Don’t get too accustomed to virtual meetings. While helpful when physical meetings are not possible, they are a poor substitute.
People rely on body language to understand others. Virtual meetings hide visible cues making for poorer communication and decision making.
Zoom meetings can be efficient and pleasant. No travel or expense is required to attend. We get to see one another’s’ families and pets. Everyone wins. Its’ ease makes us forget the benefits of meeting with people in the flesh rather than on a screen.
Meeting in person is better. We rely on eye contact when discussing, debating, collaborating and arguing. Body language is important. It tells us when someone wants to speak or is disinterested. Results are immediate. No need to click on the raise-hand symbol to bring up a point or ask a question at a later time. Even when masked, in-person exchanges are superior.
Properly masked and distanced, board meetings and other small gathering can continue safely. Meetings are more productive and better decisions are made. The social interaction benefits everyone.
In-person meetings remained popular in spite of the telephone which could have replaced them. People find it more productive and enjoyable to meet in person in a meeting room, socially at a restaurant or by the water cooler. Zoom is a useful technology more interactive than e-mail or text. It doesn’t come close to in-person meetings.
Elimination of in-person meetings is undesirable. We would lose out on the best ideas and solutions, and the social aspect. If it were otherwise universities would eliminate lectures and schooling would be electronic rather than in buildings intended for this purpose. Interactions via a screen are too one dimensional and not nearly as effective.
Zoom is a useful technology more interactive than e-mail or text. It doesn’t come close to in-person meetings.
For a short period, and limited uses, remote meetings serve a purpose. Condo boards and committees should be eliminating remote meetings as quickly as possible and getting back to in person meetings for their sake and that of their communities.