Mr. Keli Gadzekpo, Group CEO of Enterprise Group noted that the future of business is not about brick and mortar anymore. He said this in a conversation on Springboard Your Virtual University on Joy 99.7FM with Rev. Albert Ocran on the topic of Personal Strategy: Practical Tips for Staying on Top at all Times. With 75% of his employees at Enterprise working from home, he said it is possible to make do without physical office space and still get things done.
He went on to share some advantages of working from home and holding virtual meetings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has helped the Enterprise Group. The following are key advantages of working from home.
#1. You Can Have Many Meetings
According to Mr. Gadzekpo, the first benefit of working from home is that you can organise many virtual meetings. The old order had an inbuilt limitations to the number of meetings per day or over the course of the week. You can do meetings with every department of the organization virtually.
When a church was organising some relief items for members during the COVID-19 lockdown, they held several strategic meetings online and mobilised everything needed through WhatsApp, phone calls, and messages before the only day of physical meeting when the things were distributed to members. Technology has made multiple meetings in a short space very possible.
#2. You Can Have Many People
Closely related to the first advantage is that you can get many people coming online to participate in the meeting from the comfort of their homes. There are no excuses people can give for not attending. All they need is a device and internet to come online. In many cases, it is as simple as just having a phone. Even the hard to get ones get on board.
For instance, the popular Zoom Video Conferencing can help you to get over 50 people present for even the basic free option. There are other plans you can sign up to get more than 1000 people online for your meetings. Technology has made it possible for a lot of people to be present at meetings from any part of the world. There are no distance, space, and resources barriers.
#3. You Can Save Time
Another point shared by Mr. Gadzekpo is that technology-based meetings help to save time. When you say the meeting is at 10am, it must be so. The duration is also important to get more people next time you call for a meeting. Virtual meetings help to cut a lot of frills that the old model encouraged. You go straight to the point and make it timely. No long talks and speeches.
Look at church services online for example. You don't have the luxury to run over 2 hours and more. People will desert you for the reason of data. Meetings have become simple and straight to the point saving time. Before COVID-19, people could abuse time and waste people's precious time but not so now. Technology is helping to save time.
#4. You can have quality outcomes
The fourth advantage of working from home is that you can have quality outcomes of meetings. You are clear on your deliverables and the contributions. You don't waste time on non-essentials. You expect results.
Even though not all chairpersons of online meetings are able to drive the meeting to fruition, it's by far better to hold meetings online and get good results. Another point is that people can even research online to make quality contributions whilst the meeting is ongoing. In physical meetings, a study of body language would hinder people from working on their gadgets. When an Archbishop realised his people were always on phone, he encouraged them to retweet his message. Imagine the rippling effects!
#5. You Can Have Better Contributions From People
The last advantage of virtual meeting is that people come up with better contributions. Keli Gadzekpo said people speak from the comfort of their homes and speak their minds more than if you were physically with them.
Sometimes, people feel intimidated to make submissions when they are in physical meetings. They fear they will make mistakes or their views would not be welcome. At the comfort of their homes, they bring out their concerns and speak their minds. This simply tells us that the psychology of the virtual participant is different from that of the in-person meeting participant. This help people to bring out their best.
Finally, the Group CEO mentioned that if not because of the emotional ties we have with offices, we can do without them. He noted that, "They are not as required as in the past."
Just in case you are thinking of starting a business, think of these new models of doing business where office physical office space is becoming less functional for many organisations. It can be virtual with all the necessary things needed put in place. If you are a boss, think of more virtual engaments to get results. Indeed, the world has really changed.
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The writer is a blogger ( www.erickotchere.blogspot.com ) and
a podcaster ( https://anchor.fm/eric-otchere ).
He can be reached via mail at [email protected] .