According to a study recently commissioned by London North Eastern Railway, the business lunch is set for a revival. 48% of respondents thought virtual lunches or coffees were no replacement for the in-person experience and 94% said they were better communicators in face-to-face meetings.
With ‘Freedom Day’ now looming, could we at last bid farewell to Zoom calls and welcome back client lunches and coffee meetings? Conversations with our customers indicate that, in London, the answer could well be yes.
For example, one of our customers Michael Schmitz, co-founder of investment firm Emerald Capital Management, told us that in-person exchanges foster real connections with clients. In his view, they “need to come in, visit [the office] and get to know the business in-person”.
Similarly, for Brett Rogers, another Argyll customer and Investment Director at Conviction Equities, technology is no replacement for face-to-face interaction. He told us that “technology has been great, but we don’t see it as underpinning our future model. Our London team needs a physical, central base that our younger employees can regularly use as a place of productivity”.
After so long apart, professionals are not only looking forward to getting back to their desks, but they are also ready to reclaim the benefits of in-person interactions. Whether it’s over a bottle of Merlot or a Nespresso in the office, it seems that the days of a good old-fashioned sit down are not over yet.