Here in the UK the snow continues to fall, and yet another face to face meeting is cancelled. I had a quick chat with the other person involved and we’ve now arranged to hold the meeting at the same time as originally planned, but via Skype. Simple.
So why didn’t we just do that in the first place?
As someone professionally involved in virtual communication and collaboration, I regularly look for oportunities to do things online rather than in person, and yet it surprised me how many times in the past year I’d met with people face to face when maybe it could have happened virtually.
I think we tend to assume that certain types of meeting and event should happen in person, and as a result we don’t consider all the options.
Going forward I’ve resolved that for myself, virtual options will be the first I consider. That doesn’t mean I don’t intend to do anything in person (far from it), but where the inconvenience of travel, time and location outweigh the benefits of meeting in person I think it’s right to question doing it any other way.
What I’d really like to know is what you think.
Are there any particular circumstances when we shouldn’t even consider doing things virtually? I’m thinking about this in the context of meetings, interviews, training activites, conferences and any other event where the default behaviour is to do it face to face.
Similarly I’m thinking of the whole range of virtual solutions from VoIP to Telepresence, whatever is appropriate.
So why don’t we just consider doing things virtually as the first option?