What are the advantages of virtual meetings? Our Experts Guide You Through the Perks
Over recent months, the globe received a firm push into the world of virtual working, due to the 2020, COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that companies everywhere, no matter what industry or circumstances had to look at alternatives to their usual co-located ways of working. This included a huge shift to virtual meetings.
Of course, the pandemic didn’t create virtual meetings, but it raised their popularity drastically. And not just in relation to work. What was once seen as a poor cousin to meeting physically in the same space, was successfully replaced by waving at one another through a camera.
But what about in the longer term? Now things are starting to edge back into some semblance of normality in organisations, will the virtual meetings diminish in number over time?
We hope not.
For us at VTT, we have always seen the benefit of a virtual meeting. They offer a host of advantages that sticking to physical get-togethers simply cannot offer. Read how to make your virtual meetings fly.
Reap the benefits of virtual meetings whilst avoiding the pitfalls. Check out our Facilitating virtual and hybrid meetings workshop.
10 key advantages virtual meetings can offer your business
1. More Cost-effective
When you start to look up the cost of travel, venues and time, meeting physically in a mutual location starts to add up. With virtual meetings, all of that is removed. There is no commute, no planning, no lost hours of work, it is easy to add in other colleagues at a moment’s notice and once the meeting is over, you and your team can effortlessly return to your daily duties. And you never have to book a room in competition with everyone else in the company!
2. Worldly Connection
The thing about virtual meetings is that attendees can come from anywhere. Provided they can make the scheduled time, with distance being no obstacle, it can allow participants to join from all over the world. What else can foster such an intense feeling of inclusivity within an organization?
3. Broader Information Sharing
Following on from the above, having such a varied list of attendees also allows for a diverse range of opinions and sharing of information. Being easily able to open the meeting to the wider audience means you can invite opinions from across your business, providing insight and expertise that you may not have had access to in a traditional meeting.
4. Increased Inclusivity
Jumping onto a virtual meeting is so quick and effective and means you are able to up inclusivity levels drastically. By taking your meetings virtually, you have created a platform where all employees have an increased opportunity to attend and be involved in discussions or updates. We are all aware of the upside of inclusivity and virtual meetings facilitate this brilliantly.
5. Increased Productivity
Being able to schedule shorter, more effective virtual meetings increases the productivity of time used. Pre Covid, meetings held at the central office could run forever, trying to cover a plethora of subject matter and information, most of which were not applicable to every attendee. Having your meetings virtual removes this need, allowing for shorter, more concise, and efficient meetings as and when they are needed. Decision making is speeded up and time used better.
6. Face-to-face Feeling
While you may be separated by a screen, use of webcams and video visuals can add a crucial ‘in-person’ feel to your virtual meetings. By having everyone put on their camera, it allows a more personal connection for attendees and the ability to pick up on facial expressions, just as you would in a co-located meeting.
7. The Platform Functionality
Rather than gathering around a flipchart, holding your meeting virtually brings the additional benefit of being able to make use of the platform’s full functionality; whiteboards, polls, chat functions and more. This is particularly useful when collaboration is required or where complex situations are encountered.
Remember, removing all that travel, untouched food and wasted print outs, can only be a huge advantage to our environment. By hosting your meetings virtually, your organization will save a tonne of carbon, usually accumulated through travel, and so holding your meetings virtually means you doing your bit for the environment.
No more need for minute notes! Now, if you would like a record of the meeting, or if a colleague is unable to attend, you can record the whole meeting with ease, for their reference later. A simple press of a button and the entire meeting can be documented for your own or other colleagues use and reference.
10. Ease of Sharing
Sharing files and slides is easy in a virtual meeting. Most platforms come with a ‘share screen’ or ‘share files’ option which makes it easy and effective to share visuals and documentation with the attendees. No need for exchanging logins or the swapping of flash drives, simply pass the baton and flawlessly continue your agenda. Remember in-person meetings where each presenter would have to plug their laptop in - those days are behind us!
So, there you have it.
There are 10 advantages to holding virtual meetings. While the world may be edging back into a co-located semi normality, we are sure you can agree that switching to having more virtual meetings long term, just makes good business sense.