Virtual vs Office Meetings… The Debate with Saracen

  • 3 Sep 2020

Virtual meetings can connect everyone from all over the world. But does this always work? Saracen has conducted a survey with clients it has worked with over the years and the answer may not be quite what you think…

In the simple survey, conducted on social media, around 37% of people would be happy to continue with virtual meetings. with the remainder preferring meetings in the office or a mixture of both. A number of factors influenced their decision, however the main feedback we received was…

· Industry – many industries find it difficult to hold virtual meetings, construction for example where large drawings or programmes need discussing. This can prove to be quite difficult to achieve online

· Size of meeting – larger meetings people find that it becomes difficult to hold a conversation without interrupting especially when considering freezing computers and varying internet speeds.

· Surroundings – many of us have created home office, however with many of us working from home we become entangled with other family members of the household which often becomes a struggle to find some quiet space

· Client relationships – Once again depending on industry but in general it is far more personal to visit a client face to face to develop the relationship. Virtual meetings can be very convenient to fill in gaps and keep in touch but face to face meetings are very important.

· Cyber Security – various industries have to adhere to extremely strict rules which are often difficult to implement on all sorts of home networks.


As we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a huge shift in how office spaces are used and how we work – however, it does seem that people do like to meet up face to face to discuss there business.

This can, in many circumstances, be far more productive but also far more personal. Departments enjoy collaborating, discussing and having a laugh with their colleagues, which can often help the work/home balance.

There will be far more flexibility in working from home and the office and office designs may change drastically.

The office could become more of a collaborative space for meetings whether it be internal or client facing, projects, socials and general team building.

Saracen are working with a number of large business to adapt their office designs to suite this more flexible way of working. It is engaging with staff to analyse the best use of the office space and flexible working.

There was a time when we did not have email, laptops, mobile devices – offices were the only space where business could be conducted. Despite living in a virtual world, Saracen has concluded that many of us still prefer the ‘old fashioned’ office environment at times!

CEO – of the IWG – Co working space providers – Mark Dixon shares the same comments in various interviews on CNN last week. The giant has reported a massive drop in demand for the past 6 months however believes that businesses are slowly putting new flexible working procedure into place. Offices and the design of the spaces are becoming social hubs and far more collaborative. Read more

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