Informal Conversation Is Not Optional
The downside of the rise of virtual meetings is the further reinforcement of the impersonal nature of the workplace. Working virtually has many advantages, but it comes at the cost of informality. Much of the feedback, relational connection, and creativity inspired by in-person interaction is lost in virtual calls. This is not always obvious to team members who prize the efficiency of virtual communication.
To offset this drawback, the best leaders take full advantage of phone calls and in-person meetings to create impromptu and unstructured conversations where deeper connections can be fostered. Sharing a beverage or meal, arriving early to meetings to exchange small talk, and spontaneously checking in has never been more important than it is in a workplace replete with virtual exchange. The best leaders are committed to debriefing projects and performance more actively so as to ensure feedback is ongoing and not missed through the formality of the virtual medium.
Virtual communication offers too many advantages not to be at the center of the modern workplace; however, remembering the need for informal conversation completes the picture so that relationships prosper. By the way, how are you doing?