Virtual vs face-to-face meetings

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Virtual meetings have had a big impact in our work lives throughout the past few months. They have enabled us to stay connected and carry on with work when face-to-face meetings have simply not been possible. Now things are slowly getting back to normal, we have to question what the best method going forward is.

Virtual meetings


Virtual meetings are a great option when there is a large distance to travel between participants or when it’s hard to get both parties together frequently. You are able to collaborate easily on projects and travel time and costs are significantly reduced. Instead, time saved can be used more productively in other areas of work.

If you need to arrange a last minute meeting quickly and effectively, then a virtual meeting is the way to go. Platforms, such as Zoom and Skype, are becoming widely used, meaning that employees can work remotely and can connect effortlessly through their smart-phones. It can be argued that these applications are more effective than just a simple call. Meetings can also be recorded and if you need to recap and go over some notes you can do so easily.


Internet connectivity issues can occur at any given time, which means these platforms aren’t the most reliable methods of communication. Interruptions can happen frequently, rarely through no fault of your own.

Holding workshops and conferences that last a whole day can be difficult – activities planned would normally involve a lot of group work with your delegates moving and interacting with those present.

Sensitive meetings with employees should almost always be held face to face, this includes matters such as grievances, disciplinary and any other sensitive one to one human resources topics.

Face to face meetings


Body language sets the tone, though we may be able to see most of our zoom participant’s body, we are not seeing the full picture. You are only able to see their top half, this may not give away much as they would when you have physical presence. We express ourselves much more than our words and physical meetings are able to portray this.

Face to face meetings can be more proactive; we are able to stand whilst delivering a presentation, we are able to access meeting room facilities such as white boards, notepads, pens and any other props available to facilitate the meeting much more effectively in real time.

It makes a difference when meeting a candidate in the early, formative stages of the relationship; face to face meetings are more interactive, dynamic and powerful.


Even a couple of meetings a day could take up most of you time, once travel is factored in. When attending a meeting overseas, flights, accommodation and other transport means would need to be purchased for all delegates, which if done frequently can be costly and inefficient use of company time.

Face to face meetings are perhaps the most traditional and preferred method to host a meeting. There are times where virtual meetings are a necessity and it is vital that businesses are prepared to use these platforms. However, there are no substitutes for the connections and relationships face to face meetings can yield. Companies must be flexible, using their goals to direct their choice of communication.


Posted by: Mishelle Hernandez


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