Is face time obsolete for business?
Do you feel like you’ve been seeing less of your colleagues? It’s not your imagination. Working face to face in day-to-day business dealings may now be the exception more than the rule, according to a survey by Blue Jeans Network.
In the company’s recent poll of 400 business decision-makers, 91 percent reported they have never seen some of the people they regularly work with — including coworkers and customers. Regular face time, it seems, has become nonessential to running a successful business.
There are negative repercussions of not being able to put a name with a face, however; the survey found that a lack of face-to-face communication can contribute to issues such as:
What’s more, less visual interaction often reduces employee accountability during phone calls or conferences. Survey respondents admitted to distractions such as talking to colleagues (72 percent), using social media such as Facebook and Twitter (69 percent) and going as far as taking a nap (6 percent) during phone conversations where they couldn’t see the person on the other line.
It’s no surprise, then, that 54 percent of respondents cited video conferencing as the best alternative to face-to-face meetings, with audio calls and email communication as their second and third choices.
Step up your B game
You may have seen the B Corp logo — a “B” surrounded by circle that’s been touted by companies such as Patagonia Inc., Etsy Inc. and Ben & Jerry’s. But what does it mean? And why would you want one?
Offered by the nonprofit B Lab, the B Corp logo is third-party seal of environmental and social credentials for for-profit companies. The organization evaluates applicants based on treatment of employees, sustainable business practices and community involvement and has been certifying companies since 2007.
For many, the social seal demonstrates their commitment to a social mission as well as a fiscal one. It’s also helps lure young talent, as more studies show that millennials are looking for employers that emphasize social responsibility.
Mastering the art of negotiation
Many small business owners find it difficult to get what they want at the negotiation table.
Ultimately, the problem may be in your prep work, according to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program curriculum, which cites these seven tips for negotiation preparation.