We all are tired of the Zoom calls. It’s been 7 months, and it sure would be nice to actually attend a meeting and grab a burnt cup of coffee from the ubiquitous Box ‘O Joe. Or jump on a plane and attend a conference and meet and connect with people again. Unfortunately it is going to be a while, so let’s keep on doing the work to get past this disaster of a year. Mask up and stay apart!

Yet as I attend the endless Zoom meetings, I am struck by how we’ve crossed over the rubicon here. I’m sure many of you have had the realization while attending an online meeting or conference how much better and efficient an online meeting usually is.

I attended an online conference last week, one which I never would have spent the time or money to fly to Florida to participate. I heard some great talks, learned a few new things, and I didn’t have to waste my time travelling. How many more meetings/conferences can we attend now that the barrier of travel has been shunted aside?

I have the same thoughts about manager meetings in our Group. They are infinitely more productive, especially since people don’t have to spend precious hours travelling back-and-forth to gather in one location. Yes we still are getting the hang of not talking over one another – as we shake our heads at the inevitable attendee who can’t figure out muting – but the rise in productivity more than offsets the learning curve.

We eventually will get back to some form of in-person meetings, especially because actually seeing people helps you connect and network. But it is going to take a while, and I have a feeling that every meeting going forward will have the ability to zoom in. Just as with many areas of life these days, Covid has likely changed the future of work meetings permanently.