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Web Conferencing Advantages and Disadvantages

I have rewritten this article to include your suggestions for web conferencing. Most of the comments are on the disadvantages of web conferencing. Here you will find some examples of advantages of web conferencing.

This is very important for schools to decide if they are going to implement it in the classroom. Productivity is increased because students are not distracted by others around them. This allows them to concentrate more which means their grades will increase.

They are also able to participate more easily since they rely on what has been recorded instead of their memory of what was said or done during class status. Teachers are still able to actively participate in the class since they rely on the technology as a backup for their own memory.

Advantages of Online Meetings

Communication ability

Online conferences are essential in every sector. Using special software, a person involved in an online meeting can chat with others from different countries. To be specific, distance is not a barrier in this case.

The software offers a strong and productive relationship between more distantly placed persons. It improves the connection between people.

Online meetings provide a platform for uninterrupted communication without considering any disruption.

So the modern world considers online meetings among the more effective methods of communication.

Easy access

It is not easy for every stakeholder to meet at one place for business meetings, especially when the stakeholders are in different countries.

The physical presence of the stakeholders will increase the cost. In this situation, online meetings are more accessible than any other medium.

Online conferences help every person to interact without moving from one place to another. Everybody can access this service at their fingertips.

Time-saving

time saving

Another advantage of online meetings is time-saving. According to a business entrepreneur, time is precious and similar to money. So time is very important in every sector, for great success. If one can save time and use it for productive purposes, one is saving money.

Setting up an online meeting saves plenty of time. For instance, it can be considered as a method of time management to avoid a business trip.

You can organize online meetings at any time and in any location. The only thing that you need is an Internet connection.

Interested in hosting an online meeting? Register at MyOwnConference and host online meetings for 20 attendees for free.

Cost-effectiveness

Any business wants to use its finances wisely. This includes cutting back on spending. Hosting meetings online saves on expenditure because the business does not have to pay travel and accommodation costs for attendees.

It’s also worth noting that hosting meetings face to face may mean that a business has to pay for a meeting room and refreshments. This does not apply when meetings are hosted online.

Increased attendance

Attendees do not have to travel to attend a meeting that takes place online. This means that attending involves less commitment of time. Attendees may also be able to drop in and out of the meeting, if they have urgent business matters to deal with.

These factors provide an increased level of flexibility. This means that more people are likely to be able to attend meetings that are planned.

Sharing of information

Often, when face-to-face meetings are held, attendees are presented with a hard copy of the agenda and relevant papers. This is not necessary for an online meeting. Attendees can view the necessary paperwork digitally.

This saves on the cost of printing off paperwork. It also saves on time as no printing is necessary.

Increased savings

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations had significant annual budgets for travel to conferences, other businesses, and branch offices. While business travel hasn’t disappeared forever, pandemic restrictions forced organizations to meet with clients and hold conferences virtually, which video conferencing software enabled. Most organizations likely saved their entire travel budgets over this time and can continue to travel less and save money in the future.

Increased employee productivity

Video conferencing capabilities enable employees to work remotely — whether from home, a coffee shop, a library or another location other than the office. This flexibility eliminates various time barriers, such as commute times or travel to and from conference rooms. Employees can join video conference meetings from anywhere. Also, these meetings become more accessible to employees with disabilities, employees in different states or time zones, and potential new hires from different locations.

Video conference platforms can also improve communication between employees, as they enable users to discuss issues in real-time with chat capabilities, file sharing, and video calling. Employees don’t have to wait for in-person meetings to discuss issues or ask questions, so they can accomplish tasks and solve problems quickly.

Meeting transcription services

Virtual meetings — like sales product presentations, reviews of current financial performance, contract negotiations, or employee reviews — generally result in action items and next steps. Action items may include generating a quote to send to the client or an employee making contract adjustments. The takeaways are generally handwritten or digital notes. Yet, with frequent virtual meetings due to employees working from home, employees may struggle to capture this information, especially if meetings have many attendees. Employees don’t have to wait for in-person meetings to discuss issues or ask questions, so they can accomplish tasks and solve problems quickly.

Many video conferencing platforms, including GoToMeeting, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, offer meeting transcription features to prevent these issues. These features transcribe spoken word into text and provide the text to the meeting attendees. This feature can eliminate the need for an administrative assistant or an attendee to take notes and it adds a neutral party to capture the information.

Translation services for multilingual meetings

Some business meetings require folks across international borders to meet and interact virtually. In some of these meetings, individuals who speak different languages may interact, which creates challenges when discussions arise. Organizations could hire translators — which adds cost and complexity — if existing employees aren’t multilingual, or risk misinterpreting parts of the translation.

