So here we are, several weeks into the pandemic, and we continue to meet, but no longer in person, face to face. I have had phone calls, group conference calls and video calls with clients. I have been able to still teach hundreds of directors by video conference. Of course, I have not physically attended a meeting in person in what feels like months now.
So is this the way it’s going to be? Will this be the new norm? Even when the State of Emergency is eventually lifted, the statute still allows board members to appear at Board meetings through the use of technology. But is this what we want to do? Or, do we go back to the way it has always been, in person meetings?
Here is what I have learned and quite frankly, what I believe the court system has learned. Technology has allowed work to continue, and important things to get accomplished without the need to meet in person. The courts have been doing an amazing job of continuing with hearings through video conferencing. While the wheels of justice may turn a little slower now, make no mistake, they continue to roll. I’m very happy and proud that our court system continues on during this crisis.
I have told clients over the years that they can save money on attorney’s fees if they had their attorney appear at board meetings via Skype, Zoom, Go To Meeting or the like. Understandably, there was always some push back. There was always fear that it would’t work out. Well, that fear should now be gone. The technology works very well and Boards should think about using it more often going forward.
But, is this the wrong approach? Our heads are already buried in our phones and laptops all the time. Our kids have become slaves and zombies to their hand held devices. Do we now want to substitute the use of our devices in place of face to face meetings? Do we need yet another excuse for not being with each other in person? Wouldn’t we rather see our neighbors in person, speak to them, god forbid shake hands?
So what do you think? Where are we headed after this? Virtual meetings or in person ones? What would you rather see?