10 Business Reasons to Meet and Collaborate Virtually Instead of In-Person

It used to be that meeting virtually was frowned on, when meeting in-person was an option. These days, the preferred choice is often flipped.   Let’s meet and collaborate virtually, first.  Virtual collaboration is increasingly the way to make a difference.

virtual meetingAs a virtual meeting facilitator, here’s ten scenarios I’ve found well served with a virtual meeting, even when many/all of the participants are co-located in the same geographical area:

  1. Add a (remote) voice to the conversation.    Adding a distant expert, or person-in-the-know, to the conversation, can help with decision-making, right now.
  2. Power imbalance.   There is someone in the group who tends to dominate.  Everyone seems to defer to that person, when gathered in the same room.  A facilitated virtual meeting can help level the playing field.
  3. Time boxed.   You don’t have time to gather the troops, book a meeting room…  Why not crank up the web conferencing tool, collaborate and make progress, in the interim?
  4. Prepare for in-person conversation.  Touching base ahead of time, virtually, may clear space in the face-to-face meeting for more important stuff; e.g., unhurried conversations, decision-making…
  5. Follow up on in-person conversation.  Don’t let that good in-person meeting be the end of it. Follow-up with a timely virtual group debriefing.  Maintain momentum.
  6. Safety.   In conflict situations, one person or another may feel physically or psychologically intimidated, when another individual is present.  We can’t fully participate in a meeting, when safety is an issue.
  7. Cost.  For the virtual meeting participant, hotels and flights are a non-issue.
  8. Appropriate progression of communication.  As a virtual team, you’ve been communicating via email and 1-1 phone calls.  Now is the time to progress to the next communication medium – virtual meeting.
  9. Eco-friendly.    Reducing carbon emissions is a good thing.  Of course it is.  Go green.
  10. Relationship.  Virtual meetings may enable more frequent and regular group interactions, enhancing relationships within the group.  Keep the good conversation going, everywhere.

What would you add to this mix?  

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