Maybe you’ve seen the many memes that point out that a meeting could have been a phone call. Now, people are wondering if a meeting needed to have been a video chat or whether if it again, could have been a phone call.
So far since I’ve sheltered in place, I’ve used Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout, Google Meet, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Facebook Messenger, What’sApp and Facetime to conduct meetings. Some are better for things than others, but most certainly, there have been times where the meeting could still have been an email.
People are very excited to try the new and shiny. “Zoom has fun backgrounds! I must try to use them for the next meeting I have!” No. That is not the way you should be thinking.
The most important thing to ask yourself when setting up a meeting is, what is the goal of this meeting? Is it to share important information, is it to gain consensus, is it to feel the room out, is it to gather updates? Only two of these call for a “face to face” meeting. And depending on how many people it is or how quickly everyone needs to assemble, it will inform you as to what kind of meeting platform you should use.
From my experience,
Good for one person at a time: Skype for Business, Google Hangout, Google Duo, Facetime
Good for two to three people: Microsoft Teams, What’s App, Facebook Messenger
Good for more people: Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet
Unfortunately, when you need a meeting for more people, there’s a cost if you want to have the meeting for more than forty minutes (if less, Zoom is free!).
So good luck out there in the business world! Life is going to change for everyone, everywhere, forever. More businesses will realize that their workforce can work from anywhere and so virtual meetings will stick around. Learning when to use them and when to send an email or pick up the phone will be something that we’ll continue to work on for a long time to come.