Zoom may be more efficient but in-person meetings are more effective. You choose
There are many articles on LinkedIn that discuss the topic of working from home. A generalized summary of many articles that I have read is that many people love WFH. I work from home and have since 2018, well before the pandemic, I absolutely love working from home, I am also 37 years deep into my career with total 4 companies. There are specific reasons why WFH is great for my company. I will address them last.
Here is the point Zoom may be more efficient but in-person meetings are more effective in the long run and short run. With a face-to-face meeting there is more commitment from all attendees.
There is more prep for in-person meetings. I have to shave, ditch sweatpants & T, put on a pressed shirt and possibly even a tie (have mercy, do I still know how to tie it?), and then execute a terrible commute. All communists are not terrible for most people, I am just a bad driver.
Stay with me, check, your behavior and exploits of others while on zoom calls. I can tell you I get texts from friends while they are on endless zoom calls and by the text content, it is obvious many participants are checked out. I personally feel that many zoom calls I am on are rehearsal pitches, often feeling like cold prospecting by throwing a large net rather than polished professional works of art. Back in the office days, we did practice presenting especially if we had a few presenters. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
I have already stated I love WFH. I am not being hypocritical when I say this. People just starting their professional careers don't know what they don't know.
All the perks of working from home seem great in the short run but could possibly take years off their long-term success. I am a big believer in learning by osmosis and observation. Your best coworker may be the coffee machine, it is where people gather to talk about positive and negative things going on with their company and their clients. I would tune out the negative but I would look to see who was succeeding in my organization and with client. I would look to see how they were doing it. If I felt they were doing it ethically, intelligently, and quickly they would become my role model. I often learned most about new products and the overall company direction by listening in on conversations that were not directed at me (the newbie)
Truth be told you're in an office or at a client's office to work but I do believe workplace camaraderie is an underappreciated element that is great for career growth. I am still friends with several of my first coworkers from 1986, I am still tight with my first television sales manager from 1989 and I still look forward to having conversations with the person who groomed me for my GSM job starting in 2005. Those work friendships are a large part of my life and reasons for my long-term employment and success with the few companies I have worked for in my 37-year career.
Early on one’s career I think being a loan eagel interferes with job satisfaction. It is why I see so much job hopping going around. Everybody's looking for the bigger better deal not realizing it might just be under their nose. I am sure several WFH people will not like this statement either, I believe that texting and social media have hurt our ability to have conversations, listen thoughtfully, and get a better understanding of each other’s needs. This relates to business and pleasure communications. I have no hard facts on this but when a client says to text me or e-mail me, I would say a large portion of the time it means they're blowing you off. Unfortunately, that is easier for both sides to accept.
I often ask young people what they do for their clients or their company the typical answer is that "it is hard to explain". I interpret that as meaning they haven't seen the whole picture. I fully admit that may be my take on it. When my son or his friends have a date I ask them about the girl and they know nothing, I think that is kind of whacked. I fully admit that may be my take on it and I am 58. There are many things I can do better and I am still learning. My hope is that people just starting their careers don't dig themself too deeply into a work-from-home whole and perhaps the hybrid job is the best opportunity.
There are a few reasons why working from home for me is a home run for me. I have a very small company, the key people I work with in my company have worked together for 15 + years. While we can complete each other's sentences, the larger bonus is that we have complementary skill sets and we put heads together on challenging opportunities/situations we developed the best solutions for our clients, it is a 1 + 1 = 3.
Our ideation secessions have been developed over more than a decade of face to face to face interaction and a clear-cut expectation of what client success looks like. We have a level of trust in our company and with clients that few have. I can absolutely say that when I worked with a large team as a GSM / Management of a TV station for 17 years the trust between corporate & sales, sales & team members, and between sellers & clients was a fraction of what we have. Furthermore, trust has eroded as the average tenure of employees has dramatically reduced.
Our clients are spread far and wide. We work with clients from Florida to Seattle and even off the Continental US to Hawaii. Truth is my favorite and most productive meetings are face-to-face (or even mask-to-mask), we can and do travel to see clients but trips to Seattle and Hawaii would break our travel budget.
Go where your heart takes you, focus on a job you like and the money will come, do your best work all the time. Get face-to-face at every opportunity. I wish you all amazing success.