Zoom In... or Out? When Face-to-Face Meetings Matter Most

Zoom In... or Out? When Face-to-Face Meetings Matter Most
Zoom In... or Out? When Face-to-Face Meetings Matter Most

‘Pairs that worked face-to-face generated more ideas – about 15 to 20% more ideas than pairs of people that worked on Zoom… working on Zoom was a double penalty – fewer ideas and a narrower set of ideas.’ – Jonathan Levav

In this thought-provoking discussion, Jonathan Levav, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, delves into the impact of remote work on creativity and collaboration.

He elucidates how video conferencing platforms like Zoom, though instrumental during the pandemic, are not an absolute substitute for face-to-face communication.

Table of Contents

  1. Importance of Physical Presence
  2. Research Insights on Idea Generation
  3. Impact of Shared Environment
  4. Cognitive Style Changes with Medium
  5. Deciding Between Zoom vs In-person Meetings
  6. Zoom Meetings and Decision-making
  7. Relearning Leadership Norms
  8. The Psychological Requirements of Tasks
  9. Understanding Employee Preferences
  10. Choice Architecture and Motivation
  11. Providing Conveniences at Work
  12. Impact of AI on Future Work

Importance of Physical Presence

Physical presence in a shared environment fosters a sense of collective idea generation and dynamic conversation which is often missing in virtual meetings.

The lag time and formal turn-taking nature of Zoom meetings can disrupt this creative flow.

Research Insights on Idea Generation

Research conducted by Levav revealed that pairs working face-to-face generated around 15-20% more ideas than their counterparts on Zoom.

The ideas brainstormed in person were also more diverse and less clustered together than those over Zoom.