After an all-party vote concluded in late November, federal Members of Parliament voted in favour of continuing with the virtual/hybrid meeting format in House of Commons proceedings. MPs have the choice to attend in person in Ottawa or participate virtually as they work from home until the end of June 2022.
Similar decisions on virtual meetings are taking place across the province, in many businesses and areas that have an impact on our lives – education (large group, small group, one on one) the courts (hearings, arraignments, settlements) and employers (status updates, check-ins, client calls). It seems clear the virtual meeting format has become integral to daily communications and is here to stay. Despite intermittent technical glitches, bad audio or poor video connections, virtual meetings have proven to be effective and efficient.
Condominiums – On the plus side
In the condo world, virtual meetings have proven to be beneficial in a number of ways that we have discussed in previous posts, not the least of which has been to keep the business of the corporation moving forward. Most directors will agree that virtual meetings have helped to increase unit owner participation because of the various options available. Owners can take part and contribute either by viewing virtually, listening by phone or e-Voting. Furthermore, virtual meetings necessitated a move away from proxy voting, an often-controversial staple of in-person meetings – this point alone has helped ensure there are fewer disputes and challenges to board elections.
On the ‘needs some improvement’ side
Since virtual meetings were adopted nearly two years ago, everyone who has participated in a virtual meeting can attest to experiencing definite challenges with connections and technology at one time or another. And what about the mute function? Who has that mastered? There are plenty of stories floating around on social media!
But, let’s not forget. There have always been challenges with in-person meetings too. With constant improvements in technology, directors should feel confident that meeting providers will work through them. Just think about where virtual meetings were two years ago! We’ve come a long way with technology since then.
For the time being, until there is a complete move to and acceptance for virtual meetings only, hybrid meetings are the option that makes the most sense. Stay tuned. In the meantime, click here for a quick read on hybrid meetings.