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Can a digital meeting be as good as a physical one?

By Sanni Juoperi on Feb 28, 2020 12:40:42 PM

With the help of new digital ways of working, there doesn’t have to be a quality difference between working together face-to-ace and digitally.

It’s not always possible to make a physical meeting or workshop happen. The reasons vary from working in different timezones, overbooked calendars, environmental reasons, and travel costs to force majeures. 

As a professional responsible for driving a project or a question in an organization, not being able to book an initial or follow-up meeting can be extremely frustrating. If your work is dependent on being done at the same time and place as others, this stops organizations from working as agile and flexibly as they could and should be.

The good news is that with new technology, many workshops and meetings can be redesigned to achieve the same, if not better results than before. It all starts with rethinking the whole concept of a meeting. What is it that we want to achieve together? The most effective solution is rarely to have 20 people sit in the same room for two hours and statically listen to presentations. Simply turning a normal meeting into a video conference rarely gives the best results either. Instead, redesigning the meeting structure to be facilitated digitally can actually improve the end result and make better use of everyone’s time.

There is always an entry threshold to starting new ways of working. But a good way to go about this is to focus on the potential and positive effects of collaborating in a digital space:

  • Working together can start asynchronously and with everyone being in their own location, there is no need to find a time that suits everyone. Video conferencing or physical meetings can be added to the process where needed.

  • In a digital space, everyone can speak up. Some people need more time and space to formulate their thoughts.

  • More people can be invited to work on important questions, when travel costs and environmental reasons are not an issue.

  • There’s no need to push a decision on an issue that would be better to sleep on. The work can continue the following day or week, without friction and having to meet again.

  • The facilitator of the meeting or workshop has time to go through everyone’s thoughts and ideas and follow up on them.
So, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the old truth, does a face-to-face meeting or workshop always bring superior effects? 


Are you interested in finding a digital tool that enables more effective meetings and workshops, without always having to meet physically? With Howspace you can do all this by facilitating a process digitally, creating dialogue and consensus, sorting and prioritizing input, and making joint decisions. All in a simple, intuitive way with the support of AI.

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