Although video conferencing technology has been available for decades, its use is not as common as other technologies. Like any technology, there are pros and cons to using video conferencing for both business and personal use.
- Time saver- Scheduling meetings to accommodate many participants is not always feasible. Video conferencing ensures that anyone, anywhere, can participate in a meeting rather than wait for someone’s schedule to clear up.
- Convenience- Last minute meetings can be set up. Sometimes ad-hoc meetings are required last minute; different schedules may not allow for this.
- Human Element (kind of)-You get to see the other person rather than just listen to them on the phone.
- Real time information sharing- Power point presentations or data tables are easily shared with the other person(s). It’s much easier to show and explain to someone what you mean by your graphs and tables rather than sending an explanation in one or several back and forth emails.
- No human contact- The one-dimensional aspect of video conferencing lacks the “human contact factor”. Even though you can see the other person you are meeting with, the process can impersonal and cold.
- Appearance- You need to worry about your appearance whereas on a telephone conference it doesn’t matter. Who wouldn’t prefer to take a conference call at home in their pajamas?
- Technical Issues- There’s always the potential for technical problems versus picking up a phone or meeting face to face. Everyone has gone through the long and painful process of trying to figure out why a program doesn’t work or waiting for someone qualified to fix it.
- Time waster- Precious time will be wasted if technical difficulties occur. Setting up a meeting for an old-fashioned meeting or a teleconference can be so much quicker. Sitting around waiting for resolution of technical difficulties is counterproductive and can cost a business time and money.
People who constantly resist using the latest technology will most assuredly agree with me when I ask the question regarding the use of video conferencing, “What’s the point?” One thing is for sure: The need for human interaction is innate, and meeting in a synthetic manner such as video conferencing or a string of emails can never fully take the place of an in-person face-to-face meeting.