COVID-19 brought unprecedented times to all of us, businesses included. Over the past few years, COVID-19 has persisted and businesses have been hard hit with its multifaceted impacts. As businesses struggle with lockdowns, social distancing, and competing in an ever changing market, there will continue to be problems arising. There will be conflicts businesses need to resolve. On top of all of the hardships businesses have faced lately, the prospect of stressful, costly, and time consuming litigation may just be too much to bear. Fortunately, mediation can provide a low maintenance alternative. With everyone trying to navigate COVID-19 times as safely as possible, virtual mediation acts as a nice option for conflict resolution while social distancing.
Virtual Mediation in COVID-19 Times
In mediation, parties are able to negotiate through a neutral third party, the mediatory. Through the mediator, the parties aim to resolve their conflict through reaching a mutually agreeable solution. This means that the win-lose situation that comes with litigation is replaced with parties being able to work towards an agreement where everyone wins, at least in part. At the end of a successful mediation, all parties should walk away from the table feeling that they have gained something.
With the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to get creative in their solutions for successfully running business matters while navigating CDC recommendations and working to best preserve the health and safety of others. This has often meant looking for ways to reduce face-to-face interaction. While many things have changed for businesses, disagreements arising in the course of business is not something that has changed. There are still business conflicts that need to be resolved during the pandemic. To balance social distancing and other safety measures with the continued need to resolve business conflicts effectively and efficiently, virtual mediation has stepped in as a viable solution with many benefits.
Virtual mediation is held through a secure and private online conference platform. There are several options when it comes to platforms and so you should explore which platform works best to serve your purposes. Connecting via the digital platform will allow the mediator to run the mediation session and guide the parties through the dispute without everyone having to meet in person. Many of these digital platforms will also allow for the parties to provide electronic signatures to finalize any legal documents or legal agreements generated as a result of the mediation. This means that the mediation can be conducted and agreements finalized all in the digital space.
While some may be hesitant to move mediation and other business interactions into the virtual world, it is important to be open to such options. The world is changing and the post-pandemic world will still feel lingering impacts and changes that came through the COVID-19 times. With a skilled mediator to facilitate problem solving and conflict resolution, virtual mediation can be just as effective as in person mediation.