Physical vs virtual business interactions

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 by

Using technology such as Skype or Google Hangouts to host virtual events, internal conferences and meetings has obvious cost-saving benefits for businesses. After all, a lot of productivity is lost in travel times and costs.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best solution! No matter how easy and effective it is to talk digitally, there is something to be said for the power of face-to-face communication.

Virtual events can create a barrier between attendees. Sitting alone or remotely makes it harder to engage with discussions and get the best from your teams. That’s because:

1. You’re more focused when you’re with other people

Researchers have found that people try to multitask more during virtual events. That often means reaching for their phones to catch up on other tasks or making notes on other work.

By comparison, people are usually more engaged when they’re in the room. It’s the energy that comes from people coming together. And they don’t feel that they could get away with the same procrastination when they are visible and present.

2. Business is about building relationships

The business world loves to talk. Our professional culture is strongly built around networking, so one-to-one interactions are important for building trust and sharing ideas.

Relationships matter in finding new solutions and opportunities – don’t underestimate the impact on your overall goals of meeting in person. Virtual events don’t offer these important social opportunities.

3. Face-to-face meetings are better for brainstorming new ideas

Virtual event tools have no doubt been revolutionary for the working world. We can now connect teams across continents, and help people work the hours and environments that they need to be successful.

However, being tied to your familiar desk can be a disadvantage. working outside your usual working surroundings stimulates the brain and opens you up to new ideas. People are more likely to remember what they’ve heard and be more creative when they are in a foreign and unfamiliar environment

4. Sharing emotions needs in-person interaction

Meetings are about much more than just sharing information. Business interactions are also about getting a feel for the people you are working with. That’s how they react or how they use their body language.

Positivity spreads in large groups of people – known as ‘emotional contagion’. When people come together, good things happen.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you shed the virtual hangout, stand-up or meeting to host an effective and valuable real-world event.