– “We need to kick you out of this meeting room, sorry.”
– “Ok, we’re just wrapping up. Give us a couple of minutes.”

The conventional wisdom holds that face-to-face (f2f) meetings trump all other forms of business communication. When meeting colleagues or customers in the flesh, you experience what’s usually called human presence. You see faces and emotions and body language. You also have at your disposal an arsenal of different tools – whiteboards, flipcharts, post-its, notebooks – that are a vital element in the process of interacting, explaining and collaborating around ideas.

Yet, as most of us know, for all their benefits those in-person meetings are not without flaws.

First up are the inevitable issues around scheduling and finding a suitable room. Then there’s getting into the room. When the meeting finally begins, there’s the time taken for participants to get grounded. Some won’t have turned up; others will be quietly using the time to do other tasks. Finally, there’s the simple fact that bringing people together in a physical place can cost a lot of money.

So, enterprises shifted over to emailing, teleconferencing and messaging and everything turned out fine, right?

Well, not exactly. You see, those remote platforms can be a time sink too.

For every person who says emailing is quick and efficient there’s another who bemoans information overload and distraction. Emails, like IMs, are ripe for misjudging the sender’s intentions and tone, and less than ideal for building relational bonds.

But teleconferencing is great, you say. Well, yes, but it too comes with a whole host of issues we touched on last month.

Ultimately, these traditional, asynchronous remote platforms are often weak substitutes for f2f meetings for two reasons: the lack of genuine interactive human presence and the absence of tools for collaboration.

But we already said f2f isn’t always perfect, so what now?

Well, no-one’s saying f2f will go away; that’s a silly notion. But we certainly believe there’s scope for a new breed of communication in the workplace that combines the best of f2f with the best of the traditional remote platforms: virtual meetings.

Virtual meetings are meetings that take place in a shared virtual space. At Glue, all the design, technology and engineering choices we’ve made have aimed at providing the optimal VR-led virtual space – one that delivers consistently high-quality interaction, a big dose of human presence and a full suite of collaborative tools.

And we think we’ve cracked it.

In a Glue meeting, you’re immersed in a shared three-dimensional virtual environment where you’re able to meet, discuss and collaborate with remote participants as if they were next to you. That’s something that no other remote collaboration tools can match. In Glue, there are no distractions. You’re not responding to emails or loading the washing machine. You’re focused.

Glue also provides the familiarity of a real-world setting. Your sales meetings look and feel like sales meetings, complete with a sales pipeline. Your daily scrum meeting displays the scrum-board. Your weekly brainstorm has a wall covered in post-it notes.

There’s a big difference, though: in a real world meeting you’re usually limited to one screen showing the pipeline, to a single scrum-board and to limited wallspace. In a computer-generated environment, there are no such limitations. Moreover, virtually placed pipelines or boards need not obey the laws of gravity, but can simply hover in the most convenient place from the users’ perspective. Wouldn’t it be handy to have your work desk go beyond its physical limitations?

Finally, the content of virtual meetings is persistent. There’s no rush to clean the whiteboard for the next meeting. Return weeks later and everything’s as you left it.

How about organizing your next meeting virtually? We’d be delighted to talk through the possibilities. Reach out to our experts and learn how virtual meetings can serve as a powerful and effective choice for your team.