With technology’s rise, will face-to-face meetings become a relic of the past? (Part 1)

There has been significant discussion in past weeks regarding flexible working, specifically focusing on which environment is perceived by management and employees as the most productive. The truth is that the current debate is largely off track. Work is no longer a place you go, but a thing you do.

One of the most popular collaboration technologies available in the workplace is online video-conferencing. While holding meetings online – via a tool such as GoToMeeting – is not going to replace the need for direct interaction altogether, it does open many more doors for facilitating business conversation when other channels are either not possible or not efficient. For example, it could be that you travel to a prospective customer’s office for a first meeting to kick off the relationship, but subsequent meetings to discuss deals and iron out the details are held over a video conference.

The benefit from collaboration technologies could even be as simple as taking conversation off email. Many organisations are looking for ways to decrease the amount of data travelling across their networks and a short conversation online, or even setting up dedicated workspaces on an enterprise social platform such as Podio, negate the need for lengthy email exchanges.

The truth is that it’s not only about how your employees interact with each other, but how business conversations occur outside your organisation. Businesses must be prepared to adopt other work styles as well as their own, with video-conferencing making up only a small part of the integrated collaboration puzzle.

The key to mobile working is identifying which location is the most productive environment for working or holding meetings. There is no “one size fits all”; instead, it is imperative to focus on the tools and processes that are needed to enable employees to collaborate and work together from wherever the business requires them to be; be it the office, the home or whilst travelling.

H.R. Shiever is VP & MD, Sales & Service Asia Pacific at Citrix. Since 2004 Shiever has led Citrix Online Services Division’s tremendous growth, helping to secure the company’s number one market leadership position for web conferencing


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