Are face-to-face meetings set to become extinct?

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During the pandemic the work environment has changed for so many employees across the country. As employers move forwards with their new norms, a new survey has revealed that face-to-face meetings could become extinct.

As many employees are returning to their place of work or starting a more flexible approach of office attendance and working from home (WFH), it seems British employees are still revelling in the zoom boom and are not wanting to meet colleagues, or business associates face to face.

The survey, carried out by Airdri, a supplier of SteraSpace air sanitisation systems, asked workers across the UK how they felt about business meetings in the post-pandemic world.

It revealed that over a third of the working adult population were not looking forward to any face-to-face meetups (32%) with a quarter admitting that it was down to the way they looked (25%) revealing that weight gain and appearance drove the main of their worries. Also, not getting along with colleagues played a huge part in a lack-lustre attitude to office return and meetings with 40% wanting to continue WFH to avoid those they dislike.

Steve Whittall, Group Director of R&D and Operations at Airdri said: “The results of our survey show that thousands have now got used to digitally connecting with those they work with and are reluctant to revert back to the more traditional ways of business.

“With such a large proportion of the British workforce instructed to work from home, it’s given many businesses the chance to explore what digital technology can do to support the continuation of business interaction. We know that now companies are starting to, and when safe to do so, ask their employees to return to their place of work and meet up with contacts – so the need for Zoom, Skype or Teams is not needed as much.

“However, it seems many are hoping to continue using online meetings as their get-out and stopping the need for arranging meetings face to face. I am of a generation that face-to-face just feels more personable and where I’ve found the best outcomes arise, but with the many advantages of digital conferences it may be hard to turn the tide on the rise technology adoption.

“We were surprised however, that appearance was a driver for not wanting to meet, but that said, we’ve all had days where we’ve turned off the camera, or simply dressed smart from the waist up.”

Airdri surveyed 1,000 working British adults. The data has been weighted to be representative of the British adult population as a whole.

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