While I have come to love the efficiency of email and remote meetings (Zoom and Teams), there really are some big benefits to being in-person and to which leaders should pay attention.
Quick and efficient relationship building. You can give and get a lot of good information over something as simple as a work lunch. The chit chat about personal and business issues gives both parties a lot of good information. And it is a fast way to move up the know/trust/like curve.
Good quality brainstorming. I had a quick 30-minute meeting with a colleague last week and in that short amount of time we came up with some great ideas for business growth. We were both excited to see each other. We both love the project. And I think that enthusiasm enabled a good discussion that got to the point with some high quality actions outlined.
Ad-hoc topic exploration. While I like to have agendas for meetings, I also see a lot of value from free-flowing exchanges. Often these result in sharing of valuable insights that might not otherwise get an airing.
Telemedicine is kind of like Zoom and Teams meetings. It can be a very efficient way to access to a medical professional. You don’t have to wait in a lobby. You can be seen quickly. But there are limits. In my recent experience, the practitioner could not really address my chief complaint (a very sore throat/ears) because of the limits of the video on my phone. Once I got in the office, the doctor could do a detailed exam and made a much better treatment plan than the one I was initially given. (Which was basically just “keep an eye on it.”)
Don’t ditch the zoom meetings. (They are very efficient.) But DO invest time in being with your team and customers. Your business will be better for it.