Are in-person meetings obsolete? - MIT Endicott House

Are in-person meetings obsolete?

by MIT Endicott House

The past two (nearly three) years of working has turned many industries on their heads when it comes to allowing remote work. With the rise of remote work, we’ve naturally seen a whole new type of meeting come to the fore: virtual meetings. This ultra-convenient alternative to in-person work is often assumed to be the default now. Does this mean in-person meetings are obsolete? We have to look at both the pros and cons of virtual meetings and in-person meetings to know if we should all be buying stock in yoga pants.

safe post-covid events

What are the pros & cons of virtual meetings?

in-person meetings

Even if we are no longer in the deepest throes of a pandemic that forces many of us to work from home completely, the cat is basically out of the bag when it comes to remote work. Virtual meetings & events have opened up so many work environments to new arrangements that the vast majority of companies that went remote haven’t fully gone back in-person. With so many companies still having some sort of remote meeting setup, what are some of the benefits and downsides of virtual meetings?

Remote work has allowed the hiring pool to grow exponentially. Virtual meetings mean that two people on the opposite sides of the country can comfortably get together and brainstorm, regardless of the time difference. They’ve made many workspaces more inclusive to people who may not have the ability to travel. And speaking of travel, remote work and virtual meetings have saved a lot of time and money for those who would have otherwise had to travel to access their work. That is not only beneficial for the employee, but it is also more environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, remote work and virtual meetings cut down on important social interactions we get with our coworkers and clients that add richness to those relationships. This is often made worse by the dreaded technical difficulties, which can cause lag bad enough to make conversation exhausting if not impossible. Add these on top of in-person distractions that can easily pull individuals away from their less-appealing digital screen, and a virtual meeting isn’t looking like it will be nearly as fulfilling or productive as an in-person meeting.

What are the pros & cons of in-person meetings?

in-person meetings

The strengths of in-person meetings come with the failures of virtual meetings. In-person meetings allow for much more synergy between all those present, and conversation flows much more easily. They also allow for fewer distractions, like needy pets, loud roommates, or Netflix in the next tab over. As a result of this, they are often much more productive than virtual meetings. Face-to-face interactions tend to be more positive than virtual ones, likely because in-person meetings allow for more nonverbal communication than the glitchy digital space. On average, in-person meetings produce more ideas, those ideas are more original, and those ideas have more flexibility and adaptability than in virtual meetings.

So…does this mean in-person meetings are obsolete?

in-person meetings

The short answer: no. The value of in-person meetings has only been made more clear when compared to the alternative of virtual meetings. Despite the convenience of hopping on Zoom from wherever you are, in-person meetings build stronger and more meaningful relationships, while virtual meetings leave us with a disconnect more often than not.

If your company has gotten rid of their official offices or is looking for a meeting space, MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA offers clean and professional meeting spaces for everything from an afternoon team meeting to a weeks-long company retreat. Read more about what we have available here, or fill out a contact form to get more specific information regarding your particular event. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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