Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Conferencing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Conferencing

The dynamics of a workplace is in transition increasingly. With new technological innovations, we have had to navigate working digitally as well. One of the many things that are quintessential with meetings is video conferencing. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of video conference calls.

What is Video Conferencing?

Video Conferencing is the technology where a conference is conducted with two or more people at multiple locations for the purpose of communication. In other words, people participating in a video conference can see and hear each other through video and audio transmissions. This visual communication tool is used for increasing efficiency mostly in businesses to optimize and accelerate decision-making processes regardless of the participants’ locations. 

There are two modes of video conferencing – point-to-point calls and multipoint video conferencing. A point-to-point call is a video call between two participants equipped with various collaboration tools like text messaging, slide show, file transfers, etc. And multipoint video call features more than two participants or users with different subtypes on the basis of specific group needs. Consumer services like Microsoft’s Skype, Google’s Duo or Hangouts, Zoom, and Apple’s FaceTime have video conferencing as an essential feature on the device used. It differs from videophone calls in that it can have multiple participants rather than two individuals.

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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 a facility to conduct a 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 in different parts of the world, all they have to do is log in 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 in real-time 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 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 log in from wherever they are and be updated.

6. Increased return

Lesser travel and time saving would result in a quick and increased returns 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 a handshake. In business dealings it is important to win trust and respect for 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 setup

It can be costly for small companies to set up a video-conference in the office. Many simple and advanced features 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 the 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 the conference thus making you 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.

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Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

Lesser travels

No personal interaction

Anytime conference

Technical problems

Better communication

Costly setup
Time and money saver

More working hours

Increases productivity

Delay in response

Increased return

Coverage of the camera

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Karthikh Venks