It’s 5pm on a Friday afternoon and my 4th flight in the last 3 days. As I sit here in 7C, I enjoy a quiet moment to reflect on the last few days of client visits and question whether my in-person meetings were so much more valuable to justify 2 nights away from my kids.
As much as I love my clients, I couldn’t move past knowing that similar results could have been achieved via Zoom or phone call. That all the organisation, the favours from Grandma and days off my husband had to arrange to facilitate the travel were in vain.
On my flight between capital cities, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of passengers were business people. Boarding the plane in their tailored suits with their jackets neatly hung by the hostess. I could only assume they have just come from a day at the office, who then, would catch a quick nights sleep at the most convenient hotel, spend the whole day in meetings only to eventually get home to their families exhausted both mentally and physically – where their family don’t get the best of them.
Sure, there are some instances where in-person meetings are absolutely necessary, but we now live in a world where we can contact just about anyone, anywhere that has an internet connection. Where documents can be signed and returned instantly, where we can have a video chat and read body language at the click of a button and talk for hours on end (or until the battery dies).
Attendees no longer need to worry about travel time, transport or parking and they can do it all from the comfort of their own dining table.
Are in-person meetings really that valuable anymore? Possibly the better question to ask is if you do prefer in-person meetings, does the benefit really outweigh the time cost?
For me, nothing replaces time and the more of it I spend with the people I love, the better. In- person meetings are out.