Face-to-face meetings may be a thing of the past as video communication rises

The outcome of new research done by cloud telecoms services provider RingCentral suggests that face-to-face meetings could be a thing of the past on account of new technology.

The survey carried out by the firm showed that a majority of the employees questioned tended to prefer video and audio conferences over face-to-face meetings.

Over 60 per cent of entrepreneurs included in the research remarked on wasted time spent on unnecessary travelling as one of the main disadvantages to in-person meetings. Half of those surveyed also identified cost as a key issue.

The introduction of flexible working hours and multi-location bases are thought to be predominant contributors to this trend for audio and video interaction. Applications such as Skype and Google Hangout have made remote communication far more accessible and simple for businesses.

However, there is a percentage (46 per cent) of professionals who still prefer more transitional means of interaction by insisting meetings are done face-to-face.

Author Annie Paul writes:

“Physical gestures, for example, constitute a kind of back-channel way of expressing and even working out our thoughts.” We lose much of that during a video call.

Lars Rønning of RingCentral is amongst those that agree face-to-face meetings are far more efficient that video communication, He said:

 “It’s more productive for contract meetings – for example, it’s preferable when you’re negotiating with someone to be there in person.”

The generation gap is influencing a discrepancy as typically, 27 per cent of 18-35 year olds were found to use digital conferencing once a week  in comparison to the 13 per cent of over 45s who did.


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