Why virtual meetings might be around after lockdown ends

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and 2021, many of us were thrown into working from home and adapting to bringing our work into the environment in which we usually relax became non-negotiable.

All meetings were virtual, and those that would usually take place in meeting rooms, restaurants or elsewhere were all done from screens. As we return to ‘normal’ working practices, many businesses are making the decision to remain virtual or hybrid as the ‘new normal’. So, are virtual meetings here to stay?

Remote working

Having experienced the flexibility that working from home can provide, many businesses are shifting to provide at least some remote working offering to accommodate a more flexible, balanced work life – particularly for those who are parents, caregivers or have a lengthy commute.

The ‘best of both’ approach seems to be favourable amongst organisations in the UK, with employees able to choose to work from home one or two days a week, adopt flexible working hours and work to a schedule that suits their lifestyle and other commitments. Those who are unable to work from home or do not enjoy it are still able to go into the office, whilst those who do have the option.

A recent survey revealed that 50% of employers are looking to continue with remote working plans post-pandemic, so virtual meetings will ultimately be unavoidable.

Cost savings and environmental impact

When it comes to cost considerations, virtual meetings are a no-brainer. With no cost for room hire, travel or catering, virtual meetings significantly reduce cost making them an attractive option for both employers and employees alike.

All of this is not only more convenient for delegates, it can also help to reduce the carbon footprint of your event. No travel, no waste, no energy consumption.

Content focus

Whilst attending a live event came with a commute, it also provided lots of benefits to attendees: lunch, networking opportunities, business promotion, a day away from the office, probably a goody bag.

Those who attend a virtual event are doing so because they’re genuinely interested in the content, no frills required.

When is a face-to-face meeting required?

Often when brainstorming or working on something creative it can be beneficial to have the team together face-to-face, which is shown in the uprising trend of businesses ditching their offices altogether in favour of purpose-built meeting space on an ad-hoc basis. This allows organisations to come together when it really matters whilst saving money on the costs of an office space.

This transition in working practices also encourages employees to consider whether their meeting is absolutely necessary and may help to enforce initiative: if we’re in an open office space, we can ask anybody a question at any time. Remote working means having to directly message or call somebody, making people more likely to ask ‘do I really need to ask this, or can I work it out myself? Do I need a meeting?

Meetings at W12 Conferences

W12 Conferences is a meeting and events venue in West London with four purpose-built meeting spaces and competitive Day Delegate Rate packages from just £29. Find out more about our meeting spaces or get in touch with our experienced event management team on 02033131606 to discuss your requirements.