Video conferencing may have seemed suitable only for larger corporations in the past, but now it’s becoming increasingly common amongst businesses of all sizes across industries as a way to adapt to changing working situations.

Used for meetings, webinars and training sessions amongst other things, video conferencing is primarily a form of collaboration and communication.

It comes with its own pros and cons, however.

Pros

It makes collaboration easier and faster

Voice calls can pose difficulties when it comes to communication that requires that personal touch.

Video conferencing, however, is an easy way for every level of an organisation to communicate in a time-sensitive and effective fashion.

With many video conferencing options offering tools such as screensharing and whiteboards as well, collaboration is easier than ever, and it’s all in one place in real time, no matter where your team is located.

It broadens business opportunities

When you’re not limited by travel costs, you can create opportunities with other businesses across the globe.

Where previously businesses had to be limited in the scope of their communications, video conferencing allows you to make connections that you may previously have been unable to.

Plus, it’s an easier way to have an initial meeting that doesn’t involve forking out costs on travel, food and all of the other expenses that can arise.

There are great free options

Two of the most popular cloud-based options for video conferencing are Zoom and Microsoft Teams, both of which offer free options.

For Zoom, meetings of up to 100 participants can be hosted (with a 40-minute limit on group meetings) with online support and group collaboration features.

Microsoft Teams includes meetings and calls, limited chat and collaboration options and productivity apps and services in its free version.

Cons

Quality systems can be pricey

Even with Zoom and Microsoft Teams offering free plans that can be utilised by businesses, in most cases, the technology we have on hand simply isn’t adequate.

Paying for webcams and microphones that can hold up for regular video conferencing isn’t likely to be cheap, and teams of a certain size will probably require a paid plan with more in-depth features as well.

Network instability issues

The dreaded lag can happen even when meetings are planned extensively and people are speaking one at a time – it’s an inevitable part of video conferencing.

This can result in missing valuable parts of a meeting and not being able to efficiently collaborate due to faulty connections.

It may require training

If technical issues arise, you want to ensure your team is adequately equipped to work through it, which means investing time in training them.

Even if your team does have technical knowledge, often you’ll be relying on your chosen software’s tech support instead.


Our top tips?

Whether you’re using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or any other software, here are our top tips:

  1. Set an agenda beforehand to ensure things stay on track
  2. Speak one at a time to avoid lag
  3. Familiarise yourself with conferencing features ahead of time
  4. Test your microphone before a call

 


 

The pros and cons of video conferencing will be dependent on the size of your organisation and the features it requires, but even with that in mind, video conferencing isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, so acquainting yourself with the options available is essential.

If you’d like further advice, we offer business IT support.