Zoom has become an absolute lifeline for many businesses. How would we have gotten anything done at all without the ability to do office jobs from home?

But we’re finding out something very important about what it means to work with others via video-conferencing: It’s not just about performing work tasks.

Yes, it’s very easy now to pull together a meeting. We discuss. We make decisions. We follow an agenda. But … it’s not enough!

Executives have known this forever. They may have the ability to connect instantly with anyone around the world by just picking up the phone, yet they still spend massive time jetting around to meet people in person.

It’s not really that they enjoy being away from their family. There’s only so much thrill you get out of hanging out in airports and eating airplane snacks. It takes a very real toll.

The real reason that in-person contact is so valuable is that you get so much more done:

  • You can shake someone’s hand
  • You can have a confidential conversation outside the meeting room
  • You can have a meal together
  • You get a much deeper sense of how much you can trust the other person
  • You see what a person’s entire demeanor is, not just their facial expressions

Basically, you’re forming human bonds. Not just having a meeting.

Are there ways of addressing these kinds of needs when we’re unable to travel? I’ve seen some very creative approaches over the last year, and some work surprisingly well.

But it’s not the same as actual human contact.