The Covid-19 pandemic hit many people and businesses really hard. Offices, schools, stadiums, concerts, and more were shut down, and many people were left wondering how they could put food on the table. In many ways, the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on our society, but it also opened up many new possibilities. One such example of human innovation and adaptation is the sudden surge of virtual business meetings.
In this article, we’ll take a look into the rise of virtual meetings, and discuss why they may be here to stay.
A Cultural Shift in Motion
Prior to the start of the pandemic, many people had never considered the idea of remote work. For most, going into the office, working, and coming home was a part of life. Whether or not they enjoyed it or not, it was expected that work was done in the office. Bosses and employees alike were thought to be more productive and more engaged.
Many people loved the office environment, and many people did not. However, when Covid-19 began we as society quickly found ourselves out of options. Businesses wanting to survive had to make a transition to a remote environment, and employees had to learn to submit quality work from home. And believe it or not, they did.
While the transition was tough for some, the vast majority were able to adjust without any hiccups. Employees and management alike were able to stay home, reduce the virus’s spread, and their work didn’t regress. A study by Stanford actually found that in general, employees were more productive at home than at the office. The study goes on to note that this isn’t true for all people, and also notes that around half of employees went on to miss the office environment, and eventually would return in some capacity.
Regardless, the pandemic and this study proved that we could actually productively work from home. And we are quickly realizing that once the remote work option is out of the box, you can’t really get rid of it. Now that people have a taste for remote work life, it is becoming commonplace in society, even in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Virtual Business Meetings, What are They?
If you have Internet access, you likely participate in virtual meetings regularly, even if you don’t realize it. Virtual business meetings, and virtual meetings in general, are commonplace in today’s society. Even prior to the pandemic many were familiar with virtual meetings like conference calls or skype. However, during the pandemic, we saw a massive surge in these types of meetings. The rise of products like Microsoft Teams and Zoom opened the door for tons of new types of online communications. Teachers could give lessons to dozens of students at once, employees could meet with their teams from the comfort of their homes, and more.
While virtual meetings became commonplace during Covid-19, they have continued to serve a large role in its aftermath. Companies are now able to massively expand their pool of potential candidates as the option for remote work is available. This means they can hire in more locations, and reach out to a larger number of candidates. Furthermore, these virtual business meetings make international collaboration much more feasible. Employees can meet with their team at any time or place so long as they have internet access.
Potential Problems of Virtual Meetings
While there are nearly infinite upsides to virtual business meetings, there are also potential concerns. One of the biggest concerns is establishing workplace culture. For many bosses and upper management, establishing a culture within a company is a high-priority responsibility. And unfortunately, remote work makes that a bit tougher. Employees can’t get together after work for happy hour or go out to lunch together. There are no water cooler talks when everyone works remotely, so how do you get your employees to build rapport with one another?
It is questions like that which will need answering as we progress into this new era. And many are already figuring out how to accomplish these goals. Humans are resourceful and resilient after all. Despite the concerns that can arise from virtual business meetings, it feels like the benefits far outweigh them.
The ability to instantly communicate with your team, work without commuting, and the savings on overhead appear to make remote work easy reasons to keep it. Whether you love working in the office or prefer to stay at home, it seems like virtual business meetings are more than just hype.