages or how we can help you with your envisioned training or coaching sessions contact us via LinkedIn or Facebook or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
After all, it's Our Space, Your Business!