The Covid pandemic has established the principles of remote working, and remote mediation. This offers so many advantages, when compared to face-to-face-mediation, that we predict it will continue long after the coronavirus.
The most obvious advantages of remote mediation are that it is
- Cheaper and easier to set up
- More convenient
- It feels less formal and threatening
Courts and Tribunals are struggling to cope with the backlog of work, and this is encouraging many parties to turn to mediation. It is almost always better to get a prompt resolution of a problem, rather than waiting interminably for a Court date.
Easier to set up
Finding premises to conduct mediation has never been easy because of the requirements. Three rooms. Privacy for the parties. And in a convenient location with parking and other facilities. Finding somewhere suitable has always been a struggle, and
Avoiding the need to book rooms means that finding a date for the mediation can be much easier. Remote mediation also avoids the need for wearing masks during the mediation which can inhibit and complicate conversations.
Less formal and threatening
Perhaps the greatest advantage of remote mediation is that it feels less formal and less threatening. Participants can be at home, or they can be with their lawyers/advisors. But they don’t have to be in the same room as the people that they are in dispute with. For many disputants – especially in a workplace or personal situation – then meeting the other person can be a cause of great stress and unpleasantness. On screen they are less threating and it feels like they are more at arms length.
Remote mediation has rapidly become the method of choice for participants, their legal advisors and mediators.