Video conferencing is the technology by which a conference is conducted with people at multiple locations where they can see and hear each other by video and audio transmissions. It is a live conference where communication is possible in real time. It involves the exchange of video, audio and even text and images if required. It differs from videophone calls in that it can have multiple participants rather than two individuals. Now here are some of its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Video Conferencing
1. Lesser travels
Video conferencing has made it easier for people who had to travel frequently for conferences. As this technology gives facility to conduct conference at the comfort of your home or office, a large number of business trips have been cut short.
2. Anytime conference
There is no time constraint to conduct a video conference. It can be conducted whenever there is a requirement. Even if the members are at different parts of the world, all they have to do is login from their machines.
3. Better communication
It is possible to communicate through images, texts, audio and video in video conferencing. This gives an added advantage of better clarity of the idea being conveyed. Screen sharing is also possible in case further explanation is necessary.
4. Time and money saver
As discussed above, video conferencing has reduced the need for business trips. Previously a lot of money was spent on the travel, food and accommodation. Traveling long distances just for a meeting would also mean a lot of time waste. All these have been addressed with this facility which helps you attend a meeting anywhere.
5. Increases productivity
Fast and better communication contributes to better productivity. It creates a favorable working environment where people can conduct a conference whenever necessary. So there is no confusion about ideas since everybody can login from wherever they are and be updated.
6. Increased return
Lesser travels and time saving would result in quick and increased return for the company. This ensures a better growth rate too.
Disadvantages of Video Conferencing
1. No personal interaction
Nothing would replace a personal interaction like a smile or handshake. In business dealings it is important to win trust and respect of the other party. A video conference may prove insufficient to achieve this. It is better to meet personally in such cases.
2. Technical problems
Working with laptops is always associated with technical problems like hardware failure, network connection issues, software issues etc. Environmental changes also affect the connectivity. It will be a loss if some problem arises at the crucial moment.
3. Costly set up
It can be costly for small companies to set up video conference in the office. There are many simple and advanced features that come with video conferencing. While the simple ones are less expensive, the advanced ones cost a little too much.
4. More working hours
Even though it is easy to conduct the conference at any time, it is practically difficult for people working in different time zones. After working the whole day in office there may be important updates to be given to the team members working in the next shift at a different location. This would mean spending the evening in conference thus making you actually work more hours than paid for.
5. Delay in response
Even though participants of the conference can be from across the globe, there are some difficulties faced due to this long distance. A slight delay between responses that come from one side to the other side of the world is a common thing. You might have noticed this if you have attended international calls.
6. Coverage of the camera
The entire room may not be visible to people sitting at other locations due to the lesser coverage of the camera. This becomes a problem if there are a large number of people at one location.