Organizations have various options to support multilingual meetings. Microsoft Teams and Skype offer the ability for anyone communicating over text to receive text translations. However, this may not suffice in virtual face-to-face meetings. For those meetings — either video or audio — organizations can use Azure Speech Translation services with Microsoft Teams. This feature transcribes spoken words and translates them in real-time for attendees to view or hear. This enables multilingual communication in meetings and supports more than 30 languages.

File and screen-sharing capabilities

Modern video conferencing software also offers the ability to share content and a user’s screen with one or more meeting attendees. Screen sharing has become critical, as employees require remote assistance at times from their team members.

Another use case is the need to present content, which requires users to display files or data to meeting attendees. Employees could also collaborate and work on shared documents together in real-time or through screen sharing.

One-stop shop and the gateway to other apps

Organizations may struggle to see the value of having access to apps within a video conferencing platform, but Microsoft Teams offers this access. Teams offer support to other tools from within the UC platform, so users don’t have to leave the app to connect to tools such as a CRM system, Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Planner.

This approach may appeal to users who want to reduce switching between apps and have easy access to apps and services within the video conferencing tool.

Disadvantages of Online Meetings

Decrease in personal contact

The best mode of communication is face-to-face communication. This is because many things can be understood from a facial expression or body language.

Facial expression is important for effective communication; it is among the most effective ways to deeply understand a person. With the absence of proper body language, there is a chance of misunderstanding.

While we interact through an online meeting, it is not possible to understand a person deeply. Lots of things may be missed in an online meeting.

Instability in connection

It is foolish to completely trust technology because it can be used for fraudulent purposes. Similarly, one cannot expect an uninterrupted Internet connection because disconnection is always possible while participating in online meetings.

This sort of interruption can reduce the effectiveness of an online meeting, whether it is a business meeting or not. Sometimes it happens because of low-quality equipment. So it is important to maintain high-quality equipment for business purposes.

Reduce human contact

An online meeting is not suitable for all gatherings. It is important to maintain a social relationship. Using online meeting software means that social contact is missing. Online conferencing makes the relationship dry.

Using technology means that meetings become business-centered, and there is less chance for general talk.

Chance for hacking

There is a high risk of security when hosting an online meeting. This is due to the chance of hacking, which can compromise the confidentiality of matters in the case of business.

Hackers can exploit the information and misuse it. So, it is important to maintain high security while sharing information through modern technology.

Potential for poor planning

There is no doubt that some of the planning processes is made easier in an online meeting. For instance, there are no meeting rooms to book or agendas to print out.

However, it’s still necessary for a business to carry out sufficient planning for the meeting to be successful. There is a danger that a business may become lax in this area as the planning process is different from that for face-to-face meetings.

Lack of personal interactions

Like earlier said, video conference meetings can feel impersonal. Even with video-enabled, employees are simply communicating with screens. A lack of personal connections and face-to-face contact may cause employees to struggle to get to know their co-workers, managers, or clients and develop personal connections with them.

2. Network connectivity issues

Office settings typically have reliable network connectivity, as well as backup options in case the Wi-Fi network goes down. Home networks rarely have backup options. These networks also weren’t built to support the same activities — including video conferencing — as office networks, so they may fail due to bandwidth if, for example, multiple people are on video conferences simultaneously. Home networks may also cause lagging video or audio and dropped calls.

Complying with laws and regulations

From a compliance perspective, organizations worry that due to the different state laws, recording some meetings may be illegal without all attendees’ approval. To address that, Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer audible announcements to confirm the meeting is being recorded. This functionality is configurable.

Organizations must also contend with the issue of storing and archiving recorded content. Healthcare organizations, for example, must store patient data anywhere from seven to 12 years, depending on the case. Healthcare organizations must also store that data in a way that complies with HIPAA regulations.

Organizing newly created data

Newly generated content from recorded meetings introduces new challenges as organizations consolidate and classify information available to users. Some video recordings can be a part of training content, other recordings can be project reviews and others can be team huddles. Regardless of the content type, content managers must plan and define data governance to ensure the information is secure and easily accessible when employees need it.

Creating policies

Content managers must plan around new content types and sources. Content managers should create new sets of policies, then apply and implement those policies on the newly created video, audio, and text files from the meetings.

Conclusion

While video conferencing has offered us the ability to connect with people on the other end of the globe, it is not without its shortcomings. We look towards overcoming these shortcomings in the nearest future.

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