Online meetings are common practice at Yamagata Europe. Talking online with international customers, partners and coworkers is fast, cost-efficient and easy as pie!

With offices in two different European cities, an international client base and a network of international freelancers and subcontractors, you will understand that getting people together for a Yamagata Europe meeting is not a picnic. Add to this that Yamagata Europe is a pioneer of teleworking for its own workforce, and you might even start to wonder how we manage to see each other at all.

But we do manage. And the solution is simple: virtual meetings.

Virtual meetings, e-meetings, video calls… whatever you like to call them, online communication is critical for an internationally focused company like ours. Even more so, online meetings are the cornerstone of our communication internally in our team, as well as externally with our partners and customers.

We absolutely love virtual meetings, for a variety of reasons. Here are four of them. 

1. We save resources

Getting several people from different locations together in one room is not only very difficult, but it’s also expensive. Not mentioning the carbon footprint you need to get people from all over the world in one space. At Yamagata Europe, we have online meetings with our workforce and subcontractors, and with our customers almost every day. Virtual meetings are a standard component of our workweek. For example, we have our online meeting on Monday between the sales team and the account managers, where we discuss the capacity and workload of the coming week.

2. We save time

With today’s slew of tools and apps, online meetings are quick and easy. It’s easy to set up a quick video call with someone at the other end of the world or in their home office if you want to react to an issue fast or talk things through. There’s no need to face traffic in order to get to the office. No physical meeting room to book. No flip chart to set up.

3. Online meetings are more personal than email.

Online meetings are the next best thing to personal contact. Remember the nearly unlimited email threads you get when you are addressing multiple people? None of that with online meetings. Although email is still a very valuable means of communication, it can sometimes be too formal and too cumbersome to discuss very technical or thorny issues. Because of the visual nature of video calls, it’s much easier to convey and capture the non-verbal information that comes with your message. Today’s online meeting tools allow you to share screens, which makes presenting easy.  After the meeting, we simply confirm our conclusions or summarize action points via email.

4. Online meetings are an accepted standard all over the world.

Virtual meetings used to be impractical, frustrating even. Even more, they were considered to be too informal, not suited to convey certain sensitive messages. But with improved technology and usability, virtual meetings have become common practice. From board meetings with our corporate headquarters in Japan to status meetings with Italian clients, online meetings can do the job for Yamagata Europe.

Our weapon of choice today is Google Meet, Google’s extension of Hangouts, that is ideally suited for scheduled meetings with teams.

An online meeting is like a regular meeting

Granted, virtual meetings can have their own issues. Working with different people, in different time zones, and with different platforms can be challenging.

Once we are connected though, we treat an online meeting like a regular, face-to-face meeting. A virtual meeting requires the same level of professionality, the same commitment and the same attention span. You wouldn’t cook your dinner, check your emails or polish your toe nails in a regular meeting either, would you?

Do you have a question or a remark about this post? Maybe we can discuss this in a quick video call.