VIRTUAL MEETINGS - Have you ever stopped for a moment to reflect on how the Covid-19 pandemic has strongly pushed us to embrace an increasingly virtual life? Like it or not, that’s a fact.
I’d like for a moment to focus on the benefits that this change has brought to our lives... I would like to avoid filling up that endless string of "we are all ruined" complaints and, once again, I would like to become aware of the opportunity generated by a global crisis.
Let us think, for example, of business meetings. Many of us are sitting in their offices and in their homes complaining, waiting for a "green light" (which does not depend in any way on our actions or our will), not being able to do business meetings "as once". Of course, the human being is a sociable being, you know. None of us are willing to give up relationships in the presence, not even the most shy and introverted person. But while most professionals complain and remain motionless, the other part of the "business man" has seized opportunities that had never presented themselves in the past. I repeat: no judgment, just a healthy awareness of the benefits arising from this epochal change.
Before the pandemic I remember that I was willing to take a last minute plane, fly for 6 hours, bear the costs of 3 - 5 days of board and lodging, face 3 hours of time zone and sacrifice a night of sleep, to be able to make 3 or 4 important meetings carefully organized with effort in the same period to amortize the travel costs. Today this can no longer be done so easily, and surely it can no longer be done by limiting costs and times. But what happened instead?
Technology has met us and everyone, but all of us, have been put in a position to hold meetings and virtual meetings. Most of the technological means were already available to us before the pandemic, but due to cultural, cognitive or more simply because of our habits, we were not oriented to their use in the normal working routine. And so you save hours of travel, fuel costs, environmental emissions... what impact has this had on your private lives? You ever think about that? Maybe instead of feeling tired of these "modern ways," you haven’t considered how much more time you spend with your families? How much money do you have left in your checking account? On the budgets of certain companies, this saving easily represents tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of euros!
But it doesn’t end here: have you thought about increasing productivity and improving efficiency resulting from these virtual meetings?
If I was able to meet five people in five days of travel before, now, sitting comfortably at home or in the office, I can get to make up to eight meetings a day with people connected from all over the world, saving on transfer times and travel costs. Translated into larger numbers, if we assume an annual average of 200 working days per person and an average of 4 meetings per day, it means being able to make 800 meetings per year against the 200 that we would have carried out with the expensive traditional methods. This translates, for example, into a 300% increase in our sales opportunities and thus a corresponding increase in our turnover!
And the great thing is that business men and women all over the world, unlike what happened up until a couple of years ago, have integrated into their daily routine this new mode of virtual encounters, whether for opportunity or obligation, Therefore, the probability of finding closed doors has been lowered, even for those who cannot afford to spend large travel amounts.
With all this I do not want to say that online dating is the only and definitive solution. I am well aware of the natural need that we human beings have to meet in person. On the other hand, these new channels allowed me to express my sociality and to have the opportunity to know and collaborate with people that I could not otherwise meet. And we didn’t have to wait to meet in person to start generating economic benefits!
There are also areas in which these advantages have not been fully grasped: I am thinking, for example, of the bad management of many "Dads" (distance teaching), of some technical interventions on implants, of doctors who have to operate manually on patients and so on. Nor can we deny that there are already experiences of distance learning organized in an effective and interactive way. There are virtually remote technical collaborations that have led to the solution of the problem on the plant, perhaps with the development of new technological means. I am also thinking of remote visits and biotechnology machines to operate remotely on patients.
We all agree, and I’m looking forward to it too, that we’ll soon be back to a life of relationships in the presence, but I’m sure this world will integrate both real and virtual modes in order to significantly improve our lives and our opportunities again and again... Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go get them!
Parvin Afsar was born in Italy, to an Italian mother and a Persian father. Graduated in industrial engineering, she has experience in Shanghai and Phoenix. She holds two master degrees in project management and small and medium-sized enterprises.