4 mn read
We are well into 2021, and if there’s one common denominator to the modus operandi of most businesses and individuals alike, it is online meetings. While we will remember 2020 as the year of pandemic throughout history, there is and will continue to be voluminous studies on the landslide shifts it brought about. Online meetings being one of them. The plethora of online meeting tools such as AIRA, that helped us transition to this new virtual mode of operating is closely linked to this shift too.
It is thus no surprise that about 200 million people were using Zoom every day at the start of 2020, which is a stratospheric rise from 10 million users in December 2019. Despite this massive adoption, online meetings continue to be looked upon as a poor cousin to their in-person version. No strong purging of bias needed here, as obviously in person interactions have been the norm for hundreds of years, both in business and personal contexts.
It is easy to lament the absence or restrictions in our in-person interactions. However, in this article, we will look at some of the benefits of online meetings. Trust me, there’s an upside to this. It is also worth online meeting tools, such as AIRA, that have made this transition a while lot easier.
Now that we’ve built a strong case for some of the benefits of online meetings, let us explore some of them below.
Helps you cut down on time wasting
With online meetings, a clearly evident benefit is the amount of time you can save by not worrying about the logistics piece. Imagine coordinating and arranging the logistics for large meetings, the meeting room, banquets, décor, audio, lighting et al. That all just sounded so fancy. Now think about an online meeting platform like Zoom, and whoosh! You saved a ton of time, and money too, which we will explain in the next point
Saves you money
This is somewhat tied to the above point. While bypassing the logistics piece around a meeting can save you time, it can also save you money…and a lot it if you were to arrange fancy meetings, and frequently too. Pretty straightforward, right? How about showing a little love to online meeting now? Told you so!
Helps you set a more focused agenda
If you’ve been hosting and attending online meetings, chances are you’ve already experienced “Zoom fatigue”. With in-person meetings, we tend to be more considerate of breaks between sessions. Virtual meetings can be quite taxing. Jumping from one invite to the other, or hosts adding us randomly to meetings and expecting us to oblige, or meetings that overrun- there’s a lot that can cause Zoom fatigue. That being said, it is now being taken into strict consideration to curate a more focused agenda, and have more efficient and shorter meetings. This trend is reflected in Microsoft’s analysis which points to a rise of the 30-minute meeting with its remote workforce
Makes it easier for you to exit
Ever felt stuck in a meeting for no rhyme or reason. That awkward feeling of being there but wanting to leave so badly. We know you’re recalling other attendees raising eyebrows, or even finding your rude act of leaving a meeting midway cringeworthy. Not anymore…well, if you were to do it in a physical meeting, this still holds. But you just can’t beat the easy escape route that online meetings offer. The exit line, although, beats all pick lines- ‘Sorry, I have another meeting to log onto!’
Allows you to cut to the chase
Not all of us are fond of small talk. As a matter of fact, we all wished we could bypass it especially during meetings. Sitting through a meeting is tedious as is, add to that being part of one that’s not focused enough and entails small talk. Online meetings can help us steer clear of it by setting up and distributing focused agendas beforehand. It also prevents them from being used as team bonding or casual catch up sessions.
Acts as a great leveller
Online meetings are great levellers given the ease with which it allows employees/ participants to connect with each other. No stern office appearances, or protocols help make them less daunting than board room meetings. Although there still is some basic decorum that we all must try to keep intact while holding virtual meetings, so that our objectives are accomplished. On that note, we encourage you to explore AI meeting assistants, such as AIRA that can truly elevate your online meeting experience
Allows more direct communication
Throughout your online meeting session, you tend to constantly look at a Zoom screen, or other such meeting screens. With multiple attendees, unless you mention the name of the person you are addressing or engaging with, it can get confusing. You might then have to repeat, with more direct addressal, and engage as such. In physical meetings, you can simply turn to the individual or make eye contact with them to let them know you’re interacting with them for that portion of the discussion. Following this protocol ensures a more democratic participation and everyone feels heard or spoken to
Allows effective illustrations
With the plethora of online meeting platforms available, the features we can access are truly wonderful. Whiteboard features allow participants to illustrate and communicate their points effectively with the rest of the team. Similarly, features such as text chatting during live meetings, surveys, polls etc. enable more real time collaboration among the participants
Protects our environment
Virtual meetings employ green technology, thus helping organizations reduce their carbon footprints. Highly environment friendly, online meetings reduce travel, paper printing, and the whole paraphernalia that physical meetings entail.
Helps circumvent office politics
Many a times water cooler conversations can make their way into physical meetings while participants wait for the entire team to gather. Even stealthy remarks can often dilute the professional conduct of the team. Online meetings just don’t give you that chance. Participants are always careful that they are on mute when it’s not their turn to speak. Slipping in any unrelated comments in bad taste of other co-workers is simply not an option. In person or online, meetings should steer clear of office politics to ensure a healthy supportive work environment
In conclusion, online meetings are here to stay, and for good. With some of the benefits that we explored in this article; we can look at the upside of this protocol of engaging with others. Additionally, with a plethora of online meeting tools, such as AIRA, you can further optimize your meetings by allowing it to record, transcribe and analyse your meetings