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We understand that we live in a time when the workplace is quickly filling up with millennials in all positions – employees, managers and CEOs – which means that communication is more accessible and vital than ever before. Since the millennial generation has grown up in the age of technology, they expect to always be connected whether they are in the office or not. This attitude flows into conferences and meetings.

There’s Still a Place for In-Person Meetings

Conferences and meetings are evolving, but they will never be obsolete. Today we have the option to use Skype or Google Hangouts for meetings, while 10 years ago the only option for your marketing meeting was to be in the same room.

Most companies take full advantage of the 24/7 connectivity and allow teams and individuals to work remotely, knowing they are able to collaborate and communicate online through email or chat as easily as sitting down one-on-one.

Even with these wonderful advances in technology, one thing that cannot be replaced is expression. The ability to see a colleague face to face, and react to their body language, changes the whole experience of explaining a project or working through an issue.

Have you ever tried to type a description out and then realize this would be much easier in person? An even more terrifying situation is when a friendly bit of sarcasm is ill-taken on the receiving end of a conversation, which in turns dilutes trust and slows down forward movement. In both of these situations, it can be better to take the meeting offline.

These breakdowns in communication can be more easily avoided during face-to-face meetings because you can use hand movements, body language and vocal expression to get your point across.

Most companies realize this and know that face-to-face meetings are still very necessary for overall productivity. In today’s technology-connected workplace, in-person meetings may be less common, but they will always exist because there are some things you can’t express with emojis.

9 Signs Your Online Meetings Need to Be Offline

  1. The project is moving too quickly and a road map with all members needs to be laid out
  2. When an employee doesn’t feel represented fairly
  3. Reviews and interviews to test culture fit
  4. If your team cannot clearly communicate via technology, and bad communication is becoming a hindrance to the company
  5. If a team is not fully focussed on the objective of the meeting
  6. Online meetings tend to meander
  7. Bad internet or network connections
  8. Employees are not accountable for tasks coming out of meetings
  9. Professionalism – sometimes chats can fall apart

Want to learn more about the value of face-to-face meetings? Download our whitepaper: Why Face-to-Face Meetings Lead to Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Acing Workplace Collaboration.