Although the virtual professional world may seem vast and unfamiliar to some, the pandemic has led us to resort to our technological possessions to conduct meetings on an online platform. The obvious disadvantages of conducting meetings via such a medium are prominent and lie along the lines of the inability to read body language, video call fatigue, reduced participation of introverted team members, technical glitches, etc. However, the existence of the advantages of conducting online meetings is not insignificant either. Though a physical environment is not shared, efficiency in collaboration, polling, provision of opportunities, etc. can contribute to more fulfilling work experience on a virtual platform over an in-person one in the following ways–
1. Anonymous Polling – In a traditional meeting room, stating one’s stance on a particular matter of contention can prove to be a difficult task and as a result, a decision in opposition to the views of the members of the team may ultimately be made. On the other hand, in a virtual meeting, the provision of stating one’s views anonymously is available. This tool not only provides a safe space for the employees to take a stand but also ensures the undertaking of an informed decision by management.
2. Accessibility – The only requirements to hold virtual meetings include access to a laptop and an internet connection. The location of the building, commute time, and other related inconveniences are negated when conducting online meetings. Additionally, if the physical workspace is insufficient in its seating capacity, virtual meetings are a great alternative.
3. Enhanced collaboration – Accepted that virtual communication is not as natural or fluid as real-life communication, the virtual dimension of collaboration can prove to be an efficient one if an individual’s mic is allowed to be unmuted at a particular point in time. This can pave way for a more democratic, balanced, and collaborative environment. The availability of tools such as whiteboards, break rooms, polls, etc. can enhance collaboration too.
4. Brainstorming Sessions – Virtual breakout rooms are a very useful tool in landing on creative solutions. Each group can be tasked with a particular agenda or a topic to brainstorm about and after an hour or so, a master list can be arrived upon as a result of consolidating the most prominent ideas from each room. If this process were to be conducted in-person, it would be considerably more time and effort consuming than its virtual counterpart.
5. No Small Talk – Niceties and small talk are majorly avoided in online meetings as opposed to in-person meetings. Therefore, the members stick to the agenda at hand and are much more likely to complete it in an efficient manner.