The Future of Online Meetings

I saw this on Twitter and I was immediately struck by it.

Here’s what they said:

“Being able to see a full life-sized body makes a really big difference for reading nuance & body language! A designer in the Osaka office mentions how cultural differences can make it difficult to read a coworker from Tokyo over applications like Zoom that only show the face.”

Keeping tonari *always on* really helped people share more information across offices. Because there’s no disconnect button, conversations flowed more casually from one topic to the next. We heard a lot of “Oh yes, I wanted to ask…” and “By the way…” during our field studies.

More casual and serendipitous conversations meant that people got stuff done more quickly. A stalled email discussion would quickly get resolved in a conversation over tonari. People could quickly pull in other people needed to finalize a decision, without scheduling meetings

It is so clearly the obvious future of video calls and meetings between teams.

One thing we’re learning is how limiting video’s through a small square on a computer can be in terms of interaction.

We will continue to want, and use, real in-person meetings again as a signal of our priorities (we fly somewhere to show we care). 

But this screen set up will take us close, as it will allow us to see the full body language and true “presence” of the other person. 

With full body length video, we will give our full, relational attention.

We’ll set up meetings and work around more natural communication which can exist outside the bounds of 1-hour, pre-determined chunks. And we’ll have more natural ways of building culture and relationships.

I can’t wait to get one of these.

xx David


I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

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