February 25, 2021

You should be having longer meetings. Yes, really.

Here’s how life science teams can improve virtual work with asynchronous communication.

In 2021, work looks completely different than it did a year ago. How we do it, when we do it, where we do it...it’s all changed, possibly for good. It’s not surprising that some organizations are still figuring out how to successfully navigate a world where remote, virtual collaboration is the status quo, and in-person events are the exception.

If you’re sick of staring at yourself on camera all day, you’re not alone, and you probably know it – talking about video fatigue is the new talking about the weather. And while in-person work interactions will resume at some point, the fact is that virtual work interactions are here to stay. Recognizing that there are only so many Zoom-able hours in the day, how do we improve the experience of working virtually, without adding camera time?

Hear us out: you need to have longer meetings.

In “The Case for Longer, More Thoughtful Meetings,” Fast Company says that longer meetings can result in more aligned and fulfilled employees, based on the reasoning that longer meetings democratize idea-sharing, eliminate unnecessary follow-up, and provide participants with the ability to share ideas in a way that’s comfortable for them. We totally agree, and we think you can have these longer, more thoughtful meetings without spending more time on video. Meetings that take place over a period of days or weeks, also known as asynchronous meetings, are the key to unlocking more thoughtful interaction without requiring all the participants to be available at a single time of day – and to providing all those long-meeting benefits without actually having long meetings.

Among the most common feedback from users of our asynchronous platform – contracted KOLs, patients, allied health professionals, and others – is that they enjoy the ability to focus and answer questions more thoughtfully. This also has benefits for our clients, who tell us they get deeper, more actionable insights from our over-time platform than from traditional face-to-face meetings. In situations where there might be a risk of hierarchy influence or general reluctance to speak up, asynchronous virtual settings can level the playing field by allowing moderators to ask private questions, blind participant names, or put different audiences in separate virtual rooms.

We’re not asking you to stop having web meetings – in fact, we help our clients have productive virtual meetings all the time. But we also help them amp up the value of those on-camera hours by using over-time sessions to do things like set agendas, share pre-read material, confirm key takeaways, and gather really insightful feedback that helps them get more done. By combining the capabilities of our async platform with the real-time power of web meetings, our life science clients can use their time effectively and spend less time hopping from Zoom to Zoom.

So by all means – have longer meetings (days, weeks...even indefinitely). Just make sure you’re designing them thoughtfully, building in time for increased focus and engagement, and providing a comfortable space for everyone to contribute.

To learn more about using virtual work to get more insights and consistently meet your team’s objectives, download our Live to Virtual white paper